Flea Market Inspiration + Elbow Grease

I was recently reminded of a flea market find I mentioned back in February. It was a cool old cast iron feeder that had seen better days, but I thought would be perfect for my Mom if spiffed up a bit. Here’s a refresher of what it looked like:

Pretty neat and vintage, but in need of help.

At the time, I hoped the weather would be good enough to do some outdoor derusting and painting so it would be ready by Mother’s Day.

Well, the weather this spring stunk for that kind of work – cold and damp, damp, damp. But there were enough breaks in the weather to get it going. Starting with a wire brush (and yes, even a putty knife for some crusty bits) to get rid of excess rust, I followed up with this lovely black rust converter spray that stops the rusting process and primes the surface for paint.

After using various tools to derust the bird feeder, it received several coats of rust stopper

After using various tools to derust the bird feeder, it received several coats of rust converter.

It’s not much fun to get off your fingers, and the can could use a kinder spray nozzle that didn’t make my finger feel like it was going to have a permanent indentation – but it did provide a nice base on which to paint.


Man, those paint can nozzles can hurt!

At first, I considered a bright yellow because it’s not the same old, same old – and it’s one of my Mom’s favorite colors. But she’s also pretty traditional, so I went with white. I also considered trying to paint the bird, but I know I’m not that good of an artist – especially when the bird is tucked away like it is here. So, it’s just white. So much for creativity.

And it was done in time for Mother’s Day. I wrapped a ribbon around it and carried it into her home that Sunday – she genuinely seemed surprised that it was for her. And she genuinely seemed to like it, though it can be hard to tell for sure – she may have been nice to save my feelings (although Mom has become much more blunt than she used to be).

Voila! Finished bird feeder.

Voila! Finished bird feeder.

This went so smoothly that soon after, I tackled a cute little wrought iron wheelbarrow planter. And that one’s for me (and for a later post)!