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I Put a Bird on it

I found this ceramic seagull thrifting, with Gemma, for $2.99.  Seagulls are actually my favorite bird, so I thought about keeping it au naturel (especially after I cleaned it).  But then I decided it just wasn’t pretty enough and so it got a coat of matte white spray paint.

I used Tremclad Flat White and applied multiple thin coats.  I considered bright turquoise or silver, but thought a white bird would create a lovely, textural element against our white walls.  I kind of have a thing for white ceramics (not necessarily animals, although animals will do in small doses). 

Here’s the bird with his new white feathers:

I even painted the small finishing nails white:

I found the perfect spot, too: above our coat hook is a blank spot that is too high for art to be hung.  But when our coat hook isn’t in use, it’s kind of a lonely space.  But a funky white bird added a little bit of something. It’s barely there, but the wall is much less blank (and it doesn’t compete with the postcard art, framed Hungarian embroidery, or gift card display, which are all white, white, white). 

Here is out stealthy coat hook in action.  The hooks flip down:



  1. Nicole
    June 13, 2012 / 2:33 pm

    I'm kind of in love with those coat hooks… where did you find them?One of my favorite things about your blog is the re-purposing of things, such as a thrifted seagull. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 2:48 pm

      Hi Nicole,Thanks for your kind comment! You really made my day :)The coat rack is by Umbra. I bought it more than 5 years ago, at a local shop, but I've seen an almost identical version at Coscto recently (but you have to buy two, I think, lol).I also found them at (They come in different finishes, too).I think it's called a "Flip Hook Coat Rack". Hope that helps!!

  2. modern jane
    June 13, 2012 / 3:00 pm

    I actually really really like it Tanya! Good call on that one! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 4:59 pm


  3. Jeanette @ This Dusty House
    June 13, 2012 / 3:22 pm

    When I first saw it, I wasn't so sure… it didn't seem to have enough contrast with the white wall. And then, you showed it from a couple more angles, then with coats… I think it's 'barely there' nature is perfect. I love it. Will you add anything else to that part of the wall or leave it simple?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 4:59 pm

      Aha! A convert, lol. When you're actually in the space, there's a lot going on: the cards, the artwork going up the hall, the embroidery, and then the art-packed half bath is right there. You can see a lot at once in the elusive third dimension. In real life, it's much "fuller". Photos always make my place seem a little more spartan. So, for now, I like how simple it is. But you never know! I'm always fiddling with things.

  4. Beth
    June 13, 2012 / 3:48 pm

    I love your taste, Tanya. So serene and clean. I might have to steal this idea.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 5:01 pm

      Aww, thanks! I actually spied more of these at a church rummage sale recently. So I highly recommend trolling some yard sales and church sales for similar versions. And this is much less expensive than buying something similar at a home decor store. I love a bargain!

  5. EJ @ Not A House, But A Home
    June 13, 2012 / 3:58 pm

    I really like that you chose to use a flat white paint. Looks great!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 5:01 pm

      Thanks! So happy you like it. I actually used some leftover paint from a yet-to-be-revealed project, so I like that I didn't need to spring for more paint!

  6. Hannah
    June 13, 2012 / 4:35 pm

    Ooooh I actually have 3 little ceramic birds that are a baby pink and I've been debating what color to paint them. I LOVE that you made them the same color as the wall so that you almost have to look a little harder to notice them. Gets my wheels turning 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 5:02 pm

      Oh, cool – I love that you have three! Such a sweet grouping. Can't wait to see if you paint them and what colour you choose. (Although pink sounds really pretty!)

  7. Christine
    June 13, 2012 / 6:00 pm

    I love where you hung it! I think it's the perfect spot! Good find!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 11:22 pm


    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 11:20 pm

      Ha ha! 100% a Portlandia reference! Did you even notice that wall there before I put a bird on it? Lol.

  8. Designwali
    June 13, 2012 / 6:37 pm

    looks fantastic…you are so talented!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 11:21 pm

      You are too kind. This is a high compliment from a woman as stylish as you!!

  9. Dana@Mid2Mod
    June 13, 2012 / 11:38 pm

    Love the bird! I'm definitely buying that coat rack for my new digs. (I'm tired of the upkeep on my house, so Jenn and Joe are taking it over, and we're turning my workshop out back into a swanky new apartment for me…with a full kitchen and full bath and its own patio. Our biggest project to date…I'm excited!)

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 13, 2012 / 11:52 pm

      WOW! What a fabulous idea, and how sweet that you will all be so close!! I can only imagine how gorgeous your new space will be. I can't wait to see what you do!!

  10. Lets just build a house!
    June 14, 2012 / 12:12 am

    That birdy looks even better now and I love where you put it!

  11. gemma@thesweetestdigs
    June 14, 2012 / 2:45 am

    Yay!!! Love this little guy. Nice work 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 14, 2012 / 3:36 am

      Thanks, Gemma! So happy we hit the Goodwill that day 🙂

  12. Kelly @ JAX does design
    June 14, 2012 / 12:45 pm

    First of all, that's the PERFECT spot for your bird – it looks like he's coming in for a landing on your coat rack 🙂 And second, he looks soooooooo much better in his new white outfit 🙂 Spray paint – a DIYer's best friend!

  13. How2home
    June 15, 2012 / 2:12 am

    this looks awesome! anything with a good coat of spray paint can look phenomenal! How many coat of spray paint did you apply?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 15, 2012 / 3:22 am

      Great question!! I sprayed many, thin coats. I think about 8 or so mistings. A couple extra hits of paint around the wing tips. The bird would have needed less, except for the black accents which increased the need for paint. Plus, I use super, super thin coats for a really even finish. I used leftover spray paint from another DIY project (yet to be revealed).

  14. Lesley at Fabulously Flawed
    June 15, 2012 / 5:44 am

    Fantastic! I would love to paint everything, ever…white. Almost everything looks better white. And this bird is absolutely lovely!

  15. erica | wicked bride
    June 19, 2012 / 5:07 pm

    Love, love, love this!

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