Put the Kids to Work This Summer Refinishing the Yard Art

Summer is Here; Keep Kids Busy Repainting the Garden Gnomes and Boost your Home Curb Appeal.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved; Author’s Google profile; Posted June 06, 2011

Repainting garden gnomes makes a great summer project; photo courtesy Kelly Smith


It’s one of the annual summertime struggles once school lets out. How on earth can you keep any semblance of structure in your children’s daily routine? How can you keep them busy doing something constructive and away from the video games? With money so tight, things like busy vacations to Disneyland or summer camp might be out of reach.

One viable option is to have them help with fun maintenance chores around the house. Spiffing up your yard art will accomplish that, plus it’s fun to do. Give all those pink flamingos, garden gnomes, and other eclectic items a makeover.

Project Material List on a Shoestring Budget

  • Your yard art
  • Assortment of acrylic paint colors in small bottles
  • Small cups of tap water used to rinse brush bristles when changing colors
  • Variety of brushes
  • Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating® spray
  • Newspapers or cheap plastic table cloth
  • Small tools for chipping (screwdrivers, putty knives, etc.)

The Artistic Restorative Process

The process is fairly straightforward. The first thing to take care of is set-up of the work area. If you are working inside, be sure to protect your work surface using the plastic table cloth or several layers of newspaper.

Next move on to surface preparation. Those little critters take a beating out there in the cold, heat, rain, and snow. It’s a good idea to chip off any flakes of paint so the finished product will be as good looking as they can be and you get good paint adhesion.

Set out the paint, brushes, and cups of water. Let the kids use their imaginations with the colors and don’t worry if they get a little sloppy; acrylic paint dries quickly and do-overs are perfectly alright.

I’ve found that it’s best to start with the colors that take up the most of the project surface area, and then switch colors (and smaller brushes) for the smaller areas.

How Long will this Project Take?

You will most likely find that two or more coats will be necessary since the outdoor weather will have made the surfaces “thirsty”. This may turn into a multi-day arts and crafts project depending on how much you have to do.

Let your project pieces dry overnight and then give them two or three spray coats with the clear coating spray. This is best done outdoors in a low wind area and with parental supervision. Always stand upwind when spraying to avoid inhaling the coating or propellant.

Once they’re dry, back to the garden they go!

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