What better way to jump into the realm of Hallowe'en stereotyping than to go on a painting spree, subjecting anything that will sit still and allow a coat and a matte top coat to be turned into a wonderfully "Spooky Chic" and somewhat antique-ish decoration for the holiday. Ikea, World Market, Pier One and Crate and Barrel can't be the only ones to capitalize on the monochromatic appeal of black. However, in our case, the cost will be substantially lower.
Here's what you do: As mentioned in prior posts, tag/yard/estate/garage sales and thrift stores are phenomenal places for finding odds and ends to be used for your Victorianesque Haunted home. The best part is if it is wood, it should hold paint, store well and be reusable each year, if not left out as part of the year-round decor, depending on your individual tastes. So hit the sales and if you find black items you like, go for it. If you find wooden items such as candle sticks, platters, serving trays, picture frames, end tables (you get the picture) that appear to be perfect for your Victorianesque look, fret not if they are some finish other than black.
Keep in mind that finished pieces, those with a varnish or other paint, on them will need to be stripped and treated before they can be painted, but in the end, will be well worth the effort. Stripping (stifle the snickers and giggles) is quite easy and your neighborhood home improvement store employee will be able to help you find the right solvent and tools, as well as giving you a quick course in How To.
Now if you are fortunate enough to find pieces that are UNfinished, then painting is all that is needed, along with a simple application of a matte (non-shiny) sealant coat to protect your piece and maintain it's "old" look. For the more advanced crafter, I'm sure you all have a lot of ideas for specialty finishes such as crackle, peel and strategic wear. DIY sites like BHG and Martha Stewart as well as YouTube house countless videos on how to give your wooden bits a special kind of appearance.
A particularly fun and easy project involves small wooden picket garden fences, the miniature kind found in garden shops and used around flower beds rather than yards. These are amazingly easy to paint, and work perfectly for your graveyard and haunted garden decor.
As much as a lot of this probably seems very obvious to the Goth and Hallowe'en-minded, I think a lot of us overlook countless possibilities when it comes to the brilliance of a good noir paintjob. Basic Black is for far more than little dresses and hipster decor. Flat black on wood gives a sense of history and wear, and adds the perfect classy foundational appearance to everything else you do.
Have fun with the paints, spray, brush or dip..it's your party. I am off to see what unfinished goodies I have hidden in a back closet that could use a touch-up or redo. Oh, and to work on the next blog post for your Victorianesque Hallowe'en.