Giving Metal Garden Flowers a New Look With Unicorn Spit.

Nadine Hartman Bourne
by Nadine Hartman Bourne
4 Materials
3 Days
I bought these flowers at Costco on a couple of my recent trips. They were $20 each. The first one I brought home was the Mum, it was all they had in the store. Once I was home I noticed there were two other types of flower on the box. I put them on my shopping list to see if they had them on my next trip. They did so I bought the rose and the tulip too. They are powder coated and in my opinion rather plain. One in the garden looking rusted would be fine but three, to me was kind of blah. I had bought the set of Unicorn Spit off Amazon a few months ago and as of yet hadn't used it. This seemed like the perfect thing to test it on.
There is each flower before spit. you can get an idea of the hugeness of them. They are slightly taller than the deadbolt on my door. They come in 3 pieces, the flower, leaves and the ground stake.
I gathered my supplies. flowers and spit.
These are the colors I used. I was under the impression that they smell like Jasmine, they do not. They don't smell bad more like children's tempera paint. They call this stuff a glaze/stain. I suppose if you mix it with water it would be a glaze/stain. I haven't tried it on wood, but it went on these metal flowers like a paint. So I'll either call it spit or stain as I go. The names were fun. White Ning, Lemon Kiss, Purple Hill Majesty, Pixie Punk, Dragon's Belly, Molly Red Pepper and Phoenix Fire are the colors I used. there were 12 total in the box.
I started by painting the mum yellow. This paint dries relatively quickly. I was a little disappointed when I started applying the orange and it was going on more like liquid chalk than any paint I had ever used. I got a glass of water and dipped my brush in it and when I touched that to the orange that was when the magic happened this stuff instantly liquefies. Now I understand why it needs to be an oil based varnish. A water based one will ruin the paint and make it run or get splotchy. But depending on the project that might be an interesting look too. The down side to this was now my petal was orange and not the streaky orange yellow combo I was going for. OK time to break out the Tole painting skills and load my brush with multiple colors.
The Tulip I painted pink and accented with purple and white. Load purple on one corner and white on the other. Brush it on dip the brush in water and blend the colors.
On to the leaves. For these I used green yellow and white. I painted the leaves green then accented with yellow and white double loaded on the brush then blended with water.
The rose was a little more difficult to paint, because of the over lapping petals. This I painted red then accented with purple blended with water then went back with white. I wanted it more of a highlight than a blend.
Once the rose was dry I lined it with paper to paint the stamen yellow.
For the mum center I created brown by mixing the blue with the orange. I then dotted it orange for some texture.
The tulip I dotted on the white and blended with water. The pink was a lot darker than I expected.

Here are the three flowers done and waiting to be clear coated. This was proving to be a problem as the two stores I went to had no clue what oil based varnish was. I finally found some at Lowe's but it wasn't outdoor varnish. I used it anyway. Later my dad came to visit he loved the flowers and when I told him my dilemma he told me I had the right brand just the wrong color label, the outdoor stuff has a green label. He told me now that it was coated and dry with the oil based stuff that it would be OK to use the water based outdoor stuff in a spray can. So back to the store I went.
This is painting on the varnish I used Fast drying Minwax Polyurethane clear semi-gloss. I was amazed at how dark it turned the spit. The one petal in the front is just spit the rest had been coated with the clear. icon
Two of three flowers coated.
And there we have all three flowers ready to go in the garden. Now I just need to go out and pull the weeds. icon
Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
 1 comment