Once upon a time, way back in July of this year, I decorated for Christmas. It would ultimately be one of many times this year I would put on a Holiday show, but it was memorable because I decided to give something a try that had been kicking around in my head for a while. I had absolutely no idea if this would work, and was fully ready to toss out the giant tree if things went south. Luckily, everything worked out beautifully and instead of ruining my old tree, I was able to breath a bit of new life into it and fall in love with it all over again! For those of you who have an expensive faux tree that you are feeling a tad tired of, this project is for you!
// One Tired Ass Faux Tree
// 3-4 Cans White Matte or Flat Spray Paint (I love the $.97 – $1.49 cans at Home Depot)
This tree is seriously large and in charge. I think it might be 9 feet in height and is about 4 1/2 – 5 feet wide at the base. You can get a bit of perspective for the size of this baby, here in the before shot I took in my courtyard. Huge. These trees aren't cheap and this one isn't small but I have lost a bit of love for it over the years because I have Design ADD, and need a constant flow of new and different. I adore flocked trees, love them actually, but they are such a crazy mess and we can't do real trees in this house, so I haven't been able to have one… ever. I don't want to fok out several hundred dollars for a new tree since this one was pricey enough to warrant using it for the rest of my life and so I decided to get crafty about it.
So here is the deal – it turns out you can create a flocked look with flat spray paint, but you need to be fairly specific about how and where you spray so that it doesn't simply look like a white tree. You want to spray only the top portion of each bough and you want to spray pretty thoroughly, but you probably want to create a story in your mind as to how and where snow might fall and collect if this were happening in real life. Just like any other spray paint or painted finish, you need to have your story straight before you take to the can.
I found through accidental serendipity that getting spray on your lights actually results in the most beautiful frosted glow later on, so I say save yourself the trouble and don't worry about covering them or avoiding them as you go along. I would however avoid spraying the plugs and outlets. No need to create a fire hazard.
To begin, separate out each section of your tree and try to stand each section upright as best you can. Then, starting on the lowest boughs of each section (usually you can fold the upper boughs of each section up to move them out of the way and let them down one row at a time), you will spray only the top sides of them and you will coat them more thoroughly near the ends of the boughs (with less toward the trunk) since that is how the snow would settle in real life.
You do want to coat each section and bough fairly well, because otherwise you won't really see the results as much as you might want, but this is a fairly foolproof project and really you can't screw it up too badly if you get spray on the under side of a bough or don't spray more near the ends. It really won't ruin anything, BUT it will indeed be better if you do follow some of these directions. It is more of a matter of good versus great. This turned out so much better than I could have hoped and I'm so smitten with the results. Honestly I stopped using this tree a while back and now I feel like I have renewed my marriage vows with this beauty and I have a serious crush on it all over again. So that is a win win in my book.
Let each section dry without putting it back together as it is technically supposed to go, because you run the risk of things getting a bit sticky or stuck, as it were… not that I know this from personal experience or anything.
A closeup shot of this beauty so you can see the difference in color and overall feel.
With it lit and sitting pretty you can see the way the bulbs now glow and appear to be more globe like! Just fabulous and truly hard to describe, but a wonderful benefit the whole frosted bulb thing turned out to be