Makeover | Painting a penny farthing

Mackinac Island
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.

Ryba's Fudge Shops
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.

painting with chalk paint
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.

painting with chalk paint
I started by basecoating the whole thing with black chalk paint.

Annie Sloan chalk paint Antibes Green
Then I pulled out the remains of some Annie Sloan chalk paint in Antibes Green that I had stored in my basement.

chalk paint
I decided to paint the body of the bike in the green and leave the wheels black.

chalk paint
It took a couple coats to cover.

makeover with chalk paint
I liked the piece 1,000 percent better once it was green.

makeover with chalk paint
I thought I might like it even better if I added an accent color.

penny farthing wall art makeover
So I dug some Spanish Copper Rub ‘n’ Buff out of my craft supplies.

penny farthing wall art makeover
The Rub ‘n’ Buff goes on flat.

After it dries, you buff it with a soft cloth and it shines like metal.
penny farthing wall decor
I loved the coppery color accents.

chalk paint makeover
They’re subtle, but they definitely add a little dimension.

chalk paint makeover
Here’s the whole penny farthing, all painted.

chalk paint makeover
Once I was done buffing and touching up the paint, I hung it up on my basement door.

chalk art makeover

It didn’t come from Mackinac Island, but every time I walk past it, that’s what I think of.

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