Monday, September 19, 2011

Vintage Feather-Craft Folk Art Makeover

When were these Mexican feather craft pictures popular? They used to turn up every so often in estate auctions when I used to work for an auction company. This pair has been knocking around my house ever since they came to me from a great grandmother's estate. I liked the quirkiness of them, but not they weren't in the best condition. We revamped them this week to hang in the nursery, and here's how 
we did it:


Here are the originals in their carved cedar frames. I generally hold that it is recklessness in the first degree to paint over nice wood, (don't get me started about "distressing") but these needed a little jazzing up. Obviously they aren't a matched pair, were a bit dinged up, and pretty faded.

The first step was to cut them carefully out of the frames.


Then I pulled out the backing nails and cleaned the glass.


I carefully dusted off the pasteboard backing with a soft brush. 


The original condition doesn't look too bad in the photo, but the purple and blue were especially faded. I touched up all the colors with India ink and a medium bristle square acrylic brush. You can see in the after picture at the very top that I actually made this guy acid green instead of grey.


I could not be out there when my husband painted the frames, so there are no pictures, but you know how to use spray paint without my instruction!

We used Rustoleum spray paint in gold, a light dusting of copper, and a very very very light dust of aqua. I can't say I am all that thrilled with the color. If someone knows of a more mellow butterscotchy gold, please share! This gold looked like a high school prop to me at first. 

Then my husband reassembled the whole kit and caboodle. Done. Bright and cheerful for babies who like birds!

Sorry these aren't perfect photos. I am relaxing my standards to survival mode until further notice! 

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