Garden Sign

One of the people to whom I sold a garden sign a couple of years ago sent it back. She had hung it in a place that made it very vulnerable to the elements (elements being sun and sprinklers). I try hard to paint my garden signs so they’ll withstand a LOT, but that sign got in a vortex of evil. I asked her to send it back so I could fix it. It’s a somewhat complicated painting on exterior plywood, more painting than sign. It was painted with good paint on high-quality exterior primer, but that didn’t save it.

The painting had peeled (tiny peels) in an interesting pattern with the wood grain that I kind of liked. All I could do was sand it to get the loose paint off and hope I didn’t lose the painting. It got more interesting as I sanded.

After sanding…

This is what I started with when I began the repair work. I was happy my sanding didn’t remove everything because I wanted to keep the image as much as possible. If I had to paint it again, I thought I’d just use a panel or a canvas. She going to hang it inside now anyway, so… but I thought that would lose something, especially the back which has a message between us about the day I finished. It was the day Biden’s election was certified.

As I worked, I felt a small connection to those heroes of song and story — painting restorers — a tenuous connection, but still.

I decided to work my way backward toward the mountains and use the acrylics I inherited last year. The colors in the photos are not right; shifted to red a bit because of the hanging over the window… Especially in the featured photo which is how I left the sign at the end of the day. The foreground, middle hills, mountains and sky are more-or-less finished. I no longer have the same paint I used originally for the sky but I think that’s OK.

The comparatively rougher wood grain adds a challenge to this that didn’t exist when I painted it the first time. There are small cracks. If I were painting a new painting on the panel as it is now, It might be less detailed or I’d take the belt sander to the wood.

Today I hope to paint the cranes.

16 thoughts on “Garden Sign

  1. I really like the added texture in the foreground and the hills and mountains. What a shame, though, that it deteriorated so much in just a couple of years! I’m glad you will be able to restore it to a point that it can be hung indoors!

    • It’s normal. It was a very hot day and the sprinkler water was cold so the acrylic paint had expanded (thinned) in the heat and the cold water made the thinned plastic paint break. Plus the wood had shrunk in the heat of summer, too. Can’t escape science…

  2. The original is so very good. I have to agree that the weathered version is interesting – especially the sky. I’d have done a tiny bit of touch up and kept the weathered look… I hope you’ll post a photo of the completed restoration.

  3. I kind of liked the weathered version, although a little less weathered would have been good. I would have tried a varnish to preserve the texture, but I guess owners wanted something else. Glad you kept some of the wood texture in the final restored version.

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