My garden coach recently told me that one of the best ways to attract birds to the garden is with a fountain. Birds need fresh water more than they need seed, and they absolutely go bonkers for moving water.
I saw this fountain at Covington’s Nursery in Rowlett and really loved it, but it cost around $350:
I came across this one on Craigslist for $25. I asked the woman if she’d take $20 but she said no.
As you can see it was sort of a bluish black and had lots of white mineral deposits. Upon close inspection I discovered artists tags that said it originally came from Al’s Garden Art. To my surprise and delight it appears that it was once quite expensive. Isn’t Craigslist GREAT!?!?
I used a weak vinegar solution to clean the scale. Unfortunately the top part of the fountain with the lily pad broke in half when I was doing this. I could see it had a crack in it beforehand.
I had some concrete crack filler in the garage and used that to stick it back together. It appears to be fine now.
Given that I didn’t like the original color and that the top part now had an obvious seam, I decided to paint the fountain. I used some extra primer and paint in the garage that I had leftover from another project. Benjamin Moore oil primer and oil outdoor gloss. Not the easiest or the most appropriate here probably, but free.
Here’s how it looked after painting.
Since the piece had such cool sculptural detail, I decided to antique the finish using a gloss product to highlight its variations. I found out about Gem Glo gloss during a lecture by a local faux finisher Michael Graves. He teaches classes. Sometime I’d like to take one. You can read more about him here. Generally I think faux finishes are cheesy but his work is so good I had to change my mind.
Using a disposable sponge brush I applied the glaze. Then I removed some with cheesecloth bunched into a ball. I sprayed the finished product with a clear matte finishing coat.
Voila! Turned out pretty well. I am going to buy a fountain pump later today and get it going for the birds.
If you’ve fixed a fountain or even just have a photo of a fountain you like I’d love to see it! Please comment.