Before and After...
I found this bench in this condition. It still supported my weight when I sat down on it, but it was really depressing to see every day and night when I would come home from work. So, I tried out the three different color spots you see on the 'before' image - because originally I was going to paint the cast iron and the wood. I neither painted the wood nor used any of the three original colors I tested. While I did end up with blue for the cast iron, I chose a darker blue - navy (as the spray can said). Once I painted the cast iron legs and sidings in the navy color, there was no way I could also paint the wood while keeping a beautiful aesthetic. Painted wood would have been nice, and nicer than what I found, but that color of navy blue required stained wood.
Finally, the birds, for which this project is named, was an afterthought suggested by a friend - who casually asked if I'd be painting them realistically. I shuddered under the dread of the thought of painting them. And yet, the idea stuck with me - so much that I eventually was deciding how to paint them in a way that was easy, but also quick. Realizing that the cast iron already had the shape and surface of the birds in relief, I used very shallow, glancing angles from which to spray the three different colors of paint (base, mid with vibrant hue, and light for the birds heads, and tails).
Below are pictures of the process. The birds took roughly five minutes to paint, but 20-30 minutes to mask
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