One of the most unique surfaces you can paint on are ostrich eggs. Yes, ostrich eggs!
Of course, first you need to prepare the egg – make a hole at the bottom end of the egg where there is a “soft spot”, empty the contents, clean the insides, dry, then seal the opening. You guessed it – not easy and certainly, not everyone will be successful in this endeavour or even wants to go through the trouble of doing all this!
Me? I’ve never done it although I was tempted once when I saw fresh ostrich eggs in a supermarket here. Its easier to buy ostrich eggs which have already been emptied and cleaned, sometimes even the hole has been sealed. This is what most people who want to paint ostrich eggs do. If you have access to fresh ostrich eggs and want to have a go at emptying one, I found a site here.
The first time I ever painted an ostrich egg was at a workshop with Vicki Nicholson in Kuala Lumpur almost 10 years ago. We painted her signature pastel roses.
It was quite an experience painting on the egg (and learning her roses of course!) I went on to paint a few more eggs with roses for a Christmas Bazaar here and they were grabbed in an instant!
I usually varnish ostrich eggs using a high gloss varnish because it looks like a high quality porcelain egg when finished.
Its a great conversation piece once its sitting on an ornate egg stand in your living room.
If you already have an ostrich egg ready for painting, you only need to basecoat the egg and you should do this at least a week ahead so that the paint is properly cured.
I use a shortcut to basecoat ostrich eggs by mixing Jo Sonja’s All Purpose Sealer with my paint in equal parts. I do three coats, no sanding required. You need to paint one side of the egg at a time, set it down to dry, then paint the other side.
So take your time and try and enjoy it because its worth the effort.
Note: If you are using the hairdryer to fast-dry your basecoat, DO NOT use the hot air selection. Make sure you use the “cool” selection.
Do you always have to paint roses on ostrich eggs? Of course not. We paint all sorts of things on ostrich eggs at my Studio. Today I had a class where we started painting a landscape on an ostrich egg and I think the finished product will be quite pretty.