July 27, 2012

Faux Lobster Buoys

Another project that I attempted with the homemade chalk paint
I made with stuff I could find at my house is to repaint these
decorative lobster bouys that I found at Hobby Lobby.

I mean, I THINK they are supposed to be lobster bouys but they
are not painted the cute colors that the ones at Pottery Barn are.
They actually remind me of stubby pencils the way they were painted.   I also got the decorative fishing reel and (what I think
are supposed to be) dock scale weights on sale to make a vignette.

I had been watching the price of these items come down till at
last I found them at 80% off.  If I couldn't make them look like
vintage-y lobster bouys, I least I wasn't out much money.

Retrospectively, I don't know why I painted them all
cream color first.  Was I thinking they needed priming? 
Anyway, I used what I had on hand to make some 
 chalk-y paint which was latex paint mixed with
powdered wall texture and water.
 The ratio was:
1 ounce of latex (or craft) paint
1 heaping tablespoon of wall texture
1 tablespoon of water
Update: After I ran out of the powdered wall texture to use as "chalk", I now use plaster of paris
from the craft store. It is a MUCH smaller amount and cheaper than the box of wall texture.
  Then I painted on a couple of brownish colors (same homemade chalk paint recipe) to have wood tones on there when I sanded them down.  Lobster buoys used to be made of wood.  It seems
that the wooden bouys messed up modern boat propellers if they
ran over them so now lobster buoys are made of foam.

The fun part was to add the new decorative colors.  I had "googled"
vintage lobster buoys and saw some good examples to go by.
This shows the approximate ratio of powder to paint.  You can play with the ratio to suit yourself.

I used the Frog Tape from our swag bags at Haven to tape off
sections of the bouys to make decorative designs.

I stayed with the blue and green colors that I had used to paint
objects on my Summer mantle so the colors would co-ordinate.
The larger bouy in the back has had its tape removed and been sanded down to make it look
time-worm.  The smaller ones still are waiting to be finished in this photo.

This is the middle sized bouy sanded...

...and all three of them sanded down to expose layers of color.

Some of my favorite bouys that I saw on the internet had
numbers on them so I added numbers to two of the bouys.

To transfer the numbers onto the bouys I ran a font that I liked
on the computer and cut it out.  Then I scribbled on the back
to make a type of carbon paper to transfer the number.

To transfer the numbers, trace around the outside of the
numbers/letters with a pencil.

The numbers were painted with the homemade chalk paint.
Here is a photo with the chalk paint ingredients before mixing.

You can make the numbers something that is meaningful to
you like a birthday or anniversay.

The lobster bouys I saw on the internet were mostly wooden and
had a hole drilled through the top to add a rope through. 
To mimick the rope look, I just glued the ends of rope to the
 plaster faux bouys and tried to tie them convincingly.

To add a little life to the vignette, I gathered some barely
hanging in there house plants into a driftwood-colored boat
planter that I recently got at Jo Ann's at 75% off.

Since I wanted to keep a rustic look to the bouys, I did not
seal them with a wax or other type of protective finish
but if you use this chalk paint "recipe" for anything that
is going to get "wear and tear", you would probably
want to add a finishing layer.


  1. Oh Miss Kitty--this is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing the homemade chalk paint recipe--I will have to give this a try. I love the finished nautical feel of all the pieces you decorated, and the entire vignette is very nice!

  2. These are just fabulous, Kitty! You are so clever to create your own! They look real!

    I'm delighted that you linked this terrific project to Potpourri Friday at 2805!

  3. They are absolutely perfect!
    You couldn't have done a better job, I love them!

  4. Those are really great- Perfect and they look like the real deal. Hope you have a great weekend- xo Diana

  5. Those are fantastic. They look like real ones.

  6. Hey these turned out great,love 'em.

  7. They did remind me of pencils before. You gave them a great makeover! I love the numbered stencils you added. Such cute details. Thanks again for stopping by my blog.

  8. Those look great! I would have never even picked those up at HL, now I will definitely have to think twice about everything I see there!

  9. Hi ~ so happy I stopped in, this is a wonderful project! Love the vignette you put together and thanks for the step by step!

  10. Hi Miss Kitty,
    I just love this project. The paint colors you choose are perfect and the Bouys complement your living room color scheme perfectly. Thanks for sharing..

  11. Your project feels perfect for summer! Give yourself a huge pat on the back. Well done!

  12. Wow!! They truly do look like vintage pieces. I am so impressed. :)

  13. Love this! I host a weekly party called Seasonal Sundays. I'd love to have you link next Sunday.

    - The Tablescaper

  14. I love your buoys. We live on the coast and have collected numerous buoys (unfortunately not wooden) and my husband has done them in primary colors and have some wooden knock offs I bought at Pier 1. I will use your tutorial more for tips on painting and getting the layered look. Thanks.

  15. I love your buoys. We live on the coast and have collected numerous buoys (unfortunately not wooden) and my husband has done them in primary colors and have some wooden knock offs I bought at Pier 1. I will use your tutorial more for tips on painting and getting the layered look. Thanks.

  16. Hi Gayle! Another great project from you. These turned out wonderful. Have a fun week.

  17. Thank you so much for linking up on homework. I featured you today! Come on by and grab a featured button. http://carolynshomework.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-inspiration-board-link-party.html

  18. These are amazing!! Love the colors you used!

  19. So nice to meet you!
    Both your Pottery Barn candlescapes and your buoys are so great.

  20. Miss Kitty!! You are amazing! You are so creative! And your transformations look perfect!


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