DIY a Faux Zinc, Lettered Sign, Named for the Historical Setting of Our House
Oh boy, I’ve been working… I’ve been meaning to do some fun updating to the lower level of ‘Our House’ and I started in the hallway.
If you follow me on Facebook, then you saw this basket of goodies…
These are just a samplings of stuff I’m using to update and re-do the family room and hallway with. See that cardboard ‘T’ in there? I was at Joann Fabrics the other week and saw the cardboard letters on sale and had the sudden inspiration to make a sign for my hallway landing. But I wanted the sign to look like it was a hundred year old wooden board sign with old zinc letters mounted on it.
The words I selected for my sign actually is the name this area used to be called a hundred years ago!
On the property of ‘Our House’, there is a river that used to have a dam on it with apparently both a saw mill and a grist mill. The man responsible for the development of the dam and mills had the last name of ‘Jewett’, hence the area being named ‘Jewett Mills’. And the train stopped here too, so according to the little history I could find on the area, that train stop was helpful in the growth of the area.
Since then though, the dam, mills and train stop are all gone with only remnant traces left behind.
But to bring a little of it back to life, here’s a quick explanation of how I made this sign:
First, starting with the letters… Pretty simple explanation, I used 2 different shades of black craft paint for the first coat, just mixing it on my brush as I went. This allowed for a very subtle variation of the base coat on the letters.
Then after the black was dry, I did the same with a gray pewter and silver metallic, mixing on my brush for variation in the finish, applying the metallic paint on the letters in a light, dry brush effect, allowing some of the black undercoat to peek through.
I was super careful to make sure all the edges of the letters had the metallic paint on them, giving the illusion of light catching on the ‘zinc’ metal letters.
Then once the boards for the sign were done, I just hot glued the letters onto it. Here’s how I did the boards:
For the wood part of the sign, I used some old green treated fence boards. My husband dug them out of the snow where they’d been piled for a while.
As he was digging, I kept reminding him, to get the ones with the most wear and tear… for the aged distressed look I was going for.
After the boards were cut for length and spliced to make them long enough and then dried for 3 days in the house, we secured them with vertical boards cut for the back from the same green treated fence boards. Then I painted them with a really quick coat of primer. I basically ‘scrubbed’ the primer into the wood, trying to do some areas lighter than others, going for a weathered finish look.
For mounting the sign to the wall, I used these clever cleats. One half goes on the board, and…
the other half goes on the wall. Then the sign part just slips over and behind the one on the wall for a secure fit.
The cleats are quite strong, they have different sizes and are rated for weight. They’re perfect for something like this because they will allow the boards to sit flat against the wall. You just have to measure really accurately… oops, well I got it on the second try.
So now when I come down the stairs, I am greeted with a little bit of history.
I am so pleased with the new sign. It makes a big impact, but isn’t ‘busy looking’. And it was actually super easy, especially because my husband dug the boards out of the snow for me. Overall it was quite economical to make, the letters from Joann Fabrics were on sale for less then $2 each, most of the rest I already had and just repurposed for this project.
I love it when I can use something I’ve been keeping for its ‘potentially creative addition’ to a project. The fence boards were just that. In fact, even though this is the first sign I’ve made with them, it’s not the first sign made with some of them, I have a couple of friends that have made some really fun signs too, and I hope to eventually share those with you in the very near future!
I’m linking up at these fun parties, come with me and see all the inspiring projects:
Posted on February 7, 2013, in DIY - Crafts - Floral, Our House, Re-purposing, Uncategorized and tagged cardboard letters, decorate with a little bit, DecorateWithaLittleBit, DIY, faux, fence boards, hall, Jewett, Joann Fabrics, landing, Mills, paint, pallet art, sign, zinc. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.