Continued Learning: Sign Painting

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Back in October, my mom and I took a sign painting class through a local boutique called Blooming Keepsakes. The boutique offers seasonal home decor, furniture, and so much more. And, they offer classes from sign painting to wreath making. My kind of place!

Years ago, I used to frequent a shop called The Saltbox Sampler. When I was younger, I took classes there, and as an adult I did the same. I painted decorative boxes, chalk-ware Santa's, and more. I love to continue learning new things, especially crafts. I think it's important to keep learning. To keep your skills fresh. To do things that make your heart happy. For me, taking classes like this does just that. And when I get to spend additional alone time with my mom, it's a bonus!

On this evening in October, we made a double sided wood sign that I absolutely love! I've been a stenciler for years, something I learned in my youth, but making these kinds of signs seemed daunting! How did they do it? Was it free hand? Was it by stencil? Turns out, it was by stencil, but not by the method I had been taught. And, the stencil is a vinyl stencil that I could totally make, if I could ever figure out how to use my Silhouette! (I guess I need to extend my learning to this banished piece of machinery!) It was relatively easy to do as well. The steps are tedious, but totally worth it. I took pictures along the way. Easier to show than write.

You start with a gorgeous piece of wood that has already been sanded and Polyurethaned. 


My mom and I decided to do a slight white wash to our Merry Christmas sign. I thought the red would really pop against the white and I wasn't wrong!


We applied the vinyl stencil to the wood and taped it down the center to hold it in place. When I have used other stencils, you tape the corners down so the stencil doesn't move. Same concept.


Here's the tricky part. You peel back the stencil and remove the blue backing, making sure not to cut the wood while cutting away the backing. Then, you slowly apply the stencil back to the wood so as not to create air pockets. You start from the center and move out to the edges. It's hard!!



Here is what it should look like.


To apply the paint, you move in sweeping strokes across the stencil. Once one word has been covered, take your brush and go back over the entire thing, making sure you don't have brush strokes. Apply a second coat once you think it's dry.


And here they are! 


Gather was originally in white paint, but after discussing other paint options, navy blue was the winner. The instructor, Christina, uses Sherman Williams paint and this color is called Gail Force. Subsequently, it will be the navy I use on my kitchen walls....eventually!


These signs are what my small mantel was missing! I love how it dresses up my fireplace! I plan to apply garland at Christmas! 

Here we are at the completion of our class. It was so much fun spending time together, learning something new, and meeting like minded women! That's the other part of taking classes like this, the other women you meet. 


What are some classes you like to take? Do you believe in continual learning on any level? I have a few things on my list that I would like to continue learning. Cooking decoration is next! I'm not taking a class, but I plan to apply the techniques I've learned from cake decorating. I'm inspired by the Christmas Cookie Challenge currently airing on the Food Network. Check out The Painted Pastry for reasons why I'm inspired. Aime Pope is incredible!

With the holidays just around the corner, and a new year on the horizon, you might want to consider this a resolution!

XO,
Andrea

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