I had a space to fill on my living room wall, a piece of plywood, some paint and a cool piece of vinyl I bought with the definition of family on it. Because the other things hanging on that wall are dark brown, I decided to distress the wood with some dark brown and burgundy red. This makes a great addition to the wall and the definition of family fits perfectly in the room we spend so much time in.
I’ve had this piece of plywood lying around for quite a while now. We originally were going to use it to fix a mess under the kitchen sink, but ended up needing a thicker, sturdier piece for the job. That meant that this piece sat and sat until inspiration struck me.
As you can see, the wall also holds my time zone clock and the rusty wall hanging I repurposed from my broken weathervane.
As I show you how to distress a piece of wood I will be using a power sander. Mine is a Ryobi sander. While you don’t have to use power tools, this can most certainly be done by hand, but my belief is that every woman crafter should have a sander in her craft room. :) This speeds up the process and makes things so much easier. Sometimes I use masking tape as part of the distressing process, though I didn’t in this particular case. You can see that technique used on my Distressed Eat Sign.
I bought the “family definition” vinyl from the online shop Sayitonthewall.com. It measures a hefty 24″ x 24″.
First I laid out the vinyl sheet onto the board to see if the plywood needed a trim.
I used my Ryobi hand saw to trim off the excess plywood, then I sanded both sides and all of the edges until smooth.
Using white acrylic paint I used a large brush and back and forth strokes to add a coat. Just slap it on, it doesn’t have to be pretty.
I don’t paint the entire board completely because when I’m all finished I want some areas to show bare wood, some to show bare and white, and some just white. Let the white dry completely.
The harder you rub the more will come off, so you have the ability to change the aged look as you go. Work in small sections at a time.
Let the antiquing gel settle and dry a little bit, about 15-20 minutes.
Using the sander again, rough up anywhere you see fit, but especially on the edges. If you have any areas that the splintered like mine, be sure to smooth those out to avoid splinters in your hands or fingers. Dust the whole thing off to remove any loose particles left over from sanding.
When using a large piece of vinyl like this one I highly recommend having someone help you. It can be difficult to hold one end of the vinyl still while peeling the other. Prepare your vinyl by rubbing a straight edged item (credit card, jumbo craft stick, etc) all over the transfer paper backing.
Carefully peel back the transfer paper a little at a time, watching to see if any letters come up with the paper. If that happens simply rub that area with your straight edge and continue until the transfer paper has been removed.
Position the vinyl on your sign board, again with the help of a friend if possible. You’ll want to hover it over the board until you are ready to set it down as it may stick once set in place. If any letters came off during the peeling process, just carefully set them aside and add them last (see the word “group” fourth line down from the top?). Use your straight edge to rub the vinyl letters onto your board, rolling the backing back off as you go until all the letters are stuck to the board.
When you are all finished, give the entire project 2-3 coats with a clear acrylic sealer in matte finish. I attached a very simple hanger to the back using a piece of twine, some scrap cardboard and some Gorilla Glue super glue.
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