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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Look For Less

Shells are all the rage these days. At stores like ZGallerie, decorative shells are going for anywhere from $60 - $120 depending on the size. I saw one similar to this months ago at ZGallerie.
Large Atlantis Clam Shell - ZGallerie, $60
I love the shell look to decorate around the house like these inspiring shots from Young House Love and Emily A. Clark:

I had been searching Home Goods and similar stores for months keeping my eye open for something similar.
And I found it! In Canada of all places. I found it while I was perusing an antique/thrift store while working in Clinton, BC in July. Here it is in its original form.
It's actually a man made shell. It looks like it was made from pottery and then glazed and put in a kiln for extra shine.

I got it for $15, but it was super shiny and definitely not the white ceramic look that I wanted.
So off to Lowes I went to find a solution to my problem. I came home with this.
Valspar interior primer in white and white gloss paint. My total was $8.19.
The paint guy at Lowes recommend I start with the primer since the shell was already really glossy. He said that would allow me to be able to spray the white spray paint and have no problems with it sticking. I laid down some cardboard scraps in my garage, making sure to stay as far away from my car as possible. If it hadn't been 105 degrees outside, I would have done this outside, but I immediately started sweating once I stepped foot into my driveway, so I set up shop in my garage instead. Here's what my shell looked like after the first coat of primer.
Pretty good!
After 2 more coats, it looked like this. I waited about 30 minutes between each coat. I will say I had to get kind of aggressive with it. Since the inside had been so shiny, I had to really get in there, and make sure the primer was going on really good in all the crevices.
I still see shiny....
I flipped 'er over and sprayed a couple more coats. I didn't want to risk any of the glossiness shining through, so I probably ended up with about 4 coats on the whole thing. I kept the project setup in my garage, and over the course of a few days, just sprayed a coat every time I walked in or out of the garage and had some extra time. Whew... finally it was ready for the real paint.
Primed and ready!
After a couple many coats of the white gloss paint, the final product looked like this:
I realize it's difficult to see the glossy-ness of the paint with the garage lighting
Here's the final product inside. I decided to put in on my kitchen table for now... I've realized that basically all I do to decorate my house, is bring in white ceramic items and move them around from room to room periodically.

I like the freshness of the white ceramic look on the dark table.

For now, I've put some wine corks in it. Eventually I'll figure out what to put in there... I hope.
The total for this project was just over $23 plus some of my time spent spraying in my garage.
So while I think about what purpose this project serves... Did I make a fruit bowl? A wine cork holder? Maybe a candy dish (Halloween is just around the corner)? Does anyone out there have any suggestions for how to use my bowl... or where I should put it?

Shiny Ceramic Love,


Jaime said...

Looks amazing Lauren! Time well spent on a fab piece of decor :)

jb said...

I can proudly say I applied at least one coat of paint to this project!
(actually, not sure if Lauren knows this... I gota a little spray happy when working on the flagpole)