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  1. #1
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    Shabby Chic Decorative Wood Signs

    Hi everyone! I have been searching all over the internet trying to figure out how to make those fabulous (and expensive) shabby chic wooden signs I see for sale all over the place. I would like to make some for my friends and family but I don't know how to go about it. I have some acrylic wood paints and some wood and sandpaper, but do I need some kind of finish and can I use paint calligraphy pens for the writing or will those show up over paint (like white on green?) Are there stencils out there for the writing? I'm hoping one of you crafty ladies can help me out. Thanks a bunch!

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  3. #2
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    Apr 2004
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    Maybe link to what you are describing, because wood craft and signage could go so many ways.

    But here's a few thoughts off the top of my head:

    Let's say you want to paint a vintage looking sign that says "Roses 10 cents" with a rose in the corner.

    Get a board the size you want. You may be able to find premade unfinished plaques the right size and shape, but you also may need a jigsaw and a router to get scallops out of the corner and have a nice routed edge all the way around.

    Okay, let's say you have the board you want. But you want it to look old. I'd wipe a gray or dirty brown stain over it, especially those areas where you will later remove some of your finish color. When it's dry, paint the base coat in acrylics. I'll pick a muted mid tone green, almost faded to olive but not quite. Do one layer or so. Apply some crackle medium, available in paint and craft stores, or there is an Elmers DIY crackle method too. Soften your green acrylic with a bit of white to make it just a shade or two lighter. Paint that over the crackle medium.

    Stencil or freehand a rose in two or three shades of pink in one corner. Pick and place your stencils for the letters in at least two fonts and sizes, paint them in an ecru to white, maybe do them offset with gold underneath and then the white on top for that shadowy depth. Perhaps wash some gold or white in your routed edge.

    Let it dry. The crackle medium will craze and separate some of the upper layers of paint from the darker green below.

    Using fine sand paper, or 0000 steel wool, buff the edges and maybe pick a the paint a bit to make it look old and worn, to show the 'aged' wood beneath the first coat of green. Now you can decide if it needs another wash of a dusty dirty brown, very thin, just to settle in parts and above brush strokes for an aged look.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Actually, for the work and supplies she puts into them, her prices are not bad. And the 'life is good at the beach' seller did even more work. But neither of them put in as much work as I outlined above.

    Neither of them used routers AFAIK, just plain pine planking. A 1x4 is what you will be buying and then saw to the length you want.

    They most likely are using stencils and stencil type paint and brushes. It appears that the only burnishing they do is just before it's finished to make it look a little worn.

    There are paint pens you can use that will be opaque enough to cover most paints. Keep to acrylic paints and you shouldn't have much of a problem.

  6. #5
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    Thank you so much!!! :) I really appreciate it.


 

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