Friday, October 5, 2012

The Best Thing Art Project

My friend Katy emailed me this pictures and told me she was obsessed with this art, couldn't find it anywhere, and would I please make it for her?

I'll be honest- I wasn't sure I could do it, but she was so confident in me and after looking at it closely, I decided to give it a try. Since she lives in LA and I live in Texas, we initially debated me trying to make it digitally and send to her to print and frame. But, she really wanted this shabby chic look and I knew it needed to be the real deal- paint!

So, I purchased 2 18"x24" barn wood frames half price at Hobby Lobby. They frames with glass and backing were on sale, so I went with those and ditched the glass and backing. I then took the frames to Home Depot and asked for a really light and super thin piece of wood. They sold something called luan wood- it is a light tropical hardwood used in many craft projects. It was 4'x8' for $9. They cut it to size for free and we made sure it fit into my frames.

The next step was painting the wood black- I went with chalkboard paint (under $20 from Lowe's or similiar stores) because it is thick and has a really matte finish. I rolled it on with a small roller from Hobby Lobby- it took 2 good coats. I then sanded the whole board to rough it up and make the coverage uneven.

Now, it was stencil time. Using the original art as my guide, I lined up my letters measuring more than once and taped them on. I bought 2" basic stencil letters from Hobby Lobby for this project. I used a stencil brush and cream Annie Sloan chalk paint.

You can see I had a whole mess of letters, paint, brushes, rollers and sanding tools! Oh, and the best trick to date I learned from Pinterest... when playing music, place your iphone in a glass and it will project all over the house! Do you see my phone in a mason jar?

Here is an idea of the letters after I stenciled. I then went back with a small brush and the black paint to clean them up. The first line is clean and the second and third are bumpy. I didn't want it to be as rough as it was on the first go round of stenciling.

In the original art, the black background has lighter spots. It looks like chalk, but that doesn't last, so I needed an alternative. I played on a sample board and found that sanded cream paint with dark wax gave the age spots I wanted. So, they was the next step.

Katy and I texted back and forth and we decided to age the letters. They just looked too new in the cream color. I used Annie Sloan dark wax and just ran it unevenly across the art until I had the color range I wanted.

I am so glad we did, the aged look fits the shabby chic-ness of the piece and works well with the barnwood frames.

My final step was to give them another coat of clear wax. It sealed it all in and then I placed them back into the frames. I took them back to Hobby Lobby and they professionally backed them for me for next to nothing. They now have the craft paper backing, wire hanger, and small clear stoppers to help them hang straight.

I love the way they turned out! Katy is placing them side by side on the large wall behind her couch. It is going to make quite a statement!

I think I want to make another one for my mantle for Christmas using song lyrics or scripture.