Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Enhance and Preserve Manzanita Branches

Fact: Natural red manzanita branches only last for a few months before they begin to darken and peel. 
The good news is that you can lengthen their lifespan and subtly enhance their deep burgundy red tone by spraying a thinned down mixture ofred mahogany stain and mineral spirits with a regular spray bottle. Be generous with your spirits you want it subtle... not gaudy red. Just take note: the chemicals will destroy the plastic spray bottle in a couple of weeks. Ideally you should use a paint or lacquer gun if you have one. Either way, try to spray them lightly and evenly to avoid splatters and drips.

Hang the branches upside down for a few days from the ceiling of a garage, warehouse, or porch after after spraying. This will preserve your natural red manzanita branches and at the same time will lightly stain the grey spots and exposed broken off or cut branches and give the bark a deeper more consistent red tone.\

Ideally we recommend natural red manzanita branches are purchased about two months before your event, and if they appear overcured, treated with at least a light coat of flat natural stain. 

Also consider that sandblasted floral branches last as long as they are not broken and can be resold or reused in months or years to come, so if your hoping to build a little stock of centerpieces you may want to stick with sandblasted and painted ones and order naturals as you need them. 

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