Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Refresh an Old, Too-Tarnished Silver Bowl

 I am one of those people who, every now and then, loves the look of a really tarnished piece of silver. This little footed bowl is a good example. I found it in a thrift store on the Upper East Side while living in Manhattan and - because of the huge amount of tarnish - brought it home for $1.50. The shop owner warned me that it couldnt' be cleaned. I loved the amazing colours of blue that the silver had turned on the outside of the bowl. The inside, unfortunately, had copper showing through and looked ugly. 

It's hard to get a picture of the beautiful patina on the outside, but it really has so many gorgeous shades of blue mixed in with the silver. I know silver is supposed to be nice & shiny, but this is beautiful in its own very imperfect way. 
Since I also loved the form (check out those little dainty feet) I thought this piece was worth working with. 
 Sadly, my iphone deleted the before pics (I had no real camera handy) but to makeover this little bowl and make it look like a modern piece with some cool patina rather than an old piece of too-tarnished junk I followed these super easy steps.
1. I gave the inside a very light sanding by hand.
2. Use painter's tape and newspaper to cover the part of the bowl you don't want sprayed (here, everything but the inside).
3. I used a spray primer for metal surfaces, then waited for it to dry (follow the spray can's instructions for how long you should wait)
4. Several light, even coats of spray paint (I picked Sea Breeze Blue). Then, wait for it to cure fully. I actually waited 5 days with it curing outside (well, in my parents' garage), but you don't have to wait that long. 
 And here is the bowl by itself. It kind of reminds me of a $1.50 version of this one that I have always loved. 

Love Jenny
xo

P.S. An important note: I am showing my bowl with some cute fruit (actually, not so cute -- really bruised fruit, but I positioned it so that the bruises aren't showing). In real life I do not use this for food. Something about spray-paint plus food screams danger to me, though I'm not totally sure if that's a well-founded fear and google revealed mixed results. Anyway, for me, this is the perfect catch-all for things like clothespins (to seal chip bags), rubber bands, and other kitchen odds and ends. It may also find a home as a holder of small office supplies (binder clips, etc) one day and as a Christmas ornament holder on our table in the near future :)


39 comments:

  1. I love the tarnished look too! Good thing, because polishing silver? Not at the top of my to-do list, LOL!

    Glad you came by Happy Hour Projects, I'm returning the follow. You have some fabulous projects going on over here!

    Adrianne

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  2. The inside of the bowl looks really nice. I love that color!

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  3. Totally cool. Love that you even thought to do this. So inspired. :0
    Have a great weekend.
    PK

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  4. Thanks for missing me Jen! It's always heartwarming to see that kind of encouragement.

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  5. I love it..Thanks for the comment on my blog..I've add you to my list of blogs I follow

    Krista
    www.kristasewinspired.blogspot.com

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  6. soooo cute! And the paint matches well with some of the tarnished colors on the outside.

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  7. It turned out great! I love the color. Maybe you can find some fake oranges to put in it because the turquoise/orange combo is beautiful!

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  8. I love the idea of spray painting the inside. It gave it a nice contrast and a beautiful way to really pretty up a worn out piece. I will think twice when I see them at the thrifts now!

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  10. Oh so pretty. I love the look. Thanks so much for joining. Hugs, Marty

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  11. I love how this turned out! I'll quit passing over those "too tarnished" pieces at the thrift store now!

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  12. So pretty! I'll take a second look at tarnished pieces on the thrift store shelves now!

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  13. I love the idea! I wondered about the food. Too bad you can't use it for food because it is so lovely that it would be fun to use it at a dinner party.

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  14. Thanks for sharing how to "up date" a thrift item like the tarnished silver. I saw your post over at "A Stroll Thru Life".

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  15. It's beautiful! I love it!
    Rachel
    adventuresofadiymom.blogspot.com

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  16. Very creative idea. Love that shade of blue. I love polished silver, but this would also work nicely for a pitted or spotted silver plated piece. I'm saving your idea. Thanks.

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  17. What a lovely treasure! I don't blame you for not wanting to mix spray paint with fresh fruit, etc. I stick with the old saying "A penny of protection is worth more than a pound of cure"!!! Your work is lovely!

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  18. Actually I meant: "An OUNCE of protection is worth more than a pound of cure!"

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  19. What a cute piece and I love the way you've painted the inside while leaving the outside tarnished. Your bowl has a refreshing new look. Thank you for sharing!

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  20. Great idea! I have several pieces of old silver that I couldn't bear to part with. Now I know how I can refresh them and put them to good use. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from OHP.

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  21. This is brilliant. I happen to have this same bowl.

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  22. Thanks for sharing this great project at the Open House Party. This is a wonderful way to save a silver piece.
    xo,
    Sherry

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  23. Beautiful little bowl...gorgeous shade of blue!

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  24. Great trick--that is one beautiful bowl. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!
    Mary

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  25. My grandmother has a recipe for polishing silver. You fill a glass bowl with boiling water, and put a piece of aluminum foil inside. Then submerge the piece. It'll still need some polishing, but it'll clean off most of the gunk! Not sure whether that works for pieces as far gone as this was, but thought I'd share the tip. ;)

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    1. This only works on sterling silver! Never use it on silver plate! As I found out the hard way.

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  26. This is a gorgeous bowl! Thanks for sharing with Blog Stlaking Thursday!

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  27. Jenny, I'm with you...that is a little treasure! I love all of the blues too! I actually think it's prettier than silver. THANKS so much for linking up at the Rock N Share and for the Congrats(it is exciting!)! I hope you'll be a regular!

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  28. What a great idea! Your little bowl looks amazing. I have several little bowls like that I have picked up for a song that could be done over like that. thanks for sharing.

    Linda

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  29. Great idea - specially for all those old tarnished silver trophies. Thanks for sharing

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  30. That was a fun and interesting idea. I like the way it turned out!

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  31. That looks so cool! I love tarnished look! And the inside color looks awesome! Thanks for linking up at Show & Share!

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  32. BEAUTIFUL! I just love it! Turquoise is one of my favorite colors!

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  33. The blue makes a very nice contrast against the tarnished exterior. Great use of spray paint, Jenny.

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Can't wait to see what terrific ideas you have to link this week. ;)

    Blessings,
    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage
    http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  34. Totally love this cutie~ Thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

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  35. Such a beautiful little piece - it really is amazing what spray paint can accomplish. Glad to hear you aren't using it for food, but has it scratched at all with it being a catch-all?
    -Jill @ Junky Vagabond

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  36. What brand of paint did you use? I just dug out my old silver, and have a fruit bowl that has the plate worn off on the inside. I'm going to do this with it. As long as the paint is not lead-based, there's no problem with using it for fruit. Something wet, or hot might not be a good idea.

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