How To Paint Metal – From Drab To Fab

DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
I’ve often wondered how to paint metal because I had never done it before.  There have been so many times I’ve seen a little statue, candle holder or other tchotchke that is adorable but is either the wrong color for what I am looking for or just a downright ugly color altogether.  Ever since I met up with Barbara from Chase The Star and she convinced me that even *I* could spray paint something, all I see are possibilities!  My favorite place to look now is the clearance section!  Sometimes there are some UGLY things there that just need a little love and a whole lotta paint!

For weeks, my daughter Ashlyn & I had been going into World Market (we’re a tad bit obsessed with the place!) and saw these owl taper candle holders.  I loved the owls themselves but I hated the bronzy look to it and I am not a taper candle girl at all.  Ashlyn and I went there a week or so ago and I realized that there were more in the clearance section now and they were 75% off! (So, instead of paying $65 for all 5, which I wouldn’t have paid, they were $15 total for all 5!)  I took one and tried to see if the taper candle holder part of it was screwed on, which it was, so I knew I could take that part off.  We grabbed 2 big ones (for my husband & myself) and 3 little ones (Jared, Ashlyn & Ryan).  I brought them home & got to work.  Hope you like what I did to them.  I am beyond happy with the results!

DIY - How To Spray Paint MetalSee?  Cute owls, just ugly finish & the thing on their heads had to go!
DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
Yay!  No more ugly things on their heads!  After getting those off, I wiped them down with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol so they were all clean.
DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
All lined up on plastic, ready to be primed!  Yes, they all have holes in their heads now but I’m ok with that! 
DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
Before painting the metal, you want to use a good primer so that the paint will stick & not run.  The woman at Home Depot recommended this primer when I went to buy some spray paint for another project.  I really liked the way it came out smooth & I loved the coverage.
DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
This is after one coat.   Primer went on really well.  I let it dry about 15 minutes in between coats, 3 coats total.  After all the coats were on, I let the owls completely dry overnight and then went to work spray painting them.  Each owl got a different color, the favorite color of the family member each represented (Flat black for my husband, a nice green for me, white for my oldest son Jared, violet for Ashlyn & yellow for Ryan).  After the white owl dried, I did a coat of  Krylon’s Rust Protector Gloss Enamel, a nice glossy white finish.

DIY - How To Paint Metal
DIY - How To Spray Paint Metal
Ashlyn wanted hers to be a dark purple so I decided to break out the ginormous box of crafts paints I have and find a shade.  I used Craft Smart Acrylic paint in Violet & added DecoArt Pearlizing Medium to give the paint some shimmer. After painting, I took this one out to the garage to dry with the rest of the owl family (I’m sorry there aren’t other pictures of my spray painting the owls.  Those pictures accidentally got deleted *sniff*)

DIY - How To Paint Metal
After letting all the owls dry overnight, I sprayed the green, yellow & purple owls with Ace Hardware’s Premium Enamel Gloss in Clear.  I left the owl that was painted flat black because my husband really liked the look of it.  After leaving the owls for a couple hours to make sure everything was dry, they were ready for their first photo shoot!  I loved how these came out & can’t wait to find other ugly things to paint & make beautiful!

DIY - How To Paint Metal


By: Tara Kramarsky

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Tara is a mom & wife who lives with her husband & 3 kids in San Diego, CA. A Spectacled Owl was started in June 2012 because Tara loved entering giveaways on other blogs & wanted to do the same thing for other people. It's quickly grown & turned into much more than she could ever have imagined.
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  1. I am in love. That is all there is to say! These would be perfect for our backyard and we also have a metal table we want to paint. I just wasn’t sure how to go about it!
    Mariah recently posted..14 Conversation Hearts Crafts and RecipesMy Profile

  2. WOW! Those owls look amazing! I am crazy about world market too, guess I will have to keep my eye out for this deals. These would look great in my garden!
    Tosh recently posted..Hormel Natural Choice Lunchmeat Only $2 at Walmart!My Profile

  3. CUTE! I love them! Now I’m feeling crafty and need a project! :) Great job!
    Jesi recently posted..It’s what’s for dinner – Lettuce Wraps RecipeMy Profile

  4. Those turned out awesome!!! I have been trying to get into more DIY projects! These tips will come in handy!
    Amanda @ Survival Guide by The Working Mom recently posted..Nutrisystem Week 18: Water and Weight LossMy Profile

  5. I love, love, love how they came out! They are gorgeous. Thanks for the tutorial on how to paint metal.

  6. These are really cute! I never find cool stuff like that!
    Motherhood on the Rocks recently posted..How Do You Grab a Few Solitaire-Y Moments Each Day?My Profile

    • aspectacledowl says:

      Thanks, Shanna! I don’t usually either but at least now I know that if I do, I can make it look better :)

  7. Nice project. Today, I’ll try if I could look something old but interesting and deserves some make over. I’ve had few stuff in the stock room, I might be able to see one.
    Thanks for this simple idea.
    Dourgi @ Vocational Courses recently posted..Get One of these Five 100K Salary Jobs with No Degree RequirementMy Profile

  8. What an awesome project and great to see the turial.. pinning and following. stopping from flamingo toes :)

  9. You are amazing! What a great job, I KNEW you could do it girl!! So proud of you!! These are the perfect project for you too, and might I add, I love the colors your chose for these owls!! HEART YOU!
    Barbara at Chase the Star
    Barbara recently posted..Keep Calm and Link Up #24My Profile

  10. You did good. What a fun family project. I just love owls myself. The yellow is my favorite – my favorite color.
    Sarah B recently posted..Handmade Artist: Wyndwalker CreationsMy Profile

  11. courtney hennagir says:

    these are seriously awesome! i love world market too,it’s a bit of an addiction.i love the purpley color you used.super adorable!i’m gonna have to find some ugly metal stuff now!

  12. I noticed these were outside. How long does the paint last outside?

    • aspectacledowl says:

      Hi Jo! I actually brought them inside and they are now on my mantel. With these, I sprayed a clear gloss enamel when I was finished. The enamel states that it’s good for interior or exterior so I would think it would keep them safe if I left them outside. Although, we don’t have a lot of “weather” here in San Diego :)

  13. What brand and color name did you use for the green owl?

  14. Heather S. says:

    This is a very cute project! I’ve never painted metal items before, but now I will be on the look-out for any great deals at the stores. I love being able to repurpose items and make them useful!

  15. Maria Iemma says:

    If you did not show the before and after I would not have recognized them after painting. What a marvelous way to brighten them. BTW, I adore owls.


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