Shutters need preparing, to remove ingrained dirt after first cleaning, and sanding where paint has become loose, due to heat and damp damage in the South of France. Hand sanding commenced on some shutters, revealing previous colours.
The balcony bedroom shutters are the largest, and heaviest, accessed in situ from a chair.
I had previously painted them pale grey over dark green, now any thicker painted areas are removed, during sanding, for a smoother surface.
Black hinges were previously painted in Hammerite and look good still after 7 years
The hinges of some shutters (painted by others) have a faux distressed wear affect: painted green ‘verdigris’ as undercoat, covered loosely with dark grey, or watered down black. They look effective from a distance and have been left as is.
When metal becomes very tarnished, or even rusty, they can be painted black. Lay cloth around to avoid black splashes on new shutter coats. Unscrewing and removal is recommended before painting, if time allows; but if not, as was the case here, have wet cloth ready to wipe off shutter paint, if the brush marks the black metal.
First Paint Coats
Twelve shutters in all, both sides, two coats = 48 coat sides! Ground floor shutters painted downstairs; bedroom balcony shutters left in situ, reached by standing on a chair; the others painted on the roof terrace.
The streets of old Agde are very narrow with 3 or 4 storey houses, so the views are often shaded from lower windows. Shrubbery grown up walls gives a special interpretation of nature; a must to visit during flowering time in May.
Recycled wooden circles, with geometric acrylic varnished painting decoration.
Pendulum ‘chime’ shells hang on knotted leather cords tied to metal rings on lower edge of wooden circles. Razor shells make a pleasant gentle mid-toned ‘clatter’ when moving.
Paint circles black with emulsion (water based paint).
Paint acrylic colour over, leaving border for another colour.
Paint ‘crackle-glaze’ solution (purchased).
When just about dry (not to dry), paint over gently with a large soft artist’s brush in a contrasting colour. Paint should not be too thick (i.e. not straight out of tubes), but mixed with water to a single cream consistency. Move brush carefully, and in a slightly blobbing like fashion, in circles, to avoid unbalanced marks and encourage circular markings. Water content and drying times, will determine how the crackle layer works.
Note: Crackle-glaze is unpredictable: practice with drying times of the glaze and water content of covering paint mix helps. If it does not crackle well, some sanding will produce a distressed surface, showing paint colour layers through.
Draw geometric designs in dark pencil: paint lines with ‘liner’ brush (a narrow and long brush head, which spreads to required width and holds the line evenly as paint is dragged along one side of pencil line. (no need for two pencil lines)
Spirals can be painted with just one stroke of an artist’s round brush, starting in the centre and sweeping in an ever increasing curve. (practice on paper before if needed)
Coat circles art in at least 3 layers of water based acrylic varnish for protection. It dries in 20 mins, but leave 2 hours between coats. Note: Long lasting oil based polyurethane varnish can be used as a fourth coat for outdoor protection. (16 hours drying time)
Screw metal ‘screw eyes’ into one edge of wooden circle.
Drill holes carefully into top of razor shells.
Lightly sand off any brown seaweed stuck to shells. (they are brittle and can break) Paint could also be rubbed into razor shell grain at this stage to tone in with wood.
Using thin leather cord (available in colours), attach to razor shells to screw eye rings. Metal wind chimes can be included, to nestle in the concave side of the shells, to increase the wind noise: also smaller shells can be tied on at the tops. Note: I found a clearer sound resulted form purely the razor shells alone.
Experiment with shell length and positions for ‘sound making’.
Use thick leather/suede strips to make hanging loops to hang onto trees, or hooks outside.
Circles are cut incrementally from squares; sawing and filing off 4 corner facets.