Who doesn’t like a good garage sale?
Well, my mother LOVES them, and I’m sure that she has implanted some sort of garage sale-ing gene into my DNA. The woman is serious about her deals. She make maps. She highlights addresses. She does a preliminary scout of “the goods” upon arrival, and then as we peruse the tables, she makes subtle eye contact with me.
Her eyes say, “Should we stay or cut loose? Is this treasure or crap? Tell me now. There are other garage sales waiting….”
And where she lives, the sales are good. People live in their homes for 30+ years in her neighbourhood. They’ve got beautiful hoards just ready for deal-seekin’, upcyclin’ junk-a-holics like me.
So when I saw the cuckoo clock, I grabbed it. I had just been robbed – ROBBED – by a sneaky-as-a-fox man who had taken a box of antique insulators right from underneath me. I wasn’t going to let another treasure slip away.
It had a tag on it that read $10. I tried to haggle, but the husband was a bit put out that his wife had put the clock in the sale. “I think it’s worth $10”, he said. “I didn’t even really want to sell it.”
So I caved. Ten bucks it was.
This picture doesn’t really convey how beat up the clock was. There were paint spatters on its front, and it had scratches all over it. My spray paint called out, “I can fix this!”
Plus, there was this fella hanging out on the top of the clock. He looked… daunting. And a little bit scary. I was counting on the paint to cover up those evil eyes.
I intended to take the guts of the clock out before I painted it. But when I opened its back, I found this.
Errrm…. I don’t know what to do with that.
I fetched my painter’s tape instead.
This may appear sloppy at first, but there’s a method to this madness.
Using my incredibly sharp box-cutter (it’s an Olfa, if you’re looking for a knife that kicks serious crafting butt), I cut away the extra painter’s tape: I had my perfect circle!
With a less-precise hand, I taped off all of the extraneous bits that didn’t need to be painted. I gathered the clock chain and popped it into a bag. I was ready to paint.
I prefer to spray paint on newspaper rather than plastic. The reason for this is that newspaper will grab onto the paint, and so you can do multiple coats on the same surface. I’ve found that plastic (like garbage bags) are too slippery, and old paint can grab onto new wet paint and create a flaky, disastrous mess.
And as with all spray-painting projects: use light even coats. Do not expect complete coverage the first go ’round. It’s best to be patient and re-visit your project for another spray or two. Or you risk the dread Drip of Despair. You don’t want that!
Once the clock had dried and was reassembled, I was left with this gorgeous time-piece. Ain’t she pretty?
Even the bird seems softer, now that the scary-eye-situation has been resolved. The clock face matches the pine-cone weights; I love the way the blue and the brown compliment each other.
And aren’t these weights fantastic? This piece does not rely on batteries to run – instead, these weights control the pendulum of the clock and the little cuckoo bird who pops out every fifteen minutes. I was enthralled to learn that this is how you “wind” the clock. It makes this project even more exciting (and the finished piece that much more charming)!
I’m so very proud of my garage-sale score, now hanging proudly on the wall. It gives me a teensy bit of that garage-sale “fever”. What else is waiting for me and my trusty cans of spray paint? Surely there are deals just patiently waiting for a crazy lady like me!
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This post was first shared on One Artsy Mama.
Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell
She IS pretty!! I love a good spray painted cuckoo. I have a bright yellow one in our kitchen that I just love to death. Really like the colour you chose
I considered painting this one bright yellow, but I just didn’t know it would gel with our decor. I’m in a blue phase right now!
I love my cuckoo clock – I imagine that I’m going to have it on my wall for a long time. It’s just so…. kitschy and awesome!
This is amazing. It’s a fabulous idea and now I shall begin my hunt for one of my own 🙂
Garage sales, girl. They’re gold-mines! 🙂
Ooooo I LOVE this Tara!! The color is great and much better than the original! Great idea… I want to find one now too. 🙂
Let me know if you do! I want to see these clocks in a myriad of colours! (I can’t say that I’m not going to keep my eyes peeled for more clocks at thrift stores and garage sales!)
Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz
Even for $10 that’s a straight up steal! It looks fantastic! I bet the girls love it too!
Thank you so much, Kenzie! The girls are so taken by it. The “cuckoo” never fails to stop them in whatever they’re doing.
“Did the bird come out!?!? Did it!?!?”
Shauna @ Satori Design for Living
So fun! It seems like I’m drawn to this kind of stuff now when before I would’ve thought it was gaudy. I guess it’s always good to take a chance when the price is right. Love the color 🙂
I cannot help but be drawn to kitsch. I love pieces with personality.
Of course, does this mean that I’m going to be living in a house cluttered with spray painted odds-and-ends piled up to the rafters?
… probably! 🙂
My grandparents had a cuckoo clock when I was growing up. It never failed to scare the crap out of me. Every 15 minutes I would jump out of my skin.
I love this paint job. So pretty!
This one goes every fifteen minutes too. It’s very… frequent. But also awesome. I love old-timey stuff like this. Maybe I can find a grandfather clock and spray paint the living crap out of it too! Wouldn’t THAT be awesome!?!?
I’m never coming to your house. 😉
Susan @ SunfowerHugs.blogspot.com
Love it! I now have this on my list of “must find before garage sale season is over”.
Susan – I promise that you will not be disappointed if you manage to get your hands on a cuckoo clock. The compliments and questions I get from it show me that it really is a gem.
Let me know if you find one – I’d love to see pictures!
Your mother sounds like my kind of garage saler! Drip of dispair….cracking up! I like the after much better and yeah…the creepy eye looks way better now!
Talk about a creepy eye, eh? What a choice the clock-maker made…
Yes, the drip of despair. It happens… way too often.
The clock is fab now hun, I am so glad you painted the eye it was incredibly creepy in it’s former state. I still think $10 is a bit of a bargain!
Yeah… $10 was a steal, wasn’t it? Sometimes I get caught up in the fog of garage sale-ing and suddenly I’m saying, “$5 for this dresser? Come ON! I’ll give you $3.”
I have a haggling problem. It’s not pretty.
Amy of while wearing heels
I loved this post the first time I saw it and I am cuckoo for it this time as well :). It’s amazing what a little spray paint can do!
Oh, you’re preaching to the choir, Amy. Spray paint is just so… awesome!
Thank you for the compliments. My cuckoo clock (and I) thank you! 🙂
Krista @ the happy housie
Awesome Tara! What a fabulous colour… reminds me of the “bahama sea” Krylon that I am obsessed with right now:) Adorable clock!!
Krista – you are a painting queen! It IS Bahama Sea! How did you know that?
Krylon should hire you, ASAP!
Krista @ the happy housie
Haha I wish they would so I wouldn’t have to spend half my pay cheque on spray paint. Kidding, but seriously I have bought out Canadian Tires selection of Bahama Sea two times in a row now… so I think I might have a problem.
Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
I enjoy the info you present here and can’t wait to take a
look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, excellent blog!
It looked better before.
This clock you’ll be interested to know is probably from Titisee click shop in Switzerland. We have the exact same one and I’m excited to be spray painting mine soon. Which spray paint did you use?