I’ve already posted my first rusty metal project so it’s about time to share part 2!
Here’s how this project began. I was just about finished with the tree frame when introduced to a store in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego called Architectural Salvage. The basic premise of the store is to sell all those discarded treasures found in old homes. Everything from vintage doorknobs, to antique wooden doors, to lamps, spindles, skeleton keys…. Pretty much if it’s old and/or strange, it may find its way into this store. So there a friend and I were, wandering around issuing “oohs” and “aahs” and maybe a “wtf is THAT?” or two… when I spotted it: my peacock frame.
The project all started the same way, only this time I was sanding off flat black paint rather than dirty and rust. I wanted to get a similar look to the tree frame so I could arrange them together on my wall. Perhaps in a series of three, but that’s another day’s project…
At first I just took a little of the paint off. Better to be cautious! I used the sandpaper exclusively and stuck with sanding just the ridges.
Eventually I decided it wasn’t shiny enough. I do love shiny. And besides, it wouldn’t match the tree frame unless it showed a little more leg… er I mean metal.
Ooh look at that! So shiny and clear coated… and check out that luan! Ok, so I skipped a few steps here. Brevity and all that…
I decided the sunset motif wasn’t going to work, so I chose some more peacock like acrylics. A deep blue, green, purple, and a nice shiny gold. I then wired it together the same way I did with the trees.
The peacock may be finished, but the story isn’t over! It bothered me ever since I worked on the tree frame that I didn’t know what it is I had. Where did these metal frames come from? What did they go to? Some kind of grate? Window? Vent? I googled every iteration of the words rusty-metal-frame-architectural-salvage-antique-vent-grate, etc, to no avail. WHAT ARE THEY!? Sometimes, when I get stuck on something, I obsess until I figure it out. And finally, after haunting etsy for a few weeks, I found it: the same peacock frame! Only here they were advertising it as an inset for a wooden garden gate. AHA! I’ve got you metal peacocky frame! You’re from a gate! That explains the little tabs on the frame as well. Finally, I know what it is so perhaps I’ll be able to find more in the future. Yay!
Unfortunately, I haven’t found any more. It’s been awhile since my last sojourn to Architectural Salvage, but when last there, I decided to buy some different rusty metal… and that will be my next project!
I truly encourage all of you out there in the inter-webs to delve into the world of salvage and restoration. It is a satisfying experience taking something abandoned and beautiful and showcasing it in a new light. Some works from the previous generations deserve to be cherished and restored to their former glory. So what if that’s not what it was originally used for? Time to... upcycle? Oh boy, I hate that term, but it’s kind of appropriate here. Take something old, remake it anew. Make it yours, make it beautiful. Keep on DIYing!