November 8, 2019

Neutralizing Santa

Welcome! While the weather is still permitting I put the Halloween decorations back to bed for another year and pulled out the Christmas bin . Although it's far too early for hanging lights and trimming trees at my house, I wanted to look for any decorations that needed a bit of work or washing up during the remaining mild days. That's how I came across the Santa statue.

I purchased this portly guy either at a market or hardware store many years ago and took him home more out of pity than love. He was painted very badly in a horrible shade of red that resembled rotting meat. His eyes were two blotches of white paint, smeared beyond the carved eyeballs and he looked like he had been drop-kicked around the store a few times. I took him home,  did a bit of repair and painted him a hot pink.

He spent many a holiday outside of our home on the porch, always drawing a smile from passersby.

This year I decided to upgrade his look with the same technique I used on my kitchen roosters. It really transforms those hard, cheap, plastic statues into something that resembles hand-carved, wooden pieces and the make-over on the jolly old elf was no exception.

White Roosters

      He got a good bath and a few coats of white spray paint until he was smooth and glossy. After letting him dry overnight I got out the acrylic paint. 

I mixed up a medium shade of gray and started painting a wet mix into all the crannies and crevices. I just did a bit so it didn't dry and then wiped and dabbed with an old terry cloth rag. The slick spray paint makes it easy to wipe away the excess acrylic, and the terry cloth washcloth leaves the surface a bit streaky. I worked in one area at a time until every nook and crease was antiqued, painting and wiping quickly.

Here's Santa with his top half-finished. His beard and mustache had a lot more detail than I realized!

Once he was all detailed I set him up with a personal fan for drying. After a couple of hours, I took him outside for a once over with hairspray. Cheap hairspray makes a great fixative for this project. It blends the flat acrylic with the high gloss white and adds just a bit of a sheen while protecting the new finish.

Santa now looks completely different and he's ready for his holiday debut!

Thank you for visiting! Please come again.

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