Faux-Iron Painted Bust

I’ve long been a fan of using classical busts in decor. Remember this oldie from Blueprint?

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My favorite place to use busts is in a bathroom or a bedroom, for jewelry and accessory storage. How cool does this side table in Lulu Powers’ home look with the bust styled with her dad’s old hat? Love.

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I wanted to use a bust in my little vanity area and I stumbled across this one at Homegoods for about $7. The size and subject were perfect (her hair!), but the antiqued resin finish wasn’t what I was after.

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A few weeks before I had purchased some of this iron faux finish at Michaels, just on a whim (they had a few in the clearance section for $2 – how could I resist?). I’ve seen this paint line carried at hardware stores too and they have tons of cool finishes. Their gold is pretty good.
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I was a little nervous, brushing on the first coat. The paint is super watery and just sort of looked like cheap black paint.
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But I forged ahead and two coats later I was left with a really cool, chalky charcoal gray that actually looked quite a bit like iron.
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The girls helped me paint the bust and decided to name her Betty, so that’s good? I pulled out Beethoven from my stash to give Betty a little company.


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It’s nice to have a place to toss a necklace down at the end of the day when I’m feeling too lazy to find its spot on the hanging rack (yes, I’m that lazy).

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  1. You are probably the least lazy person currently on the planet!

  2. Ashley

    Here's what I've learned after reading your blog faithfully for the last few years: your mind must always be working. Most people wouldn't give that bust a second look, but you see potential in almost everything.

    The bust looks fantastic!

  3. Love it! I have a large one that I picked up at HG but it's still just the white plaster finish. I bet it would look great with this finish!

  4. I like how she is looking down at Beethoven.

    What a great idea for necklace storage. The "iron" background provides a nice backdrop for necklaces and they certainly won't get tangled here!

  5. Em

    I am obsessed with the necklace she's wearing. Is it vintage?

  6. Sarah

    I want to know more about your necklace hanging rack! Where is it from?

  7. This looks terrific! I love the Beethoven one too. My piano teacher used to give out different composers' busts as awards, so I have a few of them too. I'll have to think of using them this way!

  8. This looks terrific! I love the Beethoven one too. My piano teacher used to give out different composers' busts as awards, so I have a few of them too. I'll have to think of using them this way!

  9. Seriously. You are anything but lazy. You put regular humans to shame.

  10. I have this very same bust in my bedroom. Love the black.

    Im told she is the goddess of fertility so you beter watch out :)

  11. It's the goddess Diana, goddess of the moon and of hunting, patroness of unmarried young men and women. She had some association with fertility in the east (for example, the temple of Artemis at Ephesus), but not for the Romans.

  12. I have a larger resin cast bust I picked up years ago from Home Goods tucked away in a box… always knew it would be pulled out and put to use again. Now I have a reason! Another great idea Jenny.

  13. I've never seen that paint before, it really does look like iron. Your jewelry collection is amazing!

  14. I've been seeing busts a lot recently and I after seeing this post, I know I have to find one! Such a great idea to look at Homegoods and re-paint one. I spy a weekend project on my horizon!!


  15. I'm so glad to know how you did this! Betty is perfect. :) Can I ask where you found that stone "hand"? I love it so much.

  16. I just love this! The color turned out gorgeous. I have been on a lookout for a bust as well. You are like the 10th person who found one at Homegoods!!

    Jennifer @decoratingdelirium.com

  17. She is beautiful and more so because of her name.Love your blog, read it every time you are on. Betty from Ontario Canada

  18. Jenny, enough of this. Post about your new sofa. I'm dying over it! Who is the maker? Why is it so gorgeous?? Did the previous owner reupholster it gorgeous and then lose their mind to Craigslist it?

  19. You said "every day this week," so now I'm nervous about your health. I hope all is well, and I'm so inspired by your doings. XOX

  20. I don't think I could love this wardrobe any more. Every time I see it, it makes me so happy. We're moving this month and I'm hoping I'll give this a try in our new place. Thanks as always for the great inspiration!!! :)

  21. I want one of these so bad in what I call my "Hollywood Bedroom" it's so glam! BTW I'm a huge fan of your work <3

  22. Kelsey

    Wow, that turned out great! I love the finish you chose… and using it hold a necklace is so cute!

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