Hometalk and Country Living are two of my favorite places to go when I’m looking for a little inspiration, so when I got the chance to join them in this blog hop, I jumped off my couch and started looking for the perfect project. Turns out the one I was looking for was right under my nose, in the giant pile of Christmas decor sitting in my living room, which was the reason I was hiding on my couch in the first place!
When we brought out our Christmas decorations this year, I knew I had a tough decision to make. Years ago, for our first Christmas as a family, my mother-in-law gave us this beautiful Santa and reindeer candle holder set. It was in the traditional Fitz and Floyd style, and we loved it. Over the years, it became one of the first things we would put up as a family, giving it free rein down the middle of our table. But then, as our tastes and styles changed, it started getting harder and harder to find the right place for it. We love it, and it’s a part of our family, but we just didn’t know what to do with it anymore. We haven’t used it the last couple of years, and when we dragged all the boxes out of storage this year, I started thinking of getting rid of the decorations we don’t use anymore.
Call me sentimental (you wouldn’t be the first), but I just couldn’t let go of this one. Something had to be done.
And what do I do when I don’t know what else to do? I paint!
Now our family keepsake fits our current style, and has its rightful place back as our table centerpiece.
You can find ceramics all throughout thrift stores and flea markets, if you’d like to try this yourself. I recommend checking first to make sure your piece doesn’t have high resale value, before you paint over a masterpiece. An actual Fitz and Floyd antique set could be worth a lot of money. (I did a little research and found a single reindeer listed on Ebay for $225!)
Once you’ve found a piece you’re happy to transform, all you need is white chalk paint (I like DecoArt’s Chalky Finish), small and medium size soft brushes (such as watercolor brushes), and Liquid Leaf. Then it’s a simple matter of painting, and then painting some more. No artistic skills necessary!
Here’s how to makeover your own ceramic decor:
- Cover your work space and clean your figurine well. Be sure to get any dust out of the nooks and crannies so the paint will adhere well.
- With your medium sized brush, apply a light coat of chalk paint. If you put too much paint on, it might crack while it dries, which also gives a cool crackle effect, but not really the one I was going for here.
- Check to make sure you’ve covered all the surfaces and allow the paint to dry well. Your piece will look pretty sloppy at this stage, but another coat of paint will soon fix that.
- Apply a second coat of chalk paint. At this point I was thinking that spray paint would have been a lot easier, but chalk paint is what gives it that ultra-matte finish that looks like ceramic. Does anyone know if spray chalk paint is a thing yet? Because it needs to be! (This guy was a little indignant at his paint bath.)
- Once the paint is completely dry, use your small brush to add touches of gold wherever it makes sense to you on your figurine. The Liquid Leaf is so much fun to use and really looks like liquid gold when it’s dry! I thought my reindeer could use gold antlers and bells. (I debated giving one a red nose, but I think that’s a different project.) You can add as much or as little gold as you like. That’s what makes this project so fun.
- Let the gold dry, and give your brand new figurine a place at the table. Or mantle. Or wherever you need an elegant piece of ceramic decor!
Now I think my Santa and reindeer look a little less commercial and more like they belong in a nativity scene as wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. For me, it feels more like the real meaning of Christmas, which just makes me happy.
Now that you’ve mastered this project, head on over to our blog hop below for even more inspiration. And check out #homeforchristmas wherever you happen to be hanging out on social media!