After nearly two years of running her flower cart, Mrs. Mitzi Mouse has decided that her floral business is ready to expand – into a “brick and mortar” location.
“I am so thrilled that my flower business has been successful. I love providing happy colors and aromas for my neighbors’ homes and events,” Mrs. Mouse explained. “And going forward, having a permanent location with some new offerings will be such a wonderful asset. I spend so much time outdoors already tending to my gardens, that I am ready to spend some time inside!”
Mrs. Mouse gave a brief tour of her new store.
“When you come through the door, you’ll be greeted by shelves of potted plants. These are new items for my business. I think my customers will love having long-lasting flora instead of only cut flowers available to them.”
“Over here, I think will be cut flower options – the flowers that have made my business successful over the past couple of years. I need to speak to Mr. Beaver about having some custom shelves built for this area. And of course the bay window provides lots of the natural light my plants need.”
Mrs. Mouse hopes to have her shop filled in the next couple of weeks. “I can’t wait to invite all of my friends and neighbors to my grand opening. We can all use some cheery flowers!”
This project is my second Li’l Woodzeez makeover. (My first was the bakery.) I am so drawn to these toys – they come with so many parts and accessories, and are so affordable. You can see all the fun stuff this comes with on the Li’l Woodzeez website. But I consistently find the color choices for these structures unappealing. I’m sure they are eye-catching to children, to whom the company is trying to appeal. But I prefer a softer, less neon look. As it was, the flower shop was a quite aggressive lime green with pink, orange, and teal accents. Definitely not a soft look!
So I decided that a repaint was in order. I actually think that green is a wonderful color for a floral shop, so I chose a spray paint in a more subtle green. For the spray paint, I used Krylon ColorMaster Paint and Primer mostly because it is easily available in my area, comes in a lot of colors, and is advertised as adhering to plastics. The reviews for this paint aren’t very good, but I have had no problems with it. Granted, I do not apply any sort of top coat, nor is the finished project subject to vigorous play. But I have no complaints about this paint.
To prepare, I taped off the portions of the piece that I actually liked. In this case, I like the brown floor and the tan shelves. For the floor, I first cut a piece of a plastic bag into a rectangle a bit smaller than the floor. I used masking tape to adhere it around the edges. This was so I didn’t have to cover the entire floor in masking tape; I only needed to tape around the edges. I also used masking tape to cover the shelves. This was very finicky work and required a lot of small pieces of tape.
The same taping continued to the front of the building. It’s important to carefully line up the edges of the tape with whatever you are masking – anything that isn’t taped is going to get paint, and anything that is taped will not. So being precise is crucial.
Then it was time to prepare my work area. It is very important to spray paint in a well ventilated area! So I do my spray painting outside. Of course, where I live, this means I can’t paint all year-round (often too cold or too hot) but it is much safer. I put down a plastic trash bag in my yard so I don’t end up painting the grass, and clean up is easier. It is also helpful to have a cardboard box on which to put the item, so you aren’t having to work so close to the ground. I also wear a dust mask and goggles, both to protect my eyes and to keep paint from getting on my glasses. Then it is time to spray! If it is windy, make sure that you aren’t spraying into the wind, or you will be painted! It is better to spray in thin, even coats rather than thick coats because thick coats are likely to drip and won’t dry nicely. Your paint should have instructions on the drying times. With this paint, it says that is dry to the touch within 10 minutes and additional coats should be added within 4 hours. So I think I painted three coats, waiting about 15 minutes between coats. After it looked well- covered, I brought it into my garage to finish drying. Even though after 10 minutes it is dry “to touch” you shouldn’t handle it for at least an hour, and even then, you may put fingerprints on it. So this is another advantage to putting it on a box to spray it – you can move it without touching it! The paint says it takes 24 hours to completely cure, but I found that it still seemed tacky. So I think I let it dry for around 36 hours before I brought it inside for more work.
First order of business was to remove the tape. Then it was time to paint the details – as I had spray-painted almost everything, all the details needed to be added back in. First I painted the dark brown wall behind the shelves. Getting my paintbrush into so many little nooks and crannies was tricky, but I love the end result. Then I added bits of paint to areas that I didn’t want green – the bay window became white, the flowers got painted, the door got a refresh. This is a very detailed and slow process, but it helps the end result look so much nicer. Also, since my displays are almost always of the interiors, I didn’t do too much painting on the exterior, and I did not paint any of the details on the side exterior walls. It’s a lot of work, is difficult to get right, and pretty much never is visible.
To finish it up, I added the wallpaper. I made several preliminary patterns for the main wall because I wanted it to fit nicely around the window frame. I made these preliminary patterns with white copy paper, getting it just right before I cut into my patterned paper. The other challenge for this part of the project was that there were 3-D moldings of some accessories on this wall. Most were quite shallow, but there was one area that was molded quite deeply. In order for the wallpaper to fit flush, the deep molding had to go. So I used a new-to-me tool – a Dremel tool. I used a fairly rough sanding barrel to scrape off the offending molding. It is important to not have your tool going too fast or the plastic won’t be sanded off – it can melt! I am definitely a complete amateur when it comes to this tool, so if you want to learn more about best practices using it, do your research! I applied the wallpaper with some strong double-sided tape, though I’ve been having some issues with it wanting to lift a bit. So I may end up adding some glue at a later time.
As per usual, there are so many more little things I want to add – a flower display rack, maybe some more home-y details on the walls. But I think the lighter green is a big improvement and it is overall more aesthetically pleasing to me. I‘m quite happy with how this “renovation” turned out.