Hello, and happy Monday! I actually finished a project this weekend–Project #3, the Hand-Painted Family Name Sign!! Again, let’s take a look back at the “roadmap” for the completion of my eating area:
If you’ll remember, I finished Project #1, the Chalkboard Basket Tags, a couple of weeks ago. So this weekend, I decided to tackle Project #3, the Hand-Painted Family Name Sign. I had already started on it a bit here, so if you missed that, you can take a look back and see what inspired this project, and how I came up with this design.
Oh, what an adventure this one was! It was time-consuming and tedious, and the more I worked on it, the more disappointed I became. I mean, this little sign was teetering on the brink of destruction, almost assuredly destined for the big landfill in the sky. And then, at the last minute…a miracle!! But more on that in a bit.
First, let me just go ahead and show you the finished product. I’ll warn you, I took about a bazillion pictures of it when it was finished because I was just so darn excited that I actually pulled it off. After being frustrated for about two hours, and being tempted to hurl the thing through a window more than once, I was shocked and stunned to actually end up with something that I’d be proud to hang on my wall. So…yeah…lots of pictures ahead.
It still brings a huge smile to my face. Shocked and stunned. I’m just shocked and stunned.
Okay, let me show you how I did it, and then I’ll have many more pictures at the end of this post.
1. I initially bought lumber from Home Depot to make this sign–a 1″ x 10″ for the top part, and a 1″ x 3″ for the small section. However, when I got home, I realized that I have SOOOO MANY pieces of leftover MDF from various projects, so I returned the lumber and used MDF. After all, I wanted this to be a really cheap project. So, using my hand held circular saw, I cut pieces of MDF to the desired sizes.
2. Next, I painted two coats of primer on the MDF.
3. And then I used one coat of the base color. I just used some leftover wall paint in a satin finish.
4. Next, I took my sign lettering that was printed out from my computer, and taped the sections together (since my sign is large, it printed out on several sheets of paper that I pieced together with clear packing tape). I then cut away all of the extra blank paper around the edges of the lettering.
5. Using a #2 pencil, I “colored” the back side of the sign lettering. I went over it a couple of times to assure that it was well-coated.
6. Once it was coated well, I placed the lettering right-side-up on the painted MDF. I used a ruler to make sure the lettering was straight across. I didn’t tape my lettering to the MDF, but if you have trouble with paper shifting, you can use painters tape to hold it in place.
7. And then I used a sharp pencil to trace the lettering onto the MDF.
8. Once everything was traced, I was ready to start painting. I used tiny round craft brushes, and an assortment of paint colors of Behr sample paint pots in a matte finish.
Now here’s the kicker…because I really hated how this sign was turning out, and was convinced that I was going to hurl it into the dumpster, I stopped taking pictures. But I’ll explain the steps that I failed to document with my camera.
9. The swirlies at the top I actually painted first with a light aqua color. I hated how it looked with the yellow, so I went back to Home Depot and got a deeper color. However, it happened to be a very happy accident that I had that lighter color underneath the darker color.
10. After everything was painted, it still looked horrible, so I got a big fat Sharpie marker (a Super Sharpie with a pointed tip), and started randomly outlining various parts of the lettering, thinking it would make it “pop”. It just made it look cheap. But determined to see it through to the end, I continued to outline, but the more I did, the more careless I got. Still, I was convinced that it was headed for the dumpster.
11. Knowing that it couldn’t get any worse, I decided to give one last idea a try–giving it an aged look with some sandpaper. I used 150 grit sandpaper and just started sanding (manually–not with my electric sander), and right before my eyes, a miracle occurred. My ugly duckling sign actually started transforming into a beautiful swan. Okay…that was cheesy…but seriously, I was amazed.
And remember that frustrating “accident” of using a light aqua that just did…not…work? I couldn’t be more pleased. I love the way that light aqua peeks out from the darker color.
So that’s it! Well, I attached the two sections with some eye screws…and then it was finished!! I finished it so late that I didn’t have time (or the supplies) needed to hang the sign. In fact, I’m not really sure how to do that because it’ll be hanging on tile. Hmmm…I’ll have to think about that. It makes me really nervous to put a hole in the grout with a nail. I’m afraid it’ll crack the tile!! Anyone have any experience with this? Have any suggestions?
Okay, while you’re thinking about that, I’ll show you more pictures.
Okay, okay…enough pictures…I know. But seriously, if I had taken pictures of this sign before the sanding, you’d be just as amazed as I am. I mean, this thing was UUUUGGGGG…LLLEEEEEE!!
I’m anxious to get the sign hung over the banquette, but really, if you have any suggestions on how to do that, please let me know!!
This project was for my condo breakfast room makeover. Click here to see the whole before and after of the breakfast room makeover.
Or click on the thumbnails below to see other DIY projects that I did for my condo breakfast room makeover.