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Cool Painting Projects, Too: Birdhouses, Mailboxes, and More (By Debbie Zimmer)

Cool Painting Projects, Too: Birdhouses, Mailboxes, and More (By Debbie Zimmer)

Even when the you can still do some outdoor painting indoors. Simply focus on fun objects that can be colorfully embellished in the comfort of your home… then moved outside later on.

Many things fall into this crafty category, but some of the most promising items are birdhouses, mailboxes, and planters. Each takes on added pizzazz when given creative color treatment.

One option is to paint these “satellite” objects in the same colors as your home’s exterior. For example, if your home is painted pale blue and white, you can use the same color scheme (and your leftover paint) on outdoor accoutrements. The common colors will make for a very “together” look.

But if your taste runs more to tutti-frutti rather than plain vanilla, you can have even more fun painting these items. They all take on even more personality when given more whimsical treatment, the quirkier the better.

Take a birdhouse, for example. Why shouldn’t your fine-feathered friends have a look all their own? And why not in colors as vibrant as their plumage? Celebrate their presence in your yard with bright colors and patterns that reflect their own natural beauty.

Focusing instead on your mailbox? Then zero in on a color scheme that sets your box apart from the crowd. If you’re super-patriotic, why not add some stars and stripes? An ardent arborist? Then paint some colorful blooms on your box. Or, make a sports statement there with team colors used by your favorite pro or college team.

Planters, too, can benefit from a creative palette, as well as some well-placed pattern. Choose color that nicely complements or vividly contrasts with the flowers or foliage, then add some personal touches; maybe even sign the piece with your own John Hancock. You’ll have a personalized planter like none other.

Paint alone can impart great personality to these outdoor items, but they take on even more panache if creatively constructed. If you or a friend is handy with a hammer, why not make a mailbox or birdhouse that’s a replica (or reminiscent) of the house you live in? Build a custom piece appropriate to your locale or your community. Or, create a design that reflects a personal hobby or interest. Your options are virtually limitless.

Whatever shape or form your outdoor items take, you’ll want to protect your handiwork with the most weather-resistant paint. In any climate, that means using top quality exterior paint made with 100% acrylic.

Tough, durable, fade-resistant, and inherently flexible enough to expand and contract in extreme temperatures, paints made with 100% acrylic will protect your birdhouse, mailbox, or other creation just as it shields the exterior of your home. Wherever top quality paint is applied, it will add years of protection from the elements.

Did I mention that any one of these projects would be a great way to occupy the little ones now that school is out? If you’re a mom or dad, you probably thought of that already.

No matter who does the design and painting on your colorful outdoor items, once they’re moved outside, they’ll bring a smile to all who see them. And one of those smiles will be yours!

Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She's a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorativpainting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.

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