PAINTING SPOT - Helping our zebra change his stripes

Spot goes to the Day Spa

July 4 & 5, 2010




We think that Spot is jazzed about getting a new coat of stripes but it's hard to tell with those unsettling white eyes of his.

Spot had a little rust from a few small dings he received when the wind knocked him down and re-painting him has long been on our list.  Bob bought the paint in January and we've just been waiting for the right opportunity to tackle the project.  Our three-day fourth of July weekend arrived with temperatures in the 70's and we decided this was the perfect time.

We began Spot's make over by carrying him to the back yard and hosing him down.  That's when we found a large wasp nest anchored to top of the inside of his head where his brain would be if he were a real zebra.  Bob heard the buzzing and sprayed water into Spot's head which sent the wasps flying out of his mouth, an image that will stay with us forever.  We had to find something long and poke out the nest, which fell down into his foot which fortunately is open on the bottom.  After he had dried in the sun, we moved Spot to the back porch and covered him with a coat of primer.  The next day, we gave him a coat of white paint.  By now he was glistening and couldn't stop talking about how good he felt! 




Bob printed out multiple pictures of real zebras from every angle he could find and Camille spent at least two hours drawing the stripes.  Then we started painting them in black. By the time we were finished, we had a total of 28 hours in the project.  We made sure to include the spot! 



This is the photograph from National Geographic which inspired us to name our zebra spot.  Or rather, inspired us to create a cartoon zebra named Spot for a comic strip idea.  We wrote about that and the reason why Spot is the perfect mascot for Trouts Farm here.




We whiled away the hours, paying special attention to each and every stripe.  For some reason, we finished his behind and his face first.  As soon as we painted on his googly eyes, he became real to us again.  We like to think he could see again, too.




We were feeling pretty good about the project until we realized we still had the belly and legs to do.  After three or four hours our backs were really starting to hurt and we'd take a break.  We did this job in two days with an average of seven hours a day. 







We think that Spot looks great with his new, anatomically correct stripes and we feel good knowing he'll be safe from the elements for a few years with his undercoat of primer.  But even more importantly, this project gave us that great feeling that comes from working with someone you love on a project.  Especially one as highly visible as a life-sized zebra in our front yard!

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