Refreshing Garden Ornaments with Chalk Paint

Happy Thursday!  It is hot where you are? We’re in mid 90s this week with the humidity pushing the heat index to the 100+ degree mark. With no rain in the forecast, it’s going to be a challenge to keep the garden watered for foreseeable future! I questioned my timing (and sanity) tackling a couple of outdoor projects in this heat, but they had been on my ‘to do’ list for a while now.

I purchased this frog garden ornament about four years ago. I planted him by the Limelight Hydrangeas as a decorative birdbath. . .

He’s also served as Frog Footman with tarts for a Mad Tea Party . . .

And he gets spruced up for Christmas by the Potting Shed, adorned with some tartan ribbon, red ornaments and pine cones.

The elements had taken their toll on Mr. Frog’s finish and he was overdue for a makeover.

I decided to give him an update using *She Shades, a chalk-based paint formulated for exterior surfaces.

I hosed him down to remove any dirt, then gave him a base coat of “Iron Gate”, a nice deep gray. One of the benefits of using chalk paint, is how quickly it dries, in about an hour or less, especially outdoors in this heat! I was prepared to give him two coats, but one coat was enough to cover the old finish, without a primer, another benefit of chalk paint.

I wanted a finish that would mimic the appearance of a lead garden ornament, so I dry brushed a layer of “Farmhouse Linens” on top of the “Iron Gate”.

If you’re not familiar with ‘dry brushing’, it’s a paint technique using an almost dry brush to apply paint. Dip the ends of your brush in the paint, then blot your brush on a some paper towels, wiping most of the paint off, before lightly dragging your brush over the surface. I recommend practicing on a scrap piece of wood to get the hang of it and starting on an inconspicuous place first.

After I added the “Farmhouse Linens” color, I dry brushed a light coat of “Evening Eucalyptus”. Judging by the smile on his face, Mr. Frog is pleased with his makeover. ;)

His basin is shallow so he’s not very functional as a birdbath in our 90+ degree temps, as the water is either splashed out and /or evaporated by mid-afternoon, so I filled him with birdseed.

This lidded beehive was an antique mall find a couple of months ago! It’s not old, but I found it tucked under a table and among some vintage garden items in a favorite dealer’s space.

After a little online searching, I discovered it’s a Beehive Hose Holder from Wisteria. It was a bargain and a fraction of the price of a new one in their catalog.

I cleaned it up and gave it a fresh base coat of “Iron Gate”, then dry brushed some “Evening Eucalyptus” over the gray to highlight the texture of the beehive.

It’s handy to store an extra length of hose to reach around the other side of my shed when watering.

The finish looks a little more blue in these photos than it does in real life due to the morning light.

She Shades are available in an array of beautiful colors, including Cherry Blossom, Prairie Crocus, Sunrise Dahlia and Pastoral Rouge, to name a few. They’re available online at She Shed Living.

*Thank you to Erika Kokite from She Shed Living for providing me with She Shades paint.

Hope you’re staying cool while buzzing around in this heat!

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

Between Naps on the Porch

  47 comments for “Refreshing Garden Ornaments with Chalk Paint

  1. Jane
    July 18, 2019 at 6:22 am

    What a beautiful job you did, Mary! Your timing is perfect, too, as I have some similar touching up to do outdoors. Thanks for the tips to get me started! Now I hope you stay cool and can admire your work from indoors, until the heat drops a bit. Enjoy! Both items are delightful!

  2. July 18, 2019 at 6:30 am

    Mary, Your garden is just bee-utiful! Mr. Frog does look pleased with his makeover. :)) What a great find your beehive house house was too. Thank you for letting me know about She Shades and dry brushing. I have an old concrete garden angel that came out of my mother’s garden that could use refreshing too. Stay cool <3

  3. Kathy M.
    July 18, 2019 at 6:33 am

    Good morning. I am up early to go out early to water my plants. What ever made me think all these containers were a good idea! Even the dogs think it is too hot to go out for any length of time. Your project looks great and I love the bed skep. I have a large straw one and am never sure about leaving it outside. So it comes in and out. Any thoughts? Try to stay cool They are promising a break in the heat for next week.🐝🌻

    • July 18, 2019 at 8:37 am

      I know what you mean Kathy, I think that every summer about this time! You could put your straw bee skep outside if it was under a little shelter to keep it protected from the elements, similar to this: 🐝 Stay cool. ♥

  4. July 18, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Love both of your updates. I really like how Mr. Frog looked before but when I saw the after, I liked that too. I live in the Houston/Galveston area. I thought that beehive/hose container was really cool until I thought about it being a good hiding place for snakes! Watch out there!

  5. Karen
    July 18, 2019 at 6:56 am

    You are so talented! Great job on the frog ( he is too cute) and the beehive.

  6. Ellen
    July 18, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Mary, I love chalk paint and the finishes it gives…and easy…Mr. Frog and that very beautiful hive look brand new. We are in the middle of said heatwave and humidity abound too!! It is very hard to do any gardening in this weather..stay cool and safe!! 🐝🍄🐸

  7. July 18, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Mary, I need to do some touching up on my large pots. This chalk paint sounds perfect. When I got up, I was thrilled to see that we had rain during the night, so no watering for me today! I always enjoy visiting your gardens❤️

  8. Ann Woleben
    July 18, 2019 at 7:27 am

    We are suffering through the heat wave here in Virginia as well. I’m out early every morning to replenish water for the birds and do a bit of watering for the flowers. I love your garden and your paint projects are very inspiring. Now I’m looking around for something to paint! Thank you for always providing such wonderful photos and ideas.

  9. Sue
    July 18, 2019 at 7:40 am

    Love your frog’s different clothing “looks” and how pretty everything looks around your shed.
    Here in Ohio we are experiencing the heat and humidity also.

  10. katy w
    July 18, 2019 at 8:09 am

    The Mad Hatter frog is soooo cute! You mentioned you found the beehive somewhere….where do you usually look for great finds like that – Marketplace? Craigslist?

  11. July 18, 2019 at 8:52 am

    What a beautiful transformation of your Mr. Frog and your beehive/hose holder, Mary. The She Shades worked perfectly with your magical hands in painting them! 💕😎💕

  12. Liz
    July 18, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Those turned out excellent! I have a frog planter that looks exactly like yours did before you updated it. Great inspiration!

  13. Virginia
    July 18, 2019 at 9:07 am

    Mr Frog and the beehive hose holder look just fantastic and as always you have done an amazing job. I bought Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to repaint some candlesticks but have yet to paint them. You have inspired me to get out the paintbrush and go to work. We too were high and dry for some time but this past week has brought some rain but the pots are still in need of watering everyday. About 20 years ago during a serious drought a friend suggested I catch water from my air conditioner condensation pipes. With the humidity and heat so high and two ac units in this old house I have been collecting about 15 to 20 gallons a day, more than enough for my potted plants and no chemicals.

  14. July 18, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Mary, This is the perfect solution for my lackluster garden urn! Thank you for the paint recommendation and dry brushing instructions. It’s always a treat to see what’s blooming in your garden. Your new bee hive and Mr. Frog are truly transformed!

  15. July 18, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Mary, thanks for this suggestion. I have a few garden pieces that need a refresh! You have me searching for one of those cute froggie pieces w/ a bowl and that bee hive is seriously calling my name!!! My only concern about the bee hive is snakes. Be cautious!

  16. June Fisher
    July 18, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Did you get my note about the garden sign?

    • July 18, 2019 at 9:36 am

      Hi June, I replied and sent a link, check your spam folder or check back to the post where you left your comment to read it. The sign is by Creative Co-Op.

  17. Joy
    July 18, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Thank you for the smiles and paint tips this morning Mary! I’m grinning from ear to ear, just like Mr. Frog! 🐸

  18. Robyn Henningsen
    July 18, 2019 at 9:43 am

    These turned out so nice! Thanks for sharing the paint source! Stay cool!

  19. Clara
    July 18, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Great paint job Mary. I love both pieces you painted. Mr. Frog is a favorite and the beehive hose holder is a great addition to your bee collection. We’ve had 5″+ rain from Barry this past week so we won’t need to water till next week except for the potted plants! It’s terribly hot & humid. Don’t overdo yourself Mary outside. Stay cool! Clara ❣️

  20. July 18, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Love your bee hive, such a find! I would be terrified to leave on ground, this is rattlesnake country 😱

  21. July 18, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Mary, I love Mr. Frog and the Beehive. As a matter of fact I love your whole potting shed ideas.
    Here, in Watch Lake , B,C all it has been doing almost every day for about six weeks is rain…..rain…
    and more rain. The weather is suppose to start turning. After all here at the lake is boating time.
    Thanks for sharing the tips on chalk paint. I have never used it before. But I am certainly going to
    give it a try. Thanks for sharing.
    Rita Parker

  22. Cynthia Raines
    July 18, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Aww, Mr. Frog looks very happy with his new look! Great job and love, love the bee hose holder, what a great find. Yes, it is getting steamy here, we’ll be in the 90’s tomorrow and heat index 101. I’ll be inside for sure. Thunder showers predicted for tonight, so that should take care of the watering. I will keep those chalks paints in mind for any future garden projects, thanks Mary! 🐝

  23. Sandra Brown
    July 18, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I love mr frog! I think I need one of him!

  24. July 18, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    I love the updates Mary! I’ve never used chalk paint before and your dry brushing technique looks so professional. It is oppressively hot this week. Stay cool!

  25. Terri
    July 18, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    I never heard of those paints. Good to know.
    Your garden items are wonderful.
    Yes, stay cool.
    Hot here in Maryland too.

  26. July 18, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Ahhhh, the magic of paint! Great job Mary, Mr. Frog looks fantastic! I love chalk paint, one coat will cover a multitude of sins and the fact it dries so fast makes it so convenient to use. I’ve never tried She Shades but I love the name! Pretty colors you chose…

  27. Debbie
    July 18, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Love how your frog and bee hive turned out! I have some yard art and pots to do too. Do you put a finishing coat of something on them?

    • July 18, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      Thank you Debbie! The paint is formulated as an exterior paint so it doesn’t need a finishing coat on it.

  28. Theresa R Keller
    July 18, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Great job Mary, so glad to know about the she shed paint, i have a few outdoor items that need some attention and i like the way this looks. Thank you and stay cool!!

  29. Marion
    July 18, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Mary;
    Very hot here in New York. Temperatures will reach near 100 over the week-end. Don’t overdo. Try and stay cool.
    Marilyn,Joan and Marion

  30. Michele M.
    July 18, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    Mr. Frog is about as cute as it gets – and how he looks so happily situated under your Lime Lights.

    Rain, rain, sunny and too hot to go out, rinse, repeat. It’s been unbearable.

  31. July 19, 2019 at 2:58 am

    You just gave me the inspiration to paint some oldies I have in the side yard!

    Chalk paint to the rescue! Thanks for the tips!

  32. July 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm


  33. Shirley Graham
    July 19, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Love your flowers as always & the frog is great too. I had a bee skep earlier but realized when I moved that it had been out too long!! Thanks so much – I sent your blog idea to a friend because she loves plants also. Try to stay cool & have a great August – hopefully it won’t be so HOT!

  34. July 19, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    I did not know that there was chalk paint formulated for outdoor use! Mr. Frog is grinning from ear to ear about his makeover. I downloaded the photo of your window boxes because I want some made. Did you order yours or have them custom made?

  35. July 19, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Mary, I found your post with the link to the window box site. Great idea for a self-chosen birthday present!

  36. July 19, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Your hydrangeas are beyond gorgeous! Thank you for introducing us to the exterior chalk paints. Those will definitely come in handy! It’s hot here too and the mosquitoes are really bad. I did go out into my garden for a bit tonight after work. The best thing was watching all the bumble bees at work. I do love them so!

  37. Bonnie Morgan
    July 20, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Great job, Mary! Mr. Frog and your beehive hose holder look great.
    That beehive hose holder was a great find.

  38. July 21, 2019 at 8:51 pm

    I love Mr. Frog’s makeover and he looks happy too!…and what a great find with that bee hive hose holder! ! They both look amazing and I have taken note of that paint!

  39. Jo
    July 22, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    Very interesting & helpful tutorial. Great tips for restoring outdoor items! I always enjoy reading your blog. Love the photos & tips.

  40. August 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Great ideas! I do a lot with chalk paste and this looks fun to try out too!

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