Inspired by this pin, on Monday I painted the Joy sign you see above. I'd been working with CeCe Caldwell's mineral-based paint on a table and was getting frustrated because the top wasn't coming out exactly how I wanted it -- there is definitely a learning curve to CeCe's paint when you're transitioning from conventional latex paint. So instead of driving myself crazy with the table top, I took my frustration out on something I knew I wanted heavily distressed...and I looove how it turned out! (Eventually I got the table right, too! More on that next week.)
Here is what I did to make the sign:
- Lightly sand the surface of the wood. I used reclaimed dark-stained plywood from an old closet shelf.
- Slap the Omaha Ochre CeCe Caldwell paint onto the board. I literally slapped, smooshed, and dragged it on to leave the surface far from smooth. I did this on purpose, so that when I waxed it at the end with dark wax, the wax would have crevices to stick to and add more depth and age.
- Slap on a second coat. In retrospect, I could have gone without the second coat probably.
- Lightly sand (with 320 grit) the dry paint to give me a surface smooth enough to take the letters.
- For the fifth step, I should have distressed with a sponge and then sealed the Omaha Ochre paint. I'll explain why later. If I were to do it over again, I'd use my favorite PolyWhey sealer to seal the distressed paint.
- Using a pencil and a 1x3 board to loosely measure my letters, I outlined the letters.
- Fill in the letters using CeCe Caldwell's Traverse City Cherry paint. Again, I slapped it on and smooshed it around.
- Once it was dry, I lightly sanded again. Here's where I got into some trouble. Sanding mixed the red into the ochre paint and then I had to be super nitpicky about rubbing down the ochre paint with a sponge to get the red out of the cracks and crevices. If I'd sealed the ochre first, this wouldn't have been an issue.
- Distress with a sponge -- CeCe's paint is like unsealed drywall compound; it comes off with a damp sponge until you seal it, then it becomes impervious like conventional paint.
- Seal with PolyWhey.
- Wax with brown wax and then "clean up" extra brown wax using clear wax, which takes off and disperses colored wax.
- Wax plywood edges with brown wax.
- Buff the heck out of the whole thing with a soft, dry rag.
Here are a couple of close ups so you can see how the dark wax sits in the grooves made when I mooshed the paint around.
These two signs took almost no paint -- you could easily buy two small CeCe paint containers and do this project plus several others before running out.
I had originally planned to sell the Noel sign, but I'm pretty crazy about it sitting out by my front door with my Craigslist antique sled. So...who knows. It may be in my family for years to come. The Joy sign is at my friend Emily's house -- the first in a series of a few pieces I'll be making for her to repay a barter for some sweet Frye boots she gave me.
I'm pretty sure I got the good end of that deal -- an awesome pair of boots and a chance to go crazy with wood and paint. What's not to like about that?