Introduction: Easy Shabby Chic Letters
I wanted something to compliment the bright red box I use as my “ideas chest” and we had accidently cut the word Love in the wrong size so I decided to do a quick and easy Instructable and bag myself something for my work corner at the same time.
Materials needed: Wooden letter or word, two different paint colours, knife, wax (optional)
1) Take your word and sand it down lightly, this doesn’t make a huge difference but sometimes there is a light brown staining on the front of the wood due to the way lasers cut so this just cleans that off and gives you a smoother surface to work on. This step is optional.
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Step 1: Painting Your Items
2) Stain or paint the wood your undercolour. I would normally recommend using acrylic paints for the wood however this time I used what was on hand which was a bit of left over red stain and some bog standard emulsion paint. Emulsion paint works well but can sometimes take a few coats on the burnt edge.
3) When choosing your undercoat remember that this is the colour that will show through your top coat. If the final item is going to be a dark colour paint the first layer white or another light colour. If you want a light coloured final item use a bright or dark colour for this first coat.
4) Once this coat is dry apply the layer of top coat. Although it is normal to say that several thin layers are better than one thick layer you can get away with plying this on pretty thick. If you can still see the under colour when your first layer is dry give it another brush over with the top coat colour.
Step 2: Distressing Your Letters
5) Let the top coat dry out. If you want a very subtle effect sand the edges till the undercoat is peaking through. I wanted a bolder effect so I got a knife and gently scrapped the edges of the word. At the point a little at a time is very good advice, it’s very hard to impossible to cover up if you scrap off too much so remove a little paint, step back and deliberate.
6) Cover the finished product in wax and then buff to a shine, this just gives you a much nicer finish and makes it look more professional
7) I used 6mm thick wood to give it a chunkier feel but there is no reason why you can’t use any of the letters or thickness. You can order any word here http://www.inf.co.uk/infinite/LD_Wood.html so you could do anything you fancied; a name in white and pink might look sweet in a little girls room or maybe your house name in mutted tones in the hallway. Anybody who does this I would love to see the pictures.