Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Birdbath Makeover

I'll share a quick little project that I put together last week and it's brightened up the landscaping. I love gardens and animals thus my yard is beginning to reflect that. I now have plants galore and I've added bird feeders to the back flower bed. Once we finish putting up our fence (this weekend I think!) I will build a few birdhouses and possibly a small shelter for the stray cats that we care for. You'd think they'd have attacked the birds by now but 1) They get fed by enough people in the neighborhood that they don't care to hunt anything and 2) The birds KNOW when they cats are hiding under the feeders and don't go anywhere near them. But these structures will have to be far apart from each other, just in case.

My aunt very generously gave me a bird bath that belonged to her but has been stored in my grandma's garage for many years, getting no use out of it. I finally got a hold of it last weekend and it's time for a rehab! Here's a pic of it, peeling paint and grunge all over. But it has such a lovely triangle pattern on it, there's potential here. I hosed off much of the dirt, and set to work painting after it dried in the sun for a bit. Once our fence and exterior house painting is completed, I have a few shades of tan/cream with accents of blue-green and cherry red. Most everything will be painted the base of cream so I decided to reverse it for the bird bath. (The brown fence in the background is now an off-white color--I just finished it this week) I painted the birdbath the lighter shade of blue (called "Rain Cloud") and will then add accents in the cream color and maybe the red. I don't need overkill.

At first, I didn't paint the inside of the bowl because I didn't want to accidentally poison any birds. I wasn't sure how the paint would react with water, even though it's exterior paint and should be waterproof. I did some research online and since it's latex-based, it's nontoxic. Good, because many people complained about algae, water leaching through cracks, etc. This paint should help because it's sealed the porous cement surface and a hairline crack. And it's also a deterrent for mildew so I hope it will help with algae. Plus it's prettier! I played up some of the accents with the cream paint (Gobi Desert) but not too much. I actually painted blue back over some of the designs because it was too much going on. You can still see the pattern on it, even with just the blue. If you click on the pictures, you can see the larger image.

Finally, I decided to add shiny, colorful stones to attract the birds and make it look more colorful. I had to double-check that the adhesive I used would resist water and be non-toxic (bottle info seemed fine) and voila! Here it is, all pretty looking.

Now, I've had it set up in the yard for almost a week now and besides some bird poo, I have yet to see a bird in it. Just on the edge. They'll figure it out eventually. I also noticed that I'll have to get a different glue because after being submerged 24/7, the water-resistant glue is softening and stones are coming loose. Not a big deal really but I don't want to lose any in the yard when I dump the water. And then run over them with the lawn mower.

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