UPDATE: I’ve done a slighly more detailed tutorial on how I created this sign. You can find it here
I learned something new! Or, rather, I tried a different way to do something and it worked better!
OK, the backstory.
I’m not particularly good at planning. I tend to get excited about an idea, launch into it with a sorta half-formed concept in my head and then hope inspiration strikes.
It usually does……eventually……..
So, for instance, I wanted to find a use for the MDF scraps that result from coaster making and I wanted to see if I could make them look authentically aged and distressed.
So I stained their edges, did my wax-and-paint trick and nailed them to a piece of scrap plywood.Cool! It looked exactly like what I had in mind.
And…..that was it.
It seemed beachy. I knew I wanted text or an image or something but couldn’t figure out what that would be.
So it sat there all stripey and distressed for, oh, about 6 months.
And then, just the other day, while in the midst of doing something else entirely I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to do.
I grabbed a graphic I like, wrote out some text and got to work with my Lenk tool (go here for a full Lenk tutorial – but then come back cause there’s an update).My usual method for using the Lenk is to rub back and forth slowly, then gently peel back the paper to check my progress and then, if needed, rub a little more.It works well, and, although I liked the distress, I just wasn’t getting the depth of color I wanted and I was spending a LOOOONG time on each element.
But sometimes the paper doesn’t peel away and you have to rub it off with a damp cloth,and I found that if, instead of lifting the paper up to check, I just let it sit there till it cooled and then, using the damp cloth method rubbed it away – I got much richer colors along with the distress.
There is still plenty of distress but the colors are much more vibrant.
I did find I had to go back in a couple of times with the damp cloth and gently rub away a film of white, leftover paper.
When I was happy with the look I sealed it with some spray on polycrylic.
After that I added a shelf (just a piece of plywood glued on and screwed in from the back) and some hangers and had myself a fun little vintage beach sign coat hangerI’m excited about this improved technique. It’s pretty fast, the colors are rich and the distress is exactly what I like and the sky is the limit as far as what design to use.