well, the sign is finished and on the wall. it feels good. and to be honest, i absolutely love it. having a one-of-a-kind piece is pretty awesome to me. 

Inspired By Charm

so as promised, below is a detailed tutorial on how everything came together. just a warning, this post is going to be a little long. there are a lot, i mean A LOT, of photos. so, i’m going to try and be as brief as possible with my wording. ready?

i started off with two 1x12x8s from the local hardware store. they were about $13 each.

Inspired By Charm

other than some knots they were in pretty good shape. i wanted my wood a little weathered, so i got out some ‘tools of destruction’.

Inspired By Charm

i pounded heavily with both sides of the hammer. sawed the edges. beat it with some chain. i sanded down most of the sharp corners.  (i ended up not really using the screw driver. ) it’s hard to tell in the photos below but you’ll see more of the ‘beaten look’ after the next step.

Inspired By Charm

on pinterest i discovered you could age wood with steel wool and vinegar. after doing some research (it seems there are several ways to do this process) here what i came up with.

in two pans (don’t use good tupperware. oops!) i placed a piece of steel wool. to one added apple cider vinegar, the other balsamic vinegar. no specific amounts here.

Inspired By Charm

 i waited about 30 minutes.  then, with rubber gloves, i used the soaked wool to scrub the wood. the picture on the right is the after.

Inspired By Charm

 i then did the same with the balsamic and steel wool.

Inspired By Charm

this is how the wood looked after about 15 – 20 minutes. 

Inspired By Charm

you can see more of the grain and the markings i made with my tools of destruction are much more obvious.

Inspired By Charm

here’s the wood completely dry. i was really pleased with the results. i will be doing this again for sure.

i’m assuming that you could take it even further if you let the steel wool soak longer. or do more applications.

Inspired By Charm

the wood even took on a speckled look. a friend on facebook, after seeing these pictures, thought it actually was old wood.

Inspired By Charm

then i joined together both pieces of wood, on the back, with joining strips. four of them. 

Inspired By Charm

following that, i penciled on my design. i used a plate for the circle of the sun. the rays were just randomly placed. no measurements. i don’t do well with instructions and measurement when it comes to painting. and yes, i’m using a quilting ruler. 

Inspired By Charm

i decided to paint my red outlines first. though, looking back, it may have been easier to put these in last. 

Inspired By Charm

a sun! things are finally taking shape.

Inspired By Charm

i then applied some blue painters tape to preserve the red lines. i had to paint over the red that the tape didn’t cover so that it wouldn’t show throw my other paint. this is when i realized it may have been better to paint the red last. oh well, lesson learned.

Inspired By Charm

 i then picked a random collection of blues and yellows to fill in the rays of the sun.

Inspired By Charm

i intentionally wasn’t perfect when i was painting, leaving some of my weather wood showing through.

Inspired By Charm

i purposely avoided the nicks and dents i made earlier. i used cheap foam brushes to apply my paint.

Inspired By Charm

another thing i hate about painting is cleaning up. when i was done, the brushes went in the trash. 

Inspired By Charm

once everything was dry, who am i kidding… i have no patience, before everything was dry, i removed the tape to expose my beautiful red lines. perfect!

Inspired By Charm

next i gave everything i quick sand and then applied a white wash. just a mix of water and white paint. i worked quickly and wiped the paint with an old towel as i went. this gave me a sun faded look.

Inspired By Charm

i felt needed a few more distressed elements on the piece so i used a fork to create some worm/bug holes.

Inspired By Charm

i then went over the whole piece with a dark wash, just like the white wash. for this i used burnt umber paint and water.

Inspired By Charm

this darker color settled into all the distressed marks giving me a really aged and weathered look.

Inspired By Charm

done! well, the background anyway. next, i needed to add the text.

Inspired By Charm

i used a word processing program on my computer (iStudio) to pick fonts i liked. i then printed out a couple test pieces to get the size of the front right. the main font is haettenschweller and the script font is zapfino.

Inspired By Charm

 once i had everything printed out, i cut and taped the pieces of paper together.

Inspired By Charm

i then shaded in the back of the paper with the printed text. i used a pencil to color everything in.  personally, this works best for me. i’ve tried chalk (rubs off to easy) and carbon paper (turns your paint blue). this is time consuming and a pain-in-the-you-know-what, but it works.

once the back is shaded in, i flipped the paper over and positioned it onto the sign. i then trace the letters. this tracing transfers the shading you just did to the sign creating an outline for you to paint. make sense?

Inspired By Charm

 then i painted! i do mix in a couple drops of water to my white paint for an easy and smooth application.

Inspired By Charm

yes, i’m a lefty. any other lefties out there?!

i bought these paint brushes at wal-mart and have found a couple that work well for me. these i do wash and keep.

Inspired By Charm

i gave all the letters two coats of paint with a very light sanding in between. then, i erased any visible pencil lines.

Inspired By Charm

and that’s it! complete! ain’t she purdy?

Inspired By Charm

i choose to not put any sort of top coat on the piece as it will be indoors.

to hang it, i drilled two small holes into the back of the wood. then i put two screws into the wall. i put the holes on the screws and the sign was securely hung! or so i hope.

Inspired By Charm

like i said, i love unique, one-of-a-kind pieces and if this isn’t one of them, then i don’t know what is. the whole thing cost me under $35. i basically had to buy the wood, steel wool, joining strips and a couple brushes.

Inspired By Charm

and the style, colors and sentiment are a perfect fit for the space.

Inspired By Charm

and even though my head is way to big for this hat, i’m pretty darn pleased with my work.

Inspired By Charm

i hope this little tutorial was helpful. let me know if you have questions.

do you think you’ll be making a sign of your own?

Inspired By Charm

***I’m sorry, but do to a ridiculous amount of spam, I had to to off comments to this post. If you have a question or would like to comment, please email me. Thank you!


I’m linking this post up to this awesomeness:

Inspired By Charm

I would be so honored and excited to be a Home Show Designers! 

Thanks to The Painted Home and the Philadelphia Home Show

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 12:09 AM
Tags:
Love it?
Share it!
     
You may also like...
Inspired By Charm Paint Colors
Comments

  • Sandy at

    Great tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make some signs and your blog gave me that extra motivation to do it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gabby at

    Such inspiration! It’s perfect! I only had white vinegar on hand when I worked on the signs for our bedroom; instead, I mixed in a little bit of dark brown and black acrylic paint into some water, and I got a pretty good effect that way! Thanks for sharing this amazing tutorial!!!

    Gabby
    The…Late, Young Family

  • TracyMB @ Crow's Feet Chic at

    WOW! This is fabulous (love that last photo) and you’ve gotta love a man that knows the value of a good quilting ruler!! Thanks for sharing this!! 🙂

  • ~ Laura at

    I found you through Fox Hollow Cottage and I’m so glad she shared you!! I LOVE the sign!!! I, too, am impatient and take tape off too soon…and I’m a lefty!!!

    I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while but have gotten stalled in my head…but I’m feeling braver having seen what you did!! Thank you!! 🙂

  • Letizia at

    This sign is so cool!! I have a question. Did your wood smell like vinegar & how long did you wait after the vinegar to paint?

  • Monica at

    I already told you I love the sign, but I LOVE the sign and the room that you put it in! Love love love!
    I am the same way about instructions & measurements. I’d rather just eyeball it. And I use the same “pencil technique” to “trace” words. I do like the idea of adding a little water to the paint before painting letters though. I always glob it on too thick.
    If we ever move from this God forsaken land and into our own house, I am FOR SURE painting me a sign!

  • Megan at

    This is my first time on your blog and I adore your sign. I am your newest follower! Cannot wait until I have the time to poke around more

  • Patti at

    well done! Love this sign and this is a great tutorial – room looks lovely, too!

  • ChRiS at

    fantastic love the sign and a great tutor

  • Tam at

    This is amazing! So fabulous… when you commented about the viewers making their own sign, I was thinking YES I’d like to make one identical to yours! Great job!

  • Jennifer Curtis at

    Aw, I love your sign! Donna, from Funky Junk shared it on her FB page and I just had to come see it. I’m a lefty too by the way. I really liked how you aged the wood. This is definitely giving me some ideas. 🙂 Thank you!

  • COTTAG3 at

    I saw this pinned by FJI and had to come over and see it. It’s awesome! I love the colors, the words, the distressing ideas and everything about it. The tip on how to make wormholes was genius.

  • Mochaberry at

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for such a wonderful tutorial. I’ve been wanting to do something like this and just wasn’t sure I could pull it off. However, this post is a little like hand-holding for me to get me started, so now I’m thinking…YES I will!

  • Laina @ Vibrant Serenity at

    Love, love, LOVE it! I’m a lefty, and for some reason always had you pegged as one, too! Great job, Michael.

  • Fox Hollow Cottage at

    Your personality shines through in this post. The sign is fantastic.

    Your smile at the end?

    Infectious!!

    Will be sharing all over 😉

  • Maureen Cracknell Handmade at

    SO amazing!!!

  • Monica at

    Please come to my house and decorate the whole place. LOVE your work, it’s gorgeous!

    Monica

Post a comment (Need an avatar?)

* required fields