Anyway. I have a lovely artificial tree that was given to me by a friend. When I moved to my current place, I was effectually running away from the trauma of my former life and relationship. This was a new start for me, and the first Christmas here, I did not decorate. A live tree wasn't in my budget and I just let the holiday pass by.
When my friend heard that, she gave me this tree. I've always thought it was symbolic in more ways than one, and I love decorating it every year.
In 2011 (the first year I had the tree), it was a traditional red and green tree
2012 - pink!
2013 - glam silver and white
I've always loved flocked trees. A new tree isn't in my budget, and besides - I love this one. I tried the spray-on snow one year. That stuff is manufactured by Satan, Inc. Ugh - as soon as it dried on the branches, it started flaking off. I guess in that respect, it was pretty authentic, but it was a real nuisance.
One year, I tried the Ivory Snow flakes snow. That was an idea from my childhood - you mix Ivory Soap Flakes (not the liquid) with water, and you whip it like you would DreamWhip (also another thing from my childhood best left there). You then scoop it into your hands and run them along the branches to deposit the "snow". It looks great, but the smell of Ivory Snow for 4 weeks made me insane. It never dissipated and it overpowered every Yankee Candle known to mankind.
So this year, I painted the damned thing. Yep. I painted my Christmas tree.
Here's how I did it:
1. I used Valspar's "Color Radiance" spray paint. I bought mine at Lowe's - it's about $5.00 a can - I bought 4 cans and ended up using about 3.5 cans.
The color is "Azure Snow". It's not white. It's not blue. It's not gray. It's that perfect combination of the three that looks like ... well, snow! It's gloss, but that doesn't matter.
Before I started, I gave some thought as to how real snow falls on real trees. It doesn't cover the trees completely (usually). The undersides get less snow than the tops of the branches.
2. I pulled out the branches (my tree assembles row by row) by row groups and re-shaped the branches as they had been stored in Rubbermaid containers all year.
With the thought of how the snow looks on real trees in mind, I started. I sprayed the underside of the branches lightly. Just long strokes of spray up and down the branches.
I then turned it over and did the same on top. I sprayed a heavier coat on top. Not so heavy that it drips or clumps the "needles" together, but I tried to mimic how snow would look. Don't forget the tips of the branches.
3. I sprayed two rows of branches and just laid them on the grass to dry. It was about 50-55 degrees that day and they dried very quickly.
4. I assembled the first (bottom) row and then brought out the 3rd row of branches and sprayed them. While they were drying, I assembled the 2nd row of branches. I followed this method until all the branches were sprayed. I'd say the entire thing took 3 hours, so there is a bit of time to be invested.
5. As I moved up to the smaller branches, I realized that since these would be higher up the treed, they'd be eye level and above. These branches received a heavier coat on the underside because once they were on the tree and adjusted, they would point upwards a bit and the undersides would be more visible.
This is how a finished branch looks:
It's still green, but it has that hazy, snowy look that I love.
Once the entire tree is assembled, it is a very subtle look. It's not as "in your face" as an actual flocked tree, but I think it's beautiful
Regarding the paint odor - once I assembled the branches, there was a definite spray-paint odor. The weather permitted me to open the house and I kept it open that day. Within 48 hours, the odor was gone. Please keep this in mind if you choose to try this.
My next post will be the fully decorated tree - I'm excited to see how it looks once it's all tarted up ;)
PS - we had real snow for Thanksgiving!