Do (as in spraypaint) a deer. We are not talking about pulling any kinda Madonna horseplay….get your mind outta the gutter.
I wanna take this moment to relieve the awkward silence to talk about spraypainting. Did you know there is a proper way to spraypaint? Like rules…for real. And they help get the job done right.
first up – DO shake the can REALLY well before starting any spraypainting project (do not shake can WHILE spraying).
then – DO NOT start spraying (or end spraying) on your piece. Start next to it.
next – DO spray with even back and forth strokes (starting and ending each stroke BESIDE your piece)
also – DO start at the bottom and work up
additionally – DO NOT spray too quickly or too slow. Even LIGHT strokes are best.
lastly – DO allow for drying time in between coats.
Now that our little spraypaint study session is over, let’s get to the real meat of this post (venison if you will)…our deer head. I had my eyes on a dearhead for the longest time. I spent hours perusing craigslist looking for a bonafide deer head mount with no luck. I couldn’t find a thing under $200. So I turned to ebay to see my options there. Not much. Every real deer head was WAY overly priced for our budget. That’s when I decided to make one outta paper mache. The ZGallerie version was my inspiration. I figured that I could make a base of wood and use clothing hangers to be the supports for the antlers. My collection of newspapers and glue grew and grew. I literally had nightmares about mis-shapen deer heads floating in pools of Elmer’s and my Atlanta Journal Constitution life raft couldn’t hold me afloat. Then I saw a plastic deer head on ebay.
I got it for $35. And seeing as how it is larger than the ZGallerie one, I thought it would be a good DIY project. Plus, I like that it was a little more realistic in proportions. Another good thing is that it had a couple ways to sturdy-fy the thing to our wall…which is really good considering it would be hanging over our crib.
Shortly after ordering the deer head, I saw that Spearmint Decor did the very same project (except she left the antlers natural). Talk about great motivation! I already knew that it would turn out great…so after a few coats of high gloss spraypaint, I ended up with a ceramic-like white animal (I think that makes my tally seven of white critters).
Isn’t it amazing what a little paint can do?
Oh and because I had a little left in my second can of paint, I applied it to the cast owl I got at Goodwill. Now the little hooter doesn’t look so ominous.
So do you like spraypainting stuff as much as I do? Anyone else out there with additional tips to help out a fellow spraypainter? Do you use a paint can trigger accessory? I do. I love it…like Biggest Loser producers love sad stories. Or maybe you have a different comment – like how you have seen a billion deer heads inside the pages of every glossy mag these days? Or how that owl reminds you of the Tootsie Roll Pop owl? one…twoo…three….yum!
I was literally looking through your projects tab yesterday trying to find a spraypainting tutorial, so big Thank You for this! After seeing the success you and Sherry have had with spraypainting random objects and animals I’m just dying to try one of my own!
Laura A says
SO I have been stalking your blog for a while now, your family is beautiful and so is your taste in decorating-LOVE it! Let me also say that your post titles are the best. I get sucked in before I even start reading the post-well done! Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, thanks for the spraypainting tutorial; I definitely wish I had read that about 9 months ago. I spraypainted my son’s crib and bassinet-it took some trial and error (and a lil sandpaper on a few drips) but it turned out great in the end-love me some spraypaint!
candace @ thecandace.com says
What perfect timing – I am tackling my first spray paint DIY project this weekend. And, of course, I’m spray painting that little gem WHITE. I really appreciate the spray painting tips – because I’ll need all of the help and guidance I can get! Your projects turned out awesome!!
steph anne says
I love spray painting things too! My parents gave us some of their old stuff and were flabbergasted at how we transformed them with spray paint and now I won’t give their stuff back. 🙂
Thanks for the tips Katie! I’ll have to be honest- I’ve always been a little afraid of spray paint. But…BRING IT ON! Can’t wait to try it the “correct” way!
My husband bought a giant Rhino head at a yard sale last week for $12!!! I am sure it was expensive brand new, it is heavy! I told him I don’t want it in our house, just doesn’t fit with the decor, but he is going to put it in the man cave (garage). I think it was a steal and it is also very unique.
When I saw it, it made me think of you because I know you said it was hard to find a deer head for a good price!
looks AMAZING!! do u have more pics of the nursery? i would love to post them on http://www.spearmintbaby.com/
if so, shoot me an email: [email protected]
Turned out great Katie! That owl totally looks like the Tootsie Pop owl too! I’m currently spray painting some lamps for our living room. Which leads me to a question…what is you get a paint run (GASP!)?! I didn’t notice it until it had been drying. Can I take a little sand paper to it you think?
This is just in time! I just bought my first about-to-get-spray-painted critter and I wasn’t sure how to do it.
One question thought…you didn’t mention if the thing needs to be sanded or prepped in any way before spray painting it. If it’s in good condition do we need to? Or just clean it really well first?
Cait @ Hernando House says
The deer head looks great, Katie!
I’m obsessed with spraypainting everything – it’s so cheap and easy! When my husband and I spraypainted a $20 ikea bookshelf, we learned to keep the can moving at all times. The paint dripped down one side! So we got creative and covered our mistake with cork. Now it works as a bulletin board too!
I want to love spray painting, but mine NEVER turns out well. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Either it doesn’t cover well or the end result is gritty. Any suggestions?
Do you have to use primer or a clear coat, or just the spray paint?
You and Sherry were meant to be friends! haha
liz @ btb says
Um. I’m still stuck on the Madonna/horse thing. I’m tempted to google it.
Lonely Wife Project says
I’ve made spray painting my new hobby thanks to you! BTY, I bought the Zgallerie rams head on sale for $17. He’s my favorite purchase ever.
You can definitely use primer (spray primer) if the piece has a smooth surface, has been polyed, or is a bright color. Sometimes you can get away with just multiple layers of your regular spray paint (especially if you allow for adequete drying time and use many thins coats).
XO – kb
The problem with a gritty finish is that you don’t shake the can well enough or that your piece has dust or dirt previously on it. Sometimes you can use ‘between-coat’ sandpaper (grit 320) for a VERY LIGHT rub down to relieve the grit. The coverage is usually the result of multiple thin layers. If the piece is multi-colored (with a high contrast between colors) then it might be a good idea to use a primer spray paint to even things out before you go to work with your regular spray paint. COST SAVING TIP: use cheapo spray paint as your primer and then use a name brand can (they tend to hold more anyway so you get the same amount for your money) for the top coats.
XO – kb
Good idea Caitlin…funny how our mistakes actually force us to come up with creative and useful modifications.
XO – kb
Sanding depends on the material and the previously applied finish…if it is a wood piece, then yes, I would ALWAYS recommend sanding. It is actually a good way to clean the piece and it preps the surface just in case there is any past poly. If the piece is ceramic, plastic, or glass, then I would probably not sand it…just use a good primer spraypaint after a good cleaning. Also, make sure all surfaces are CLEAN, DUST FREE and DRY.
Hope this helps!
XO – kb
sand with a high grit sandpaper just on the drip and surrounding areas until it is even and smooth to the touch. I always close my eyes to see if I can feel any variation with my fingertips 🙂 Then just remember to do multiple THIN coats with proper dry time.
XO – kb
thanks doll…and thanks to you for your engaging blogs 🙂
you can copy the photos directly off the nursery post…found here.
XO – kb
Mandy Ford says
Spray paint can make anything modern, can’t it?! I have a squirrel bookend that I just gave the same treatment. 🙂
Mandy @ This Girl’s Life
Christina R. says
Katie – I have a spray paint obsession! I love the second life that a coat of white (or black) spray paint can give something. I have given new life to pieces of furniture from garage sales to little birdies and houses for our nursery. My girlfriends have also caught the bug…beware, once you see the ceaseless opportunity for spray paint – it is contagious!
Love your blog!
Emily @ NewlyWife says
Hey Katie — that looks great! I must say that deer heads creep me out, but painted white they look awesome! I think I need to look into buying stock in white spraypaint companies because it is the best idea ever. We recently did it to a file cabinet and I wish I had your tutorial first! Ah well, off to find something to paint … ceramic animal … real animal… JK!
liz @ btb says
Katie my lady, (name that song!)
I have a tip: NEVER hold the can too far away from the object you are painting. (I’m sure you already knew that)
I was painting a giant clam a few weeks ago and “dry sprayed” it. It ended up covered in nasty mole/wart looking paint ball thingies. (Insert obvious ‘clam/ball/mole/wart’ joke here) eh… anyway. Here’s a picture to show just how bad it got (scroll 3/4 of the way down)
I love this and I’m so going to try it! I have this crazy ventillation mask that looks and sounds like Darth Vador because I’m pregnant and can’t stop painting. Please stop inspiring me:)
Now were you seriously going to hang a dead deers head?
Absolutely Erica, I would hang a dead deer. Consider me like a current day American Indian…I like to use all parts of animals, even if it costs and arm & a leg (no pun intended) and is for home decor…afterall, I am a carnivore and I like to eat deer meat…might as well, have a head 🙂
XO – kb
True that!!! Always putting things in perspective Katie. I think I’ve become a city girl I should really find a place to hike today!!! I don’t think about nature as much as I should! Usually meat just comes from a neat little white tray in the supermarket!
Great tip Liz…thanks for the reminder.
Xo – kb
Just had my husband pick up some spray paint for me the other day. I bought some clearance metal wall hooks from the Hob-Lob and Ebay awhile back and will give them a more uniform look with a nice shower of antique white paint. 🙂
Thanks for the advice!
I’ve been looking for some little birdie statues to add to my nursery and I think I’d like them to be white. You’ve reminded me that I don’t have to buy them white. WOO HOO! Thanks!
Hi Katie! I ear marked this post a when you first posted it because I had an idea of something to spray paint and today was my first chance to try it and I think it went really well… except… Except I wasn’t sure what kind of paint to use? I was painting metal bins so I went with a rustolem based off another recommendation, but I wasn’t sure if this was the best paint for future projects?
Also I’d love to hear how to keep the spray air away from everything else! I laid down plastic and painted outside but it still got everywhere! Ah!
Thanks for the simple pointers, it was just the push I needed to try spray painting!
CONGRATS on your first spray project! Metal bins sound like a great Rustoleum project to me. Whenever I think of Rustoleum, I think of outdoor items that I would want to prevent rust from attacking. As for future projects, I tend to use Krylon…only because it says on the can that it covers a multitude of stuff…but really any paint that specifically says it will work for your material will be just fine. Now for the blocking the air – it’s just best to do it in a wide open area (fabric drop clothes work better than plastic ones – and a Goodwill flat sheet is cheaper than a real drop cloth!).
Hope this helps!
xo – kb
Do I spy a painting of an owl? Can you please show that to me?
Here is the link to the post that has more owl photos.
xo – kb
Dani @ Painting Sunny says
This morning I curated a “DIY Ceramic Animal Hall of Fame” collection (obviously, just my humble opinions) and this made the list! Obviously, not everything on the list is very “ceramic-y” but they are all adorable. This is such a regal deer, I couldn’t resist including him! Sexy Rexy got an honorable mention, as well. The post is here: http://paintingsunny.com/2013/06/21/diy-ceramic-animal-hall-of-fame/
Aww thanks Dani! I feel so honored!
xo – kb
I was wondering the dimensions of the deer.