I lived in a house – about 10 years ago now – that the previous owner had died in.

Nothing dramatic or heinous – she built the house, lived in it to an old age and then passed away.  The sad part about it was she had no living relatives, so all of her belongings went up for auction before the house was put on the market.

The items that didn’t sell at the Estate auction were left with the house for the new owners to do with as they wished.

This was one of those items:

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

I didn’t think anything of it – it was well before my blogging days, so I didn’t see a makeover in it at the time – but my Mom did.

She’s kept this garden armillary in her yard, rusting away, for 10 years now.

Finally, we decided (I’m not sure if it was she or I) that it needed some love and to be either put on display or thrown out.

She opted for love.

Given the layers of paint and amount of rust on this garden armillary – she opted that I give it the love.

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

Yikes!  That’ll teach me to mind my own business right?

I was having a garage sale the other weekend and I decided that while I was sitting outside anyways, I might as well get to sanding.

Hand sanding.

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

The most requested piece/price in my entire garage sale was for this garden armillary.  Everyone over the age of 40 that saw it asked how much I wanted for it – as-is!

(Mom, we could have made some money here)

Funny how some people can see the beauty in things and others can’t.  I truly thought this would have been better off in a recycling pile somewhere.

I sanded the major rust off with an 80 grit paper, then came back around it again with a 120 grit and finally a 180 grit to smooth it out as much as I could.  With something that’s going to be facing the elements for years and years, it’s really important to get as much of the existing rust off as you can, so that it doesn’t corrode quickly.

I washed the garden armillary down with a little TSP to make sure I had gotten rid of any dust, grease, particles and rust that might be still hiding.

Another important step is to prime it, and prime it WELL.

I did 3 coats of primer on this.  It will rust over time – that’s just the nature of the beast – but with this thorough sanding and priming, it should be years before it does.

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

Looks better already doesn’t it?

Mom opted for a glossy white finish and a teal arrow, so a few coats of each and voila!

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

Hard to believe this is the same piece right?

Armillary (garden art) makeover

It looks SOOOO good in her garden too.

I might have to eat my words and give her credit for recognizing the potential in this.  (You were right Mom)

Finally, it can go out in her garden as a piece of art instead of hiding in her side yard as a piece of trash.

Garden armillary, garden art, armillary

I’m tempted to go through her side yard again and see what other “items with potential” she has stashed away.



Have a great one!




Too funny - too tall



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