A Cuckoo clock makeover.
I PAINTED IT!
WHITE. I painted it white. So there. 😀
I know. You can’t believe it. (I’m being very sarcastic here)
But I did. I painted a vintage cuckoo clock white.
It’s Project Challenge time again and this month our category is clock faces.
Yes, I suggested this category.
No, I wasn’t planning this makeover when I suggested clock faces as a category.
Yes, I am glad I did this makeover.
Yes, this challenge is what got me to pull out this clock and get it done!
No, I am not one bit sorry I painted it.
No, the clock does not currently work.
Yes, I plan to see if it can be fixed.
Yes, I’m crossing my fingers that it can be made operational again.
This clock hung in my paternal Grandma’s house, in her hallway. The door from the living room framed the clock and I do think I remember a time when it worked.
Or maybe I just think I remember that.
Cuckoo clocks have always fascinated me. Especially when they strike the hour. It’s just so cool how that bird pops out to announce the hour and then the little fiddler plays a tune.
When we went through my Grandma’s things last year, no one else wanted the cuckoo clock.
You guessed it – it landed on my pile.
Made in Germany.
I’m sure this was one of hundreds of clocks just like this and I’m sure it was very inexpensive. My grandparents were extremely frugal and would not have spent much on a clock.
So if you are a purist when it comes to furniture and things made of wood I assure you I didn’t ‘ruin’ an expensive heirloom. (of course I’d paint an expensive heirloom if it suited my style better but I’ll still be your friend if you can stand it 😀 )
I dismantled as much of it as possible to make the painting process easier.
One coat of paint on the left.
Two coats of paint in the middle.
A bit of distressing with sand paper on the right.
TIP: Use a plastic baggie to store your brush between coats of paint – wrap the plastic snugly around the brush handle to keep the air out. This keeps the brush from drying out while you are waiting on the paint to dry so you can go back and give it another coat.
I used the larger brush on the sides and top of the clock and as much of the front as I could. The artist brushes worked very well to get the areas that were tucked into and under the fancy detail work on the front. I ended up painting the clock face and hands too.
After painting and distressing I decided I wanted more contrast so I pulled out some glaze in Sheer Smoke color. This glaze is made by the same company as the Paint Couture paint I use and sell. This line is called Colors of Sweden and is all about creating authentic Swedish finishes on furniture. I sell this stuff too!
First thing to remember about glazes – Glaze goes on, Glaze comes off.
Use a rag, dip in the glaze, smear glaze all over the piece you are working on. It will not be pretty – it’s not supposed to be pretty at this point.
For larger pieces I would work in sections but for these detail pieces I did the whole thing.
Glaze has a longer open time than topcoats, meaning it will stay wet and workable long enough to achieve the look you want.
Using a clean rag, I wiped the glaze back off, leaving it in the creases and in areas I wanted to highlight.
After the dark glaze was dry I went back over the whole clock with a light application of glaze in Lime Wash. This not only made the dark glaze a bit more muted but since I brushed it over the whole clock it will also act as the finish for this piece too. No need to add a topcoat – these glazes will work as the final finish on pieces that will not see a lot of wear and tear.
Now this piece fits in with my style and the rest of my home. I’m thrilled with it – paint is amazing!
Since it didn’t show up great on my white walls I tried it against my red cupboard in the kitchen.
Because there was already a nail there.
I would NOT have pounded in a nail just to hang a clock for a quick photo. (Ahem)
My favorite spot for it though, ended up being on my grey kitchen wall above the coffee station. In fact it’s still hanging there as I type this.
If it does indeed get fixed and works again someday I will have to move it. There isn’t room here for the weights to move all the way down as the clock runs down.
But don’t worry – I WILL find just the right spot for it – somewhere 😀
I made sure not to get any paint on the bird or the fiddler. They are totally cute in all their vintage glory and I like them just like they are.
No makeover is really complete without a side-by-side before and after, right?
Well, here ya go – before and after of a cuckoo clock makeover!
(wanna know a secret? I totally spelled cuckoo wrong when I exported my photos from lightroom and had to go correct the spelling on all of them when I figured it out.) (I’m totally relieved I DID INDEED, figure it out before publishing this.)
Ok, I think that about wraps things up for my clock face challenge. I hope you enjoyed it a bit, even if you are the type that cringes when we DIYers paint everything!
Make sure you go see what my friends did for THEIR clock face projects! This was a super fun category – everyone did awesome.