Monday, September 19, 2011

Grandfather Clock Makeover

Today I'm going to show you the clock that Natalie at A Turtle's Life For Me featured when I did the guest post last week on her blog.  

I'm going to walk you through the process of how I took this grandfather clock from dark and nice (I think it is nice -- but I wanted better than nice) to light and fabulous in just a few easy steps.

First of all, the back story of this clock.  It's a little personal so don't feel uncomfortable. :)

Long story short, I have a two year old daughter and I am ready for another baby.  I thought I was pregnant twice just to find out that I wasn't.  The day I got this clock was one of those times.  So I was feeling sorry for myself that day and I thought, "what would make me feel better now?"  Answer: craigslist.  I opened my laptop and started searching.  I typed in "grandfather clock" and  a handful of posts came up.  Most were in the $300+ price range but there was one that was $45 and said it had to be gone STAT.  I asked if the hubs was on board if I got it.  He was.  When I called, I negotiated the price to $30 and we jumped in the car and burned rubber over to her house.  She wasn't there so I paid her mom and loaded it in the car.  Then I started feeling bad because I knew she needed the money more than I did so I took another $5 to her parentals to give to her.

I started the transformation process by removing the hardware and the doors.

Then I took out the pendulum and the drawer.

Next I covered the face of the clock.  Note:  If you do this, make sure whatever you use to cover it isn't porous.  The spray paint will go through.  I'm still banging my head against the wall about another project.

I also put the chains in a grocery bag and taped them out of the way.

Then I started to spray paint.  I used Rustoleum's Heirloom White.  I decided not to sand this for a couple of reasons.  First is that I planned on putting it in a place where it wouldn't get touched often, and second is because I was planning on distressing it so if it got a scratch or two, no biggie.

This is after one can of paint.

Here it is after 2.5 cans.

Next I did the drawer.  I did sand this because it is the biggest flat surface on the front of the clock and I wanted the paint to really stick to it.

I covered the glass for the door.  And yes, I used electrical tape.  We just moved and my painter's tape is in a box somewhere unknown to me.  It's all about improvising, amigos.     

The little pear shaped deal-e-o was not attached so I painted it and hot glued it in place.  I also painted the drawer and the doors and reattached them.  

Then I closed my eyes and prayed that everything worked out as I slowly tore off the cover on the face.  (Notice the painted hands.  Wear gloves!  Or at least don't get a mani beforehand).

Phew!  It worked!

Next I took a very fine grit sand paper and distressed along the sides and around the edges.  

It's a little hard to see in the picture but here it is all distressed.  I may do some more but I didn't want to over do it at first (like a short hair cut -- you know what I'm talking about).  

Here it is all at home in it's place in our dining nook.  I love it!  I almost forgot to replace the pendulum but ha!, it needs that to function.  I replaced it and now I feel like I'm in Europe every time it dongs it's low-pitched dong.  

If you're thinking about doing a grandfather clock, I highly recommend it.  It's really easy and the results are phenomenal (my opinion, obviously).  

Love, Kelli

Linking up at these parties.
PhotobucketBunny Jeans Decor and More - The Bunny Hop


  1. Thanks for posting this! I can't wait to get mine, thought it might be a while since it's about 14 hours away. It looks stunning!

  2. I love it. It looks SO good. I'd be so scared to redo a G-pa clock... just, because... well, I don't know. But yours looks AWESOME! And it fits so NICELY in that room :)

  3. That is really cool! We have a cedar chest that I don't want to use as storage, because I can't stand that everything smells, well, like cedar. but I thought of doing a makeover on it, what do you?

  4. The gold detail pops so much more with the color you painted it! It looks amazing!

  5. I would never in a million years have thought to refinish a grandfather clock. Yours is an amazing transformation!

    (And I love it when there is a back story, too.)

  6. looks fabulous. Thanks so much for linking up to my Sizzle into Summer party.

  7. So fun! It looks a little more magical in white. I think I need to go check Craig's list.

  8. are inspiring! I love that you painted this clock. Really, really great. Lisa~

  9. that is so pretty! what delicate work- it looks amazing!

  10. Amazing transformation! It looks so fresh and pretty with its new paint. Great job.

  11. Wow I think I was meant to find this post! I have a clock almost exactly like this one, no joke, except the top design is different. Everything is exactly the same and you have totally inspired me! Thank you for sharing!!

  12. This looks so great -- love it!


  13. I have dreamed of doing this to a family grandfather clock. I just don't think my mom would go for it, though :(

  14. It really looks wonderful! I like the color you chose and the distressing. (And of course, the price was just crazy!) Great job!

  15. Wow! We've had a grandfather clock for years that my parents gave us and it's just really not me. I've never thought of painting it! Honestly, I'd paint anything and it never dawned on me to paint that clock. So THANK YOU for the inspiration! Now if I can jst get passed what my Dad might say! LOL!

  16. Oh my gosh, I love it! You did such a beautiful job!

  17. Love Love Love! I have one of these, and it is an eye sore. But after seeing this, I am ready to paint! Thanks for the step by step instructions!

  18. Oh wow! I am beyond impressed by this transformation! It looks absolutely gorgeous and I admire your courage in taking on the challenge of giving that new life. :-) Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  19. I'm so glad to see this. I have a clock very similar to yours that I've been want to paint white and every time I mention to someone they gasp in horror! It looks great in my head and now that I've seen yours I do believe I'll jump in and do it!

  20. Not only does your clock look amazing but I am super impressed that you got it at that price. Now you know me, I would have done it all patterned or in some bright color but yours will be much more appealing to most people. :0 Thanks so much for sharing it on Motivated Monday at Becolorful

  21. Turns out just darling~I love your clock makeover! It looks wonderful in white!! Thanks for sharing this at Feathered Nest Friday!

  22. I would never in a million years have thought to refinish a grandfather clock. Yours is an amazing transformation! I have same clock which was gifted by my grandfather.
    r4 card

  23. That is just spectacular! I would have thought it would be a hard piece to refinish but you made it look easy! I have a small grandfather clock in my basement, still wrapped up from when we moved 7 years ago. Maybe if weather ever permits this fall I'll refinish it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  24. Having collected g'father clocks over the years, I gasped when I saw you were changing it up. However, since it wasn't a family piece (well not in your family anyways) I totally understand you changing it up.
    It really turned out fabulous!
    ps glad you took her some more $$$ cause it was a really good deal!

  25. What a terrific job you did on the clock and you got it at such a thrifty price!

    Thank you for linking to Potpourri Friday. I appreciated your participation. Sorry I'm so tardy in commenting, but I've been away for the past four days. Hope to see you again this week!

  26. You did a great job! It looks gorgeous in your dining area. It looks so much like mine that I just did a makeover on a few weeks ago =] I think they are even the same manufacturer! I am jealous though that yours has a drawer on the bottom mine dose not.

  27. Really pretty! I love it that color! Great makeover. Thank you for linking it up with Home Sweet Home!

  28. You got that WORKING clock for that price?! What a deal! I love the finished look.

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful clock at my party!

    xoxo Bunny Jean
    Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

  29. Totally terrific transformation, Kelli! It's so much prettier with your makeover magic. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Hope to see you this week, as well.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  30. We received a very similar looking Ethan Allen clock for a wedding gift almost 10 years ago, it was an estate sale find. Somewhere in between purchase and transport to our house, something internal broke.

    It's been sitting in our garage for the past six months... I am SO very tempted to get it out and PAINT IT RED! Great inspiration! :)

    Following you back... Anna @ Lawrence Girls

  31. How come the pendulum and clock face look silver in the last photo and gold in the previous photos? Did you do something to change the color of the hardware?

    1. Oh, I edited the photo with sepia. It is gold.

    2. My husband walked in tonigt and had with him a clock exactly like this! Immediately I had to see how to update it, and was so thankful for your blog Ü I too was loving the silver face with the white and hoped you had a tip. Thank you for the post!!

  32. Wow, Kelli

    Thanks so much for the inspiration! I found you because I was googling/searching Pinterest for painted pianos. But now I have this idea too. My husband has his grandmother's clock but it's so dark and formal looking and our house is so eclectic. Painting it would make it fit into our style and make him so happy.


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