Friday, July 6, 2012

Polka Dot Flower Pots

Ok, here's the truth.  I live in an old house.  

It's mostly a cottagey Dutch Colonial with some Craftsman influences.  Our street used to be named 4th Street because we are (you guessed it) four blocks from Main Street which runs through the middle of our historic downtown here in Menomonee Falls.  I'm told our house was the first home on our street and was surrounded by fields and up the hill from a lumber yard.  There was a chicken coop out back and at some point, it was dismantled and the weathered, silvery wood siding was used to panel our family room... but I digress.  I got a kick when I saw our plat map and realized that our old neighborhood was once a subdivision with a name!!!  Eckhardt's Gardens.  Ha ha!  

This old house turns 85 in 2012 and lately I've been pondering our "curb appeal" or lack thereof.  I began to think about front door colors and the debate was between turquoise or lime green.  This was after I decided against pink.  Since our house is gray, theoretically, most any color could work, but just painting the door a color might look out of place unless there were some other supporting accents close by... well, one thing led to another and another and another... so before the new front door entry "reveal" let me share some of those supporting players.  First up, the polka dot flower pots.

 I definitely saw this cute idea on Pinterest
by Positively Splendid and fell in love.

I bought five terra cotta pots and saucers from our local garden center and started by priming them with a brush on Kilz or Zinsser type primer inside and out.  I chose to prime and later, seal inside and out because terra cotta sucks water and I didn't want to allow water to get into the clay and bump the paint off the other side.

Next, I brushed on my turquoise or lime green.  I planned to alternate colors going down the steps on my front porch.  I had to brush on because you know I can never be satisfied with the typical spray paint colors.  I had to mix these two colors until they were juuuuust right... and then did three coats of paint.

Next, I struggled with the decision about how to place the dots.  Should I try to evenly space them by some mathematical calculation?  The narrowing of the pot to the base presented a challenge to any of my mathematical thinking!  My husband finally convinced me to stop trying so hard and just start random stamping the dots.  However, I felt the top rim had to have evenly placed dots just to start things off right, so I cut some strips of paper and taped them end to end...

 ...until the strip was long enough to circle the pot.

Then I took that strip and folded it in half and half and half until it looked something like this.  And honestly, the half method didn't give me the right distance between folds so I refolded and went to thirds.  Should I be telling you these things?  I think so, because these pictures don't begin to tell the story of how long this project took and the mess I had in my dining room for days and days.  This stuff is always more time consuming and more difficult than these little DiY pictorials make them look.  Let's be honest.

Next I marked the pot where the folds of my strip were.
These would be the markers for my dots.

To stamp the dots,
I bought two sponge roller refills for $2 or was it $1?

And they worked splendidly!
Once the dots were dry,
I sprayed on three coats of polyurethane satin finish.

And here are the pots on my steps.
This picture was taken today in the almost 100 degree heat!
So, what's your guess on the front door color?
Stay tuned...

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Lemon tree very pretty, and the lemon flower is sweet-
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

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