Article: The Life of Charlie

Meet Charlie, he’s an everyday papier mache pumpkin that volunteered, or rather was drafted for an interesting experiment.

Charlie’s new job is to test the durability of weatherproof coating on papier mache props and he started his new job today (Saturday, July 10th, 2010).

Charlie was painted with black exterior latex paint and acrylics then sealed with one coat of spar urethane.

To reduce the shine of the urethane he was also sprayed with a coat of clear flat enamel.

Charlie’s tour of duty will end on October 31st, 2010…yup, he’s staying outside until Halloween, that’s 112 days rain or shine.

Charlie will be moving to different locations around our yard during the next couple of months and I will post  updates as to his progress.

Good luck Charlie, you’re a trooper!

The Life Of Charlie Day 17

I really hope Charlie packed his Speedo for the duration of the summer because it’s been hot, humid and wet.

The past couple of weeks have been unseasonably warm with temps in the 90’s and a a lot of pop up thunderstorms.

We have had rain about every other day since Charlie ventured outside and the great news is that the papier mache shows no sign of damage.

The bad news is that this makes for some very boring posts.

The Spar Urethane is repelling the moisture, after getting wet the water beads up on the surface of the pumpkin and the papier mache is staying hard as a rock.

At this point I think Charlie is more in danger of being stolen, vandalized, blown away by the wind or shot with my boy’s Airsoft guns.

To prove the point Charlie (sans Speedo) posed for this picture of him getting soaked with the hose, he’s a trooper that Charlie dude!

The Life of Charlie Day 57

Good old Charlie has been outside braving the elements for 57 days.


Fifty-seven days of rain, wind, heat and humidity.


The Spar Urethane has done the job, there is absolutely no sign of water damage, the papier mache is still rock solid and all is good.


The only problem I noticed was a couple of chips on the bottom of the pumpkin but these are due to the fact that he has been banged around a little as I have moved him from location to location.


Charlie’s new location is in the back yard on our woodpile.


I’m confident the weather won’t be an issue but our back yard is filled with some rather ravenous squirrels.


Good luck Charles!

The Life of Charlie: Day 89

This is the final post of “The Life of Charlie”, the experiment where I put one of my sealed papier mache pumpkins outside to withstand the elements and see how it goes.


The good news is that Charlie survived without a trace of damage due to moisture, this information should give you a little confidence when displaying your hard work outside.


Charlie is still outside, but now he has a little bit of company as he joins 22 other pumpkins for a pre-Halloween display on our front porch.


He’s happy to have some company and even happier that a good coat of Spar Urethane kept him safe and sound.


Thanks Charlie and have a great Halloween!

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