I was on the phone with Sarah this week – you know, Sarah, my co-conspirator here at wonderstrange – when I happened to wander out into the garage, right past this sad, paint-slopped little birdcage that I found at Goodwill three years ago. I said, “I think I just figured out my next Living with Art project.”
Under normal circumstances, I would have simply painted over an object liked this and moved forward with my Evil Sculpting Plans. Alas, this was not anything I could paint over. After all my attempts at sanding failed, I turned to the internet for a cheap, eco-friendly way to strip away that purple paint. What I found was a recipe involving “washing soda,” flour, and water. What is washing soda, you ask? Great question! Short answer: It’s in Aisle 12.
I mixed up the washing soda, flour, and water (but NOT the wine) to make this goo. I’m thinking, in retrospect, that it probably makes a big difference that I didn’t mix it up exactly like the recipe suggested. I treated it more like cooking than baking. If you try this at home, don’t do that. Follow the recipe, which is linked at the end of this post.
The instructions for this stuff say that you should leave it on for at least 30 minutes but up to several days, making sure all the while that it doesn’t dry out. My version, however, dried out in less than five minutes.
Next came the truly awkward part: Getting the dried goo OFF of the birdcage. I tried four different cleaning brushes and lots more spritzing, at which point, my patience exploded in a fireworks display of mighty oaths, and I stormed off to the bathtub.
NOW this little birdcage is ready for the real transformation, which I’ll show you next week. Meanwhile, if you want the recipe for the goo, go here. Just remember: Bake, don’t cook.