In July, our family committed to re-painting the subdivision signs. My husband and daughter carried one sign to our garage, so we could work in a protected space.
After driving by the subdivision signs for over 14 years, I suddenly realized that the apple stands in for the “O” in “Orchard.”
While rain poured outside our garage on the Fourth of July, we scraped and wire-brushed the metal sign, readying it for fresh paint. Mystery solved: underneath the small red apples, the original color of the trees revealed nature’s green instead of faded teal.
The scraping experience reminded me of Peter’s fishing story in Luke 5:1-11: “Master, I’ve worked hard …” I scraped the brown trunks off easily but the trees frustrated me. I brought my husband out to see the work in progress.
“Deep water”: I used the scraper angle side up; my husband flipped the scraper angle side down, and with the different angle and stronger wrist movement, the green began to slip off.
The black lettering was the only surviving appliqué in fair shape. We used black paint to freshen fades and cover torn corners. The apple had melded with the metal, so we chose to paint over the appliqué.
I had Valspar® paint swatches chosen from Lowe’s but found few options smaller than a quart. Home Depot had exterior paint available in a small sample size. I re-chose Behr® swatches, and panicked as the clerk opened the Red Red Wine sample to show a chalky red mix. As the dot dried to a deep red on the lid, I relaxed. I chose a quart each of flat black and white Rust-oleum® Painter’s Touch® Ultra Cover Premium Latex Paint. I also brought home a craft paintbrush set from our local grocery store. This included a tiny angled brush that was a lifesaver for the lettering.
Five days later, painting complete, we hung the west sign. That evening, after viewing the east sign, we realized the original inside of the “D” on the west sign was green, but it had eroded over the years. The next day, we painted the west inside “D” green, added one apple and clear coated it.
The east sign showed worse condition, but the process moved faster from experience. On the west sign, I spray painted a clear protective coat. This left a faint white film in a few spots—disappointing after so much effort. For the east sign, I brushed on a clear coat—no white film!
Our daughter contracted to paint the trees. On both signs, my husband, daughter and I painted apples on the trees.
The signs hang via a hidden metal bracket screwed into the stone wall. Two top screws attach the sign to the bracket.
Project complete. Hoping time will be kind, but for now, a fresh, clean sign announces our subdivision amidst blooming lilies and crepe myrtle.