Fun & Simple Yard Art "TUT"



Yard Art is a totally different ball game than most airbrush projects.
Most of what you have learned or practiced for a high detailed projects will be opposite to achieve a nice yard art display.
Here I will posts some Pros & Cons to make you sucessfull at it if you choose to go into that area of the market.
What you want to achieve is the most cost efficient product that will last. Here I will help you accomplish this goal.

All yard art should be treated as if it were a live yard plant.
I always advise customers that intend to display one all year to place the display in an area where it will obtain
some relief from the direct sunlight.
Yes, it can be in direct sunlight more if you use the more costly eurothanes & charge an arm & a leg for it,
but here we will deal with a great product using water-bourne paints.

Some material info:
The most important step to a long lasting Yard Art display is the PRIMER.
Any type of wood can be sucessfull if the primer used will keep the moisture out.
Over the years I developed this system that proved 'tired & true' by never having a display returned for replacement due to poor wormanship.
The 2 best primer options are:
1) White oil based parking stripe paint. ( this is normally sold in bulk & a lil' costly)
2) white elastomeric... average here in my area is $22 a gal, but the gal. will cover 12-18 sheets of 4x8 front & back 2 coats.
Both of the above form a rubberized type primer for the product.

There is a big difference in the yard art that is displayed "year round" & "holiday/occcasional" yard art.
Year round displays will need to endure long periods of weather so place much more attention to the cut edges to prevent
moisture. After the display is cut of the "year round" go back over edges with the primer. That step can be omitted in the Occasional,
but insure in the final phase the clear coat has covered the edges wellof the "occasional" displays.

Here I use the craft Acrylics found at Walmart or Craft stores. (Apple Barrel, Americana etc)
Average costs 88 cents -$ 1.28 per 4 oz. bottle. In order to make it usable in the airbrush I remove
1/4 amount from a new bottle & spray back in some "Fantastic". Sorry to say here I cannot tell you an exact ratio,
but as many say make it the consistancy of milk.
For my shading I use various paints like Createx,Dr. Martins, & recently added Spectra-Tex for this phase.

I have just recently started incorperating shields into my works. For that I raided my kitchen. Yes, butter knives,
pizza cutter. Also use old vinyl cutter pads I have cut to suit me.

This project will be a simple Christmas display painted on 1/4in. plywood.
Since I am no artist I project my pattern onto the project outlining with a pencil.

Being a small project I can cut the pattern using Blade Runner saw & catching some hard to reach areas with my scroll saw.
In the photo: Prior to the edge cutting I place some cuts that allow the scrap to fall away as I cut. This helps to trim the project down
& continue to fit within the capabilities of the Blade Runner or scroll I am using on this project.

I use a house trim gun I purchase for less than 30 dollars.
I have altered the spray head by placing a super glued toothpick in the side holes enabling me to shoot finer spray yet cover braod areas fast.
Spray all background colors & don't worry here how much overspray you get as you will come back & knock that out in next phase.
Ready for shading & personality to be added.

Clear coat the project. I suggest to always use Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Clear Gloss.I have found it to be
the MOST reliable for durability over time. For the smaller projects the rattle can Helmsman is great & keeps the costs of the projects down.
If you do several... grab a roller & use the qt/gal etc.

Now the project is complete drill holes for hangable or add PVC pipe w/nuts & bolts. (always use a washer)

This project has taken approx. an hr from start to finish with a material cost of approx. 5-8 dollars.
Even in this low maket times.... in a small town it will sell 25-30 dollars & in large metro areas as much as 65-70 dollars.
Keep it low cost..Keep it durable..Keep it cute & it Will sell.
Have fun.... hope you enjoyed this :)


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I have done a few like this but it was years ago. Never thought about usin an airbrush on one lol!! May have to give it another crack at it. Thanks for the tut and it looks great!!