Art Bench Project

This past summer I received a grant to paint a bench on the Cocoa Village riverfront as part of the Art Beatz Community Art Project. Here is my step-by-step process.

0) my design proposal & the unpainted bench

 the bench before any work

the bench before any work

 the proposal

the proposal

 STEP 1

STEP 1

1) sand and prime the bench

Try to sand the wood to a smooth surface, remove debris, and as much rust as possible before priming. Prime with an exterior primer. I used Kilz Exterior white primer. As you can see in the next step, I also used a canvas drop-cloth. It's handy for keeping the cement clean and catching drips.

2) basecoat

 STEP 2

STEP 2

For this step, I used a mix of primer again with the real paint for the wood portion. I wanted to be sure the paint would adhere. For the metal parts of the bench, I lightly sanded the primer coat and painted directly onto the armrests and metal support bar underneath using Behr exterior paint.

3) background color and elements

I painted a thorough coat of the background color at full strength. I added the contrasting background elements (the green tufts of grass).

The green paint was not opaque so it took several coats to get full coverage over the yellow base coat.

Every one of these coats of paint took at least a day to do! I suggest whatever paint you decide to use if you're doing a bench, to make sure it can withstand some rain just in case you have to pack up quickly. The summer weather in Florida varies from 90F+ heat to tropical storm... so the amount of progress on each day varied with the weather.

 STEP 3

STEP 3

 STEP 4

STEP 4

4) Transfer the concept onto the bench. I used black chalk because I knew it would wash off. If I had had charcoal, I would have used that instead. After sketching on the basic forms and overall placement, I added the bigger inner shapes. I do the details in paint.

 STEP 5

STEP 5

Despite the heat and rain, I was really charmed by my view. What a beautiful view of the Indian River!

5) After finalizing the shapes, I added details and painted multiple coats on any parts that were not looking opaque. The orange paint, for example, was not opaque. Between every coat and step, I would re-use the caution tape to warn visitors that there was wet paint. If you paint a public bench, I urge you to let people know by using cones or some kind of caution tape. Note: make sure the printed side of the tape is not touching your paint. It will transfer the black ink onto your surface. The heat is that strong!

 STEP 6

STEP 6

The final step is to seal the deal. Literally. Seal the bench using your most trusted clear non-yellowing spray. I used two coats of varnish (Minwax Helmsman Spar Varnish spray) and roughly 2-3 coats of the clear coat provided by the Art Beatz committee (Rustoleum Automotive Enamel in clear). The spray takes a bit to dry and it's tricky to stop people from sitting. I only taped the center of the bench so I would spray the center first, then do the sides so the center would be dry enough by the time I was ready to go.

Image gallery above.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and you find it helpful. If you have had great success with a different clear coat, we'd love to hear about it! If you'd like to sponsor an art bench, let the Cocoa Village Art Beatz committee know. Any business can sponsor a bench, and they're always looking for local businesses to sponsor them.

Are you working on any public art projects? I'd love to hear about them!

Gingerbread Here, There, and Everywhere

Ahhh!
The holiday baking has taken over!

Adriprints_GingerbreadLIFE.jpg

It's the most delicious time of the year again. It's mid-November, my house smells like gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and... curry chicken. Yes, we love our spices in this house. There are winter-themed paintings on my desk, scraps of red and green fabric all over the place, snowflake stamps, and the oven is working overtime.

I wanted to check in before the holiday madness completely takes over and I forget to blog about the latest happening in the studio...

Sewing, Crafts, & Family World

My son is obsessed with gingerbread stories... so much so that he wanted to be 'Gingerbread Baby' for Storybook Dress-up Day at his school. So, I made him a gingerbread man costume!

I've been painting ornaments and testing designs, but don't know how many I can complete by December so I can sell them. I also have greeting cards coming in the mail any day now.

Art & Design World

My web shop is finally open!

My paintings are on exhibit at the local library! If you're in the area, feel free to drop by. The library will of course be closed for Thanksgiving and all the federal holidays.


Announcements

 Vote! Vote! Vote!

Vote! Vote! Vote!

My gingerbread dudes are in a Spoonflower competition. Vote for it if you like the pattern. You've got until November 28th, 3pm EST.


Thanks so much for reading! And thank you for voting if you already did! I appreciate it very much. There are so many entries this time.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!