Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Painting Small Birdhouses

While in the process of discovering possible hobbies that I can have, I have determined that painting is something I would like to try. Although I am not good at drawing, I think that painting can be relaxing. I am not talking about painting portraits or anything like that. Instead I am talking about painting larger-scale objects.

I had my first painting experience yesterday with a small birdhouse I bought. In my mind, I imagined the birdhouses I have seen in the booths at craft shows. They have a little nest in them with a cute bird. Perhaps they have intricate drawings of flowers on the side. My birdhouse is much simpler than that because as cute as I find those little houses, I do not think that I can make one that will look good.

That is what I have come to realize about finding a hobby. No one wants to find a hobby at which he or she is not good, because let us face it, being no good at something is no fun. Instead we should seek out hobbies that will challenge us but will provide a sense of satisfaction when we are done. That is how I am approaching my painting hobby.

After looking through the few bottles of craft paint I have, I decided to go for a simple theme. I painted the roof of the little house white and the house part a mint green color. I went with only two colors because I thought that would be a better choice than trying to paint several colors onto the house and not doing a good job at it.

I sat down with the basic supplies, thinking about how inexpensive a painting hobby can be. The craft paints are maybe $1-2 each. I have a total of seven bottles. I also have some brushes and sponges, which I picked up in sets for about $5. I found the birdhouse at a dollar store, so it was super cheap and is very cute. Other than those basic supplies, I spread out a plastic bag from the grocery store. I used the bag to sit the house and also to put little puddles of the paints. I did everything in the comfort of my living room since breathing in craft paint is not the health danger that breathing in wall paint can pose.

In the end, considering only the supplies I used on my birdhouse, the whole project was about $4, and of course, I can use the brushes and paint tubes again. That means that painting these types of projects is a really inexpensive way to begin a hobby. With $20 or so, one could begin a hobby that will be relaxing for life.

I found that the best part of painting the birdhouse was that it was a short break from my day. I worked on the initial coat for only about 10 or 15 minutes as it was a very small beginning project. Then I did a little housework and returned to the painting for another 15 minutes or so to do a second coat and a little touching up. This project can be completed in an hour, which is what I need. I do not do so well with projects that require hours or days to complete. I need to know that I can finish a project today because the truth is that I may not have time tomorrow to work on it.

For now, I am happy with my little birdhouse. I will hang it outside near where my garden will soon go so that it can provide great gardening decoration for me. In the future, though, I plan to step up my painting hobby. I am going to work on painting designs or at least varying the color scheme. That will mean investing in more supplies, such as smaller brushes, but I know that if I do a few birdhouses, I will be confident enough in my skills to pay a little more money for the supplies I need. This is a hobby that I believe can grow with me. There are so many options when it comes to painting birdhouses that I will never get bored with this hobby idea.

By Julia Mercer

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