Christmas Thyme

Included in a shelf lot recently purchased at auction was a plain jane but working chime wall clock.

Given the time of year I wanted to redo it in a manner that would contribute to seasonal décor but would also work for the rest of the year.

My friend Cindy has commented several times recently that everything I paint is white.  Wanting to avoid finding myself in a rut I reached for a tin of green latex paint that I got from my municipality’s paint exchange program (people can drop off their leftover paint to keep it out of landfills, and members of the community can take paint for free. The only drawback is that one is limited to the colours and types of paint on hand. If you like white latex, as I do, you’re golden. But for this Christmas clock I grabbed a tin of hunter green and a box of plaster of paris and made some homemade chalkpaint (2/3 paint to 1/3 plaster of paris: stir extremely well). But I wanted more depth, so to give it layers of colour I did put on a good coat of white first.

A folk artist friend that the trick to mimicking the look of layers of paint that have been applied years apart is time. When we’re working on a project we can’t wait 10 years to make sure the bottom layers are well cured, but even 24 to 48 hours makes a nice difference in the end result.

After letting the top coats cure for a couple of days I distressed the newly-applied paint using the dull edge of a butter knife on key edges, the edge of a scraper on finer edges, a screwdriver and hammer to create the impression of naturally occurring dents and holes in the paint and finally with steel wool (starting with coarse and moving to fine). Then a couple of coats of Minwax clear wax to give that distressed paint job a silky touch.


I gave the pendulum a couple coats of white gesso and then used the gel medium transfer method to apply the soft image of an angel. I then attached a small wreath made from lightweight wire and sprigs of fresh thyme that will dry and look whimsical.



vintage charm button 2






7 thoughts on “Christmas Thyme

    • I hope I get to see yours when it’s done. We live in a society of mass production – and I love it when people personalize (which usually means improve!) something that came off an assembly line. Merry Christmas, Janice!


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