I’ve been working on this project since last Wednesday or Thursday. Well, off and on. I took a break over the weekend so Zach and I could visit our parents. Otherwise, I’ve been doing nothing but painting and watching Supernatural in between coats.
The idea was snagged from this post at Lacy White. I love that sign. And, oddly, my bathroom is decorated in the same overall color scheme–blue and yellow (not for WVU–I may live here, but that does not make me a fan…I just love how sunny the colors are together).
My only problem? I didn’t want to have to nail holes in the wall for each letter. So I decided to add something. While I love the look of her letters against the wall, I had to attach each word to a background. That way, I would only have three holes in my wall. (I’ve tried those Command Hanging Strips that advertise damage-free hanging. It’s supposed to be strong, but easy to peel off when you’re done with it. It also peels the paint right off my walls. Yeah, my landlady is going to love that.) Here’s how it came out:
It was an easy project, but time-consuming. I worked for about 12-14 hours a day (I’m serious) for three days. Most of that was waiting on it to dry, of course. It would have gone much more quickly if I’d had a bigger space and more paint brushes. With what I have, I could only work on one or two pieces at a time. So worth it, though.
What you’ll need:
- letters (of course)
- wooden planks
- 4+ different colors of paint
- paint brushes
- mod podge (or something to use as sealant)
- hot glue
- wood glue
- hanging hooks
Step 01: I didn’t prime anything. I just started painting. I had three wooden planks. I gave two of them a base coat of Beachcomber Beige and one of them Vanilla Ice Cream.
Those are the Beachcomber Beige.
Step 02: Once that dried, I very lightly dipped my brush in the opposite color. If I painted with Beachcomber Beige, I used Vanilla Ice Cream for this step and vice versa. And then I, again very lightly, brushed the tops of the planks to achieve a sand-worn look.
Those are the Beachcomber Beige with the Vanilla Ice Cream on top.
Step 03: I coated those in Mod Podge (no, I have not had issues with my Mod Podge yellowing–I have had things in my apartment for years that have Mod Podge over them and they have not yellowed…I use the matte finish, FYI). Let them dry and set them aside to start painting letters. This is what took so long.
For a lot of the letters, I started with a base-coat. For this one, it was Vanilla Ice Cream. And then I painted over that with black. I took sandpaper to the edges to give it a defined outline and then I covered it in Mod Podge to seal.
With others, I took sandpaper to the whole thing to make it look worn.
Some, I left alone, dipped a detachable eraser in paint, and then stamped little circles around the letters.
If I wanted to achieve a worn look, but I was using a lighter paint color (like yellow), I would put yellow down as the base coat and then trace the edges in Pewter Grey, and run my finger across it to smudge. I also dipped my finger in the paint, rubbed it against my thumb, and ran my finger across the letter. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done.
The white letters with glitter on top were left alone. All I did was put a layer of Mod Podge on top to keep the glitter from rubbing off. Those were easy. But, yes, those letters came like that.
Step 04: Once the letters were finished, I laid them on the wooden planks to figure out how to get them all to fit nicely. Once I had it figured out, I took a pencil and lightly traced the outlines of each letter. That way, I could lay down the wood glue and put the letter back exactly where I wanted it.
Step 05: I put down the wood glue and used a paint brush to spread it out. Then I set the letters down in their places and laid stuff on top of them for 10-15 minutes while the glue started to set. (Some of the letters, particularly the curly ones, wanted to pop up out of the paint in places. You don’t need anything special to hold them down. I used a glass, my phone, the TV remote. Whatever was handy.)
Step 06: Once the wood glue had dried, I flipped the sign over, plugged in my hot glue gun, and glued a hook to the back. Hopefully that stays….
There is glue underneath it and on top of it. If I had a drill, I would have just screwed them in before gluing the letters on.
Note: One thing I didn’t consider while doing this was the fact that some of my letters are different sizes and materials. Therefore, they are also different weights. So on the one that said “Your,” I had to put a hook behind the “R” because it was really heavy on that side. Keep that in mind if you do this.
Step 07: When I’m hanging something up, I like to let the hot glue harden for 12-24 hours. Just to be sure. And then I hung it on the wall! 😀
The light in my bathroom is weird.
The blues in this picture look much more…saturated than they are in real life. But that’s the general idea. I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. 😀