DE DIY: Repurposing An Old Breyer
I have seen tons of repainted and re-purposed Breyers on Etsy and I love them. I wanted to do one of my own.
I wanted this Breyer to have a more sophisticated look and give the appearance of being porcelain. I started with a roughed up model I bought at a vintage store for $15. This model had some work done to it previously that was pretty unexplainable. Someone had tried to cover up scuff marks by putting a tinted shiny but sheer paint on those spots. I ran into some trouble trying to paint over those spots, which you can see in the photos.
Step 1. Gather supplies.
Gather up a model of your choice, some fine grain sand paper (the finest you can find), a glossy finish white spray paint/primer combo and some newspaper or cardboard to protect your spraying surface.
Step 2. Sand the model
It’s pretty important that you do this outside. Did I mention…do this outside. It created quite a bit of dust from both old paint and old resin. It will make a mess and you don’t want to be breathing it in. Sand until you can’t sand anymore! Really…sand until you get all of the “shiny bits” off of the model. There can still be some paint left. You don’t want to sand too much or you’ll lose the sculptural details in the model. This is where I failed. I didn’t sand enough. I didn’t get all of the weird patch up paint off and that caused me some problems in the painting phase.
Step 3. Spray!
Again, please do this outside in a well ventilated area. This is really more like 30 steps. You want to very lightly coat the model with spray paint (you may be tempted to just spray and spray until the whole thing is white…but you’ll end up with drips and cracks…trust me…I got hasty a couple of times and my model is not perfect). Spray from a good distance (check what the can tells you…usually about 1 foot). Let it dry. Then re-coat it again. Do this over and over again until the finish is what you desire. Don’t forget to lay the horse on it’s side or hold it upside down and spray up on the belly. As you can see in several of our photos, I have some red bleeding through in a few areas on the paint. This is not from the original Breyer finish, but the crappy touch ups someone did in the past. Whatever they used was not reacting well with the spray paint and it took me MANY more coats than it should have to get the model white and seemed to cause some paint cracking as well. I would recommend not doing this on a model that has been doctored up like mine had. As you can see in the 5th picture I had gotten a really lovely finish. Very smooth and shiny and lovely. I would have stopped there if not for the red still managing to bleed through. I had to spray several more coats on this to get that red really covered up, but by doing this I lost the beautiful perfect finish.
Step 4. Let it dry. REALLY dry.
Spray paint dries to touch fairly quickly, but it takes at least 24 hours to dry hard. Make sure it’s super dry before you set it on any of your gorgeous furniture.
Step 5. Find the perfect place to showcase your new art piece in your home.