Days of Christmas Past

Our house has a rather prominent fireplace in the living room and I wanted something that would make a statement over the mantle for Christmas. After we moved in, I discovered that the previous owners had left two original window screens in the garage. They were painted a not-so-lovely salmony-pink color, and were very dirty with peeling paint when I found them. I immediately envisioned them repainted, holding small evergreen wreaths with red bows over my fireplace at Christmas!

I have been following Miss Mustard Seed’s blog for a while now and had always wanted to try out her milk paint line.  I thought this little project would be ideal to test it out.  I purchased a sample size of her product in “Shutter Gray.”  This color is a dusty blue-gray that is similar to the current exterior trim color on our house and I thought it would tie in nicely.

After wiping the grime off the shutters and giving them a light sanding, I was ready to paint. The paint was easy to mix and even though it seemed like it might not be enough to cover the small area of the screen frames, I was able to put three coats on one side for full coverage.

After the paint fully dried (I waited 20 minutes between coats and about an hour after the final coat), I then did a very, very light sanding to knock off any bumps or rough spots. With a damp rag, I applied a light coat antiquing solution to tone down the color. Continuously working the glaze while it is still damp is key to getting just the right amount of coverage. I wanted a rustic and uneven look so I removed more in some places and left more on in other places.

The screens even had the original hooks which were just perfect for attaching my ribbons and wreaths.

Trader Joe’s had the perfect size natural evergreen wreaths for only $6! I purchased two and looped a pretty red ribbon through, tying a bow and positioning it at the top of the wreaths. I hung the loop over the hook and voila!

Here’s how they look over my fireplace. I believe this may be my annual “signature” piece for the living room at Christmas. But don’t be surprised if you see them again soon. I am also envisioning other seasonal adornments on the screens, e.g., little hanging vases of yellow daffodils to welcome spring, a garland of fall leaves in autumn, wreaths of succulents, etc.

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