Years ago, while reading Martha Stewart's Gardening, I discovered
her technique for antiquing urns and pots. I spent many happy afternoons dabbling with paint and adding instant patina to urns. As trends came and went, those pots were painted and repainted many times. My sons would say, "Mom's gone to pot again."
It was true in so many way, I couldn't disagree.
Over the last six years, I was swamped with projects that left no time for faux painting.
My pots were left alone. These lightweight, man-made products didn't age one bit, which is the whole point, I suppose.
This particular pot was used to plug a goat hole in the fence. The hole
was filled, and I decided to "Martha" the pot.
You may have seen last week's urn makeover.
This time, I lightly sprayed the pot (and did not use the "secret" ingredient,
which you can read about HERE. Though it worked beautifully, I
didn't want the pots to be identical).
Back to my pot. I wanted it to have faux "moss" and patina, so I decided to do something wild and tested washable paints from the grocery store. I'm happy to report that the paint made it thorough several hard rain showers.
Not so washable, at least after it dried, which turned out to be a good thing.
I also used some specialty Martha paints, which I'll show in a moment.
I used a pale lime green "crackle" paint (Martha Stewart brand) that I found at Home Depot.
I began with the grocery store "washable" paints, creating several shades of green.
First, dab the colors with a sponge brush.
Always work from left to right--or right to left.
Try not to work up and down.
The mossy patterns are more realistic when you make horizontal brush strokes.
Use a wider brush to blend the colors.
A damp paper towel (an old sock or dish towel is even better) will
blend and "knock back" the brighter green paint. A damp cloth will also blur mistakes--but you must work rapidly.
The paint dries super-fast,
which means you must work at warp speed.
If the paint dries and you think it's too thick (or the wrong color),
wet your cloth again and dab like mad. You may be unable to remove
80% of the paint at this point. I'll tell you how to deal with that in a moment.
For now, move the wet cloth in a circular motion--as if you are
applying make-up to your cheeks and forehead. Use a light touch and keep blending.
If you are called away from your project, and the paint dries in globs,
whip out sandpaper, the rougher the better.
In fact, you'll want to run the sandpaper over your pot here and there. Let
creamy, white places show through. A little elbow grease will reveal the original color of the pot--in this pot's case, we had several colors.
Just spend a little time with Miss Martha, and you'll learn that faux patina comes from building layers and then knocking off bits and chips.
Use a fine brush and dip it in dark paint.
You don't have to use black. Make your own burnt umber and at least three
shades of green. Here's a refresher on mixing and creating colors.
I opted for black.
Rather than draw a straight line, make little dots,
then connect the dots.
It doesn't have to be perfect--in fact, you don't want your
pot to look as if it came off an assembly line. Right?
Use a flat sponge brush to soften the line.
Keep dabbing (gently).
You'll want the "line" to resemble dirt--years and years of grime.
Use a brush with flexible bristles and dab a mixture of black and dark green
here and there. Look at photos of moss to see how it grows--splotchy, and usually on one side of a pot or tree (the shady side).
If your pot has a raised design,
run a small brush over the designs (suggestions: burnt umber or green or black--whatever feels
right for your pot is the right color choice).
Wipe the brush on a paper towel and "dab" it over the "moss"
to smear it.
Add texture with the green "crackle."
I didn't follow the instructions, so I didn't get a crackle finish--I liked how the
light green "Martha" paint added a raised layer.
Below, you can see my tools.
The "washable" paints (Publix; K-Mart) have a really light, pretty
shade of green, and also a deeper green. Martha's "crackle" (Home Depot) comes
in several colors. I wasn't pleased with the primer, though.
I found the faux concrete spray paint at K-Mart and Home Depot. It also comes in a few colors.
(If you goof with the faux moss, just spray a little faux concrete paint on the mistake. Let it dry and start over.)
You'll need sandpaper, a paper plate to mix paints, water, jars for your brushes--
and don't forget mosquito or bug spray. Sweat bees can be a major distraction!
An afternoon shower forced me to rush inside.
When the storm ended, my paints were intact.
(The smeary part on the urn was my mistake.)
I got busy mixing, sponging, and dabbing.
I've got to decide what to do with my other pots. I experimented the other day and wished I'd left them alone (terra cotta is always lovely). Sandpaper and elbow grease might be in order. I'll need to work fast: every day this week has a 25% chance of rain.
So, my pot began with 50 Shades of Gray
and ended up with 50 Shades of Green.
Naturally I made a horrific mess on the porch.
After a summer of Lyme's and joint pain,
my toy-like blower is perfect. Not too heavy.
Didn't blow me to Oz.
More make-overs are in progress at the farm. This weekend, Bandwidth repaired our old Adirondacks. They were starting to get a bit too rustic. Really, they were
falling apart on a daily basis.
Bandy is in the process of sanding, painting, sanding, painting.
Bandy did a great job!
It's hard to believe how much the mums and vines have grown in just one week--especially because they were attacked by goats. You can see the urns when they were first planted by clicking HERE.
I replaced the Persian violets (bought at Publix early this summer) with mums
and planted the violets along the walkway.
The broken urn was attacked by goats, but the
I've ordered garden clogs.
Just waiting for them to arrive!
I've got my eye on the gray urn.
It was given to me 6 years ago by a garden store (the urn was falling apart and chipped). I painted it gray to match the shutters, but now I'm looking forward to making it look old and mossy.
It's been a challenge to garden at Bald Hill Farm.
Every plant and shrub has been devoured by a herd of pygmy goats.
They have a scorched earth police.
If you looked down upon the farm from a space satellite, it would frighten you!
You can see (left urn) where Maude the goat ate the vines. This, despite
all of the food DH gives the little herbivores.
I've ordered new wreaths for the doors.
Still can't decide if we should stain or paint the front doors.
My husband tripped on the "goat" gates, so we're testing a trellis, hoping the livestock will keep away
from the vines and DH won't get hurt!
The mums received their first feeding today.
Do you remember the potted perennials that were waiting to be planted?
We finally planted them along the garden path.
We struggled to find places for the False Dragonheads.
They need to be 12" apart. I couldn't get two rows, so I ended up with one.
Our shovels kept hitting the underground soaker hoses.
Bandwidth hooked up hoses that had been sliced by the mowers,
and I gave the flowers good, deep drinks.
We weed the path regularly. Great exercise!
My purple coneflowers (you can barely see them in the far right) look sickly.
It's so hard to plant deep holes, because we always hit the irrigation
hoses. But we're getting there, bit by bit.
Now, to finish the Adirondacks...
And to work up my courage to dead-head the lavender.
Finding a place for the dovecote, and thinking about touches of autumn in the cottage garden.
Until then, thanks for stopping by Rattlebridge Farm.
*All photos were taken by iPhone.