When we visited Mackinac Island, bikes were everywhere — and I’m not just talking about on the streets (where no cars are allowed).
A lot of the shops sell bicycle art and crafts and T-shirts.
This old-timey penny farthing decoration was in the front window of Ryba’s Fudge Shop.
All the bike art reminded me of a penny farthing wall hanging I bought at a garage sale a couple years ago when I was compiling stuff for a gallery wall. I had over-collected for the gallery wall, and the penny farthing didn’t make the cut. I hung onto it anyway, thinking I might use it somewhere else sometime.
The mottled metal finish always seemed a little sad and tired to me, and the fun, bright-colored bikes and bike art on the island made me think my penny farthing needed an update.
I started by basecoating the whole thing with black chalk paint.
Then I pulled out the remains of some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antibes Green that I had stored in my basement.
I decided to paint the body of the bike in the green and leave the wheels black.
It took a couple coats to cover.
I liked the piece 1,000 percent better once it was green.
I thought I might like it even better if I added an accent color.
So I dug some Spanish Copper Rub ‘n’ Buff out of my craft supplies.
The Rub ‘n’ Buff goes on flat.
After it dries, you buff it with a soft cloth and it shines like metal.
I loved the coppery color accents.
They’re subtle, but they definitely add a little dimension.
Here’s the whole penny farthing, all painted.
Once I was done buffing and touching up the paint, I hung it up on my basement door.
It didn’t come from Mackinac Island, but every time I walk past it, that’s what I think of.