Do you have a broken wind chime? Maybe it's a unique wind chime, and you don't want to throw it out. I will show you how to repair and refresh your broken wind chimes.
Can You Spray Paint Broken Wind Chimes?
Yes, you can! I posted this picture on Facebook as a "teaser" to ask what people thought I was working on. I admit it is sort of misleading.
Locate Broken Wind Chime Parts
But before I can tell you about the project, I must first tell you the back story. I recently hired a tree man to remove the huge stump in the front yard and a tree in the back yard, trim yet another tree and remove some random pine tree branches.
While he was here giving me a price, I mentioned these bushes. They have been here for too many years, and it's time for them to go! If you're a regular around here, you know I've already removed some other bushes in recent years. I was hoping to do those two by the front porch this year. They are so difficult to dig up.
The tree man gave me a reasonable price for taking care of them along with the tree work. He would cut them down with a chainsaw and use the stump remover to get the roots where he could. Oh yeah! Where do I sign?
Note the wind chime hanging on the right and the arrow pointing to "lone tube." After they cut the bushes and removed them, I found one of the tubes of the wind chime. It has eight tubes, but currently, only four are still attached.
These pics aren't exactly from the same angle, but you can see that even after the tree guys did their work (middle picture), I still had much to do to remove all the dirt, debris, ivy, and landscaping tubing. The random side porch used to have a door, but we closed it up years ago. There is still a lot to do in the fall when the weather cools off, but I'm so glad I didn't have to look at those bushes ever again.
In the bottom picture, the arrow on the left is the tree that was removed (the stump remains because it had grown into the fence), and the arrow on the right points to the trimmed tree.
So, on with our story. Now that I found the lone tube, it's time to fix the wind chime.
Broken Wind Chime
Here, you can see the old, broken wind chime. You can also see the area where the stump was removed.
You can see that only ½ of the tubes are still on the broken wind chime. Also, notice how weathered the wood is. Yikes! After I took it down, I saw a bug in one of the holes…. after fighting to get it out, I realized it was one of those great big wood bees! Ewwww, The tubes all had mud inside from some other kind of bug. Ugh!
After taking several pictures of how it was all put together, I removed all of the tubes.
I wiped them down with a cleaning cloth, hosed them off, and left them to dry.
I measured the center string that holds the wind catcher and the clapper. However, I ended up not replacing that string at all. So, this step was not necessary for me after all. Note how gray and weathered the wood is.
Spray Paint Tubes
So, this is where the solar light stake came in. I intended to use it to hold my tubes for spray painting. In theory, it would work great—one problem—gnats! It made the tube too low to the ground.
Plan B. While spray painting, I still used the stakes and plastic tubes to hold onto the wind chime tubes. After painting 2 of the tubes, I noticed that some "pitting" was showing through, and I needed to lightly sand the others to remove it.
After spraying each of the tubes, I placed them into this plastic milk crate so they could dry.
Stain & Refresh Faded Wood
While the tubes were drying, I freshened up the top piece, clapper, and wind catcher with some Minwax Wood Finishing Cloths in Walnut .
What Kind of String Do I Use to Repair Broken Wind Chimes?
This is the waxed thread I used for stringing my wind chimes. I like the way the description tells you how thick the string is. This one is as thick as a dime. I laid a dime alongside the old string, which was exactly as thick as a dime.
Tips For Restringing
I tied the wind chime to my ceiling fan pull chain and got busy. Some brads were in some holes to keep the strings from slipping. Several of the brads were missing. I used toothpicks in their place. After finishing, I simply broke the toothpicks off at the top and the bottom.
When I first thought about doing this project, I googled, and many said they used fishing lines for restringing. I'm happy I used the wax string. I like the way it looks, and it was stiff and very easy to work with, threading easily through the holes in the tubes and the wooden top piece.
I used a very long piece of string/thread, working the first four tubes to the left and then to the right with the next four. I'm unsure why; it just seemed to help balance it better.
You can see these two tubes are the ones I didn't sand the pitting off. The Krylon Dual Superbond is excellent paint, but it's not magic. The pitting really should have been sanded before I painted them. I have checked my other wind chimes, and they all have it. Look how nice the wooden top piece looks after I used the Minwax Finishing Cloths. They really are perfect for a small job like this.
I hung it in a tree so I could take pictures of it. I've since moved it back to the porch. I'm anxious to see if the Krylon paint keeps the tubes from pitting again; I hope it will.
Do you love wind chimes like I do? If you have some that need TLC, don't toss them; spruce them up with paint, stain, and new thread.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.