This painted butterfly is in-you-face red and is decorated with fun junk treasures. My favorite projects are those where I can show off a few treasured finds and this one includes a couple of upcycled pieces from my Grandparent’s home.
I told you it was red. What do you think about the vintage folding carpenters ruler “shutters”? You have to admit they’re one of a kind.
Painted Butterfly House Project
You might remember the old weathered butterfly house from an earlier junking trip post. You might also remember I called it a birdhouse and some of you corrected me. Thank you! I paid $5 for the butterfly house and already had a plan for the makeover. Of course that plan was trashed later for a better one.
This is the day of the month when the Thrift Store Decor Team shares makeovers from thrifty finds. I know you guys look forward to this day as much as I do. Be sure and check out all of the projects. Links to the makeovers are at the bottom of the post.
Selecting The Perfect Paint Color
My original plan was to paint the butterfly house turquoise with yellow shutters. Then I got to thinking about red and maybe I could paint the butterfly house for my little sister who is an Arkansas Razorback fan. Plus I love red.
I worked with cans of red paint I had on hand and I started with the red Behr Hi-Gloss enamel. I brushed a bit of the color on the bottom of the house and it was a little too orange.
I added black paint to the red paint to deepen the color but I overdid it. Seems it doesn’t take much black paint to make a color darker ……or several shades darker.
So I just added more of the original red paint to the darkened red and it was the perfect color. You can see the too dark color on the left side of the stir stick. The red on the right is the color I used for the wood butterfly house. Most paints darken a bit when they dry and the red did just that.
Painting The Butterfly House
I used an inexpensive chip brush to apply the paint and I painted the house, shutters and all.
I kept thinking about painting the shutters white then adding rusty bits of stuff to the house. But walking by my junk shelves on a different mission I spotted the white folding carpenters ruler. Ah-Ha Moment.
Decorating The Butterfly House
I cut a piece of the ruler to see how it would look as a shutter and decided I had a brilliant idea.
I went through several tools trying to find something to cut the ruler. Heavy duty scissors and a small saw worked best. A few of the cut edges were rough and I smoothed them out with sandpaper.
I attached the ruler shutters using my favorite Ryobi Brad Nailer. This power tool makes jobs like this so easy, no cord to mess with just a rechargeable battery.
I used two nails on each shutter. I didn’t have any problems until nailing the last shutter (top right) and it split just a little. Not very noticeable thank goodness. Now, I needed a few more things to finish the house.
The two door backplates are from my Grandparent’s house. My cousin’s wife remodeled the house for her son and she saved a lot of the original construction. The things she didn’t reuse she offered to the relatives. I got the backplates, some interior doors, and a few other things.
The backplates worked great as “windows” on the sides of the butterfly house. I attached the backplates to the wood by inserting screws in the holes in the top and bottom of each backplate. I drilled starter holes in the wood for the screws.
How To Seal The Painted Butterfly House
Next I added a vintage key hole plate for the “door”. Since the butterfly house is an outdoor piece I sprayed a bunch of coats of Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane over the whole thing.
I sprayed on light coats and let each coat dry before applying another. I used the spray sealer instead of brush on sealer because red paint is bad about bleeding and I didn’t want the red to bleed and turn the white ruler shutters pink or red.
Hopefully the sealer will keep the butterfly house from weathering too badly. My sister lives on the Arkansas River and there is a lot of wind and of course humidity. We will see what happens.
I hope butterflies move into the house instead of wasps which is what happens with her birdhouses and a lot of other things around her place.
My sister who thinks she’s a comedian said the ruler pieces on the dormers look like eyebrows. I can see that.
I wanted to add something else to the roof but had to restrain myself because I tend to overdo things sometimes. Do you guys think the butterfly house is just right or needs a few rustic touches on the roof? Leave a note if you have time before heading out on the Thrift Store Decor Tour.
You can find another of my ruler recycles here……How To Make A Recycled Ruler Flag
To take the Thrift Store Decor Tour just click the pink text links below the “before makeovers” photo collage…..
DIY Stoneware Bowl from Domestically Speaking
Hanging Necklace Organizer from My Repurposed Life
Painted Butterfly House from Petticoat Junktion
Balustrade Lamp Makeover from Our Southern Home
Repurposed Wire Basket Into Planter from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Mid Century Makeover on Wooden Cigar Boxes from Sadie Seasongoods
Repurposed Galvanized Funnel from House of Hawthornes
As always thanks for being here and have a great day, Kathy