I've been admiring colorfully painted birdhouses on pinterest and in catalogs and imagining how lovely they would be in our own garden. We have a few birdhouses, and most, if not all, of them attract nesting birds each year, but they are not colorful birdhouses. Sigh. So silly, right, to think that a coat of paint would make such a difference?
But when I saw plain wood birdhouses on sale at A.C. Moore for 30% off their normal $7.99 price, I jumped at the opportunity to paint our own.
We started with three the plain wooden birdhouses and jelly jars of liquid watercolor paint. Liquid watercolors stain wood so beautifully (we've used it for a variety of wood art projects) that it was an easy decision to use them for the birdhouses.
We all worked on our birdhouses on a sunny, warm afternoon after school. Maia painted carefully and thoroughly.
Daphne painted exuberantly.
I love how the liquid watercolors soak into the wood like a vibrant wood stain.
As soon as we had three painted birdhouses lined up on the patio table, the girls ran up the steps to swing and do acrobatics. Maia has been practising her cartwheels in the backyard. She also likes to jump from the swing set mid-swing, then immediately move into a modified handstand. I sometimes often wonder how quiet, bookish me gave birth to this agile energy bomb of a child.
The first three colorful birdhouses were followed by another four this weekend as the whole family sat around the patio table and painted together. And while I initially planned to either mount them along the back fence or perch them atop poles, we set each on top of the trellis posts as a sort of bird-lovers finial instead. The trellis is still rather bare (the climbing plants I added are taking their sweet time) but the birdhouses add color and whimsy, which I like.
Here's the view through the patio gate.
- To protect the wood and the paint color, I added a layer of Mod Podge to the birdhouses after painting. Update: Apparently I should have used acrylic varnish instead of Mod Podge, as Mod Podge gets gummy when exposed to wet/rain. I will add a coat of acrylic varnish over the Mod Podge and hope that does the trick. Thanks for your comments!
- I haven't actually mounted the birdhouses properly yet, but am thinking of using either simple u brackets (and a dowel) or mailbox brackets.
I've seen birds go into two of the birdhouses already, carrying twigs in their beaks, so my worries that they were too bright or too close to the patio were unfounded. We have a few plain birdhouses in the farther corners of the yard for the shy birds and these colorful abodes on the patio for those more comfortable with people and pizzazz.
We'd better mount them ASAP though as the birds are already moving in!
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