Cottage decorating is an extension of country decorating. Elements of this style include displaying handmade signs and plaques. Along with vintage collections, light colours, and eclectic variety of furniture a home develops a cosy atmosphere. Instead of purchasing ready-made signs or plaques, make your own to reflect your personality and colour preferences. Handmade cottage signs complement many rooms in a home including bathroom and bedroom.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Wood sign and plaque blanks
- Sand paper (medium and fine grain)
- Wood sealer
- Paint brushes
- Acrylic paint
- Wax candle
- Painter's tape
- Stencil paint
- Stencil brushes
- Matt varnish
Sand the signs and plaques until they are smooth, if needed. Begin with a medium grain sand paper followed by a fine grain paper.
Apply a wood sealer to the signs and plaques and allow them to dry. Drying time varies with humidity and temperature conditions. Follow the manufacturer's directions accordingly.
Paint the signs or plaques in with an undercoat shade of your choice. For example if you want to make a plaque white with some green showing through after the surface is distressed, paint it with a green undercoat. The distressing will remove a small amount of the top colour allowing the undercoat to show through in some places.
Rub the wax candle over the wood surfaces lightly. The wax will stick to the painted surface and help create the worn look common in cottage decorating.
Paint the top coat of paint in the colours of your choice. Allow to dry for 24 hours or until it no longer tacky.
Sand the surface and edges lightly with fine grain sand paper. Sand them a little or as much as you desire to get the degree of wear wanted. Wipe away the dust with a towel. This will create a distressed looked over the surface.
Place the stencils on the signs and plaques as desired. After making sure they are aligned correctly tape them in place to prevent shifting. There is a variety of stencils available at local craft stores and online stencil stores.
Apply a small amount of stencil paint to the stencil brush. Working in a circular motion, apply the paint beginning at the edges of the stencil cutouts and working toward the centre. If the brush has too much paint on it dab it on a paper towel. Use a different brush for each colour of paint. Allow the paint the dry.
Paint a coat of matt varnish over the signs and plaques after removing the stencils and tape. Let dry before handling.
Tips and warnings
- Acrylic paint may also be used for stencils. Use a very small amount of paint and dab the brush on a paper towel before painting. Dab the brush on the wood lightly.
- Antique the signs and plaques by rubbing acrylic antiquing gel over the surface and rubbing it away. A damp sponge works well for applying and rubbing the antiquing gel after the distressing has been completed.
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