Saturday, September 28, 2013

DIY Wall Art with Transfer Lettering

When we found out we were having a girl, my husband and I decided we wanted to decorate the nursery with hymns.  My husband absolutely loves hymns and is usually either singing or humming one throughout the day.  I wasn't sure how I wanted to actually implement the whole hymns-themed-nursery because I am not a fan of vinyl wall decals and I wanted the room to be elegant (not that vinyl isn't-that's not that I meant.  I just don't like committing to it going directly on the wall!).  I ditched the effort and started doing other things in the room, hoping I would figure out what in the world I wanted to do.

We I finally realized I couldn't put it off anymore and decided I wanted something dimensional in the room that I could personalize. We live in a town that is full of antique stores and malls, and I found this fence remnant for $12.50-

It was in great shape!  I scrubbed off what was left of some bird poop and stained the wood with some stain the previous owners of our house left in the garage (I also used it here).  It took 2 coats-that wood was thirsty! 
After it was soaked in and dried, I sprayed it down with Rustoleum Clear Matte Finish (which smells like coconut!) so that the stain wouldn't bleed through the lettering paint and the nursery wouldn't smell like stain.  I think it retails $3.50 at Home Depot but I had store credit.
 This is what the fence looked like after being stained and sealed:

We picked out "Before the Throne of God Above" as the hymn because it's our all time favorite.  My husband picked out the section if the hymn he wanted me to paint and I printed them off of my computer in pretty fonts, making sure they would fit in each space of wood (which took a few prints).  I used Bodoni in all caps and Janda Stylist Script (they are free downloads).

I cut the words apart and rubbed the back with some sidewalk chalk I had from an end of summer clearance sale a few years ago.  I think I paid a quarter for the whole pack and intended on using them to teach.  Fail.  I guess it works for this, too.  You can buy fancy transfer paper for dark surfaces that works like carbon paper (except it transfers in white instead of black), but I am cheap and I had the chalk.

I taped the words to the wood, making sure they were straight and used a pen to "color in" all of the letters and transfer the chalk etchings to the wood.

I did one section at a time so that my hand didn't rub any chalk off the wood of subsequent words.  I used a tiny angled paint brush and painted over all of the chalk with white trim paint we had leftover from wainscoting and house touch ups.

And done!

My nursing nook =)

 I used fabric from other nursery projects for the bow- it's cotton linen so I spritzed it with a little spray starch and shot it with some steam from my iron.

My biggest concern with this sign was the lettering- I wanted it to look nice, not necessarily hand drawn or written by myself in my handwriting.  I didn't want it to look like a wannabe art project.  I wasn't sure how the chalk transferring would work, but it worked wonderfully!  I used white chalk and white paint, so it wasn't a big deal for the two to mix if I encountered a chalk chunk.  I wouldn't recommend using a colored chalk with white paint- I think it would tint the paint.  Once the paint was dry, I wiped it down with a damp cloth to get rid of any chalk shadowing.

My boob leaked the entire time I painted, my foot fell asleep several times, and there were moments that I couldn't manage to get up off the floor without grunting and using and couch for help, but I think it was worth it.  Waiting for you, baby girl!


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