When I shared my Fall Home Decor the other day I received a few questions about my pretty ironstone collection and I wanted to share the truth, its lies. All lies. They are the result of my DIY Ironstone experiment!
When I first began researching about painting my buffet and hutch white, I kept coming across gorgeously style images of buffets with all this gorgeous white jugs and dishes. A little more research showed it was collections of ironstone and milk glass. I was head over heels in love till I began to look up the cost. Not that the cost was crazy high, some pieces could be picked up for under $10 but a collection? That would be a fortune and take years to accumulate. The buffet and hutch had been painted and I loved the result but it still felt a little naked. I decided to try my luck at the thrift store, maybe by chance there was a goldmine of milk glass and ironstone.
Nope. Not a single piece but there were all sorts of ugly decorative judges from the 60’s-80’s with painted flowers and patterns. For a moment I was feeling cranky because someone had painted them the wrong colours (well wrong colours in my mind) and that was when the lightbulb idea came. What if I just painted them? I paint everything else so why could I not paint some old pitchers? I grab a few and thought if this failed I was out $10 and some time but I felt this diy ironstone project was a real possibility!
At the hardware store I looked up some spray paint that said it would cover glass, debated about the primer but went with only the white colour. Back home, I washed and laid them out on some cardboard outside and began.
In only a few minutes I was feeling dubious, some of the pattern was still showing through the paint. Getting a little impatient I tried a bit thicker and found my first mistake. Too thick and drips appears and on the glass they happened easily. So I did lighter coats on the other side. Meant more patience and time but they did dry rather quick (20 minutes to an hour and that really depended on the humidity). When it was fully dry I took a fine grit sand block and sanded some of the drips off and did that side again. When I would try to put on a second coat too soon, when the previous coat was not quite dry, I would get some crackling. Now I am not sure if this was a mistake or not! I kind of like the crackling in the paint, it felt a bit more vintage!
I had played around with gloss and matter and actually like the slight variances in the finish (it doesn’t look too uniform and like they are all painted). Some pieces only needed 2-3 light coats and others, like the hand painted ones with florals, needed 5-6 lights coats. One pitcher had a pattern that looked like a band around it and when painted looked like one big drip all around but again I don’t mind the result. The can of paint has really lasted too! I was able to do 6-8 pieces with ONE can and still have more left! It has also had my eyes looking for other pieces I can put on the shelf that I previously would have ignored, like the black wire basket! It was originally a bright green with tool painted flowers and for only $2? I grabbed some matte black spray paint my husband had in storage and 2 coats later it is a perfect piece of decor that will be so versatile! it worked beautifully with the diy ironstone collection!
So now my collection of ‘fake’ ironstone is steadily growing at the fraction of the cost! This summer I did find some real milk glass and a few pieces of stone wear that mix and match with the fakes beautifully! Creating a DIY ironstone collection has been a fun ongoing project! Now overtime I have a few minutes in a second hand store I am looking for more pitchers and pieces that could be a great addition my my diy ironstone collection!