This is Bimwinkle (he came with the name). He’s a lawn gnome that we won in a silent auction at my son’s middle school years ago. He is not your usual ceramic or resin gnome, he’s actually cast iron. Heavy little bugger and he’s hollow. He’s not super valuable, but he’s cheerful, and I like him. The years have not been kind to Bimwinkle, though. He guards our front yard, ostensibly from mushrooms (or so his hang tag said when he was new), but now he’s rusted, faded, chipped and not feeling quite up to snuff. So, it’s time to restore him!
I used Americana Multi Surface paint by DecoArt for this project, because I know it will stick to metal/paint/etc without a lot of prep work. Bimwinkle is fun and cheerful, but I’m not spending time stripping paint, sanding, etc. I just want to paint over the mess. I did clean him off with a soft brush and a damp paper towel first, but that’s all the prep I did.
A couple notes about this paint. First, it doesn’t come in many colors. That’s ok, I like mixing my colors anyway. Second, when they say multi-surface, that is what they mean. It will paint your skin, it will paint your clothes, it will paint your table, it will not come off easily. Take necessary precautions like putting down papers, wearing an apron, etc. I got flesh colored paint on a new black t-shirt, and I’m not happy about it.
So I started with his skin, because his clothes/beard/etc all overlap the skin. Start at the lowest level and work to the front. I mixed pink cadillac and buff beige until I had a skin tone I liked, then I added more pink for cheeks, shading, tips of ears, nose, etc. Once his skin was done he already looked much better.
I continued with the beard/hair/eyebrows/mustache. Then the clothes/mushroom, belt/boots/hat. He came with a purple hat, but I decided to go red for his new one. I also asked David how the mushroom should look since no one remembers the original, and he thought we should go a little Mario Bros. just to nod at our geeky household.
The original had some black over the paint to make him look “distressed”, so I added some black with a fan brush to give his hat and coat some depth. It looked amazing!!
My family was stunned at my mad art skills. LOL.. I don’t know why this stuff always surprises them. I obviously don’t do enough crafting.
I actually added red in his mouth that he didn’t have before and evened out the highlights in his eyes this time. He really looks better than new. I sealed it all with Krylon Matte UV Resistant spray sealer. And returned him to the front garden. He’s so much happier now!! And, of course, we still have no mushrooms!!