This Way to River View

I'm taking advantage of the last days of my vacation and trying to finish up some of my projects that have been on my WannaDo list. Today's project is a Rustic Vintage Sign for my new back door!

First, let me give you a glimpse of the work-in-progress. Gotta hand it to hubby, we don't get much hot weather in Maine, but the last few days have been sweltering and he's been pushing to get the outside done. (We won't mention the inside just yet). Check it out! I've got a great new light that is being installed to replace the ugly security light and I still need to paint the door, but the rest is done.
Also, don't look too close at the star. I need to repaint it, but that's another thing on the WannaDo list.

So, today I tackled a new sign for the house. The name River View Cottage is a bit tongue in cheek since the only time we really have a clear view of the river is when the leaves are off the trees or it's flooding. But then, it's been doing a lot of flooding lately. Anyway, the name fits... so there.

I started with an old cutting board that I had been saving for just such a project. It was originally an oval, but when you have kids who throw everything in the dishwasher it fast became dried out and a half-oval shape. No problem, it was perfect for a sign.

Because the wood was so dry I started out with a coat of MinWax Gel Stain in Aged Oak and let it sink in really good. This helped to deepen the scar lines and the trench in the wood. The great thing about the gel is that I can use an old towel and it goes on really easy.

After that I used an acrylic craft paint to add a layer of black to the wood. You can see that the scars and the stain still show through. This coat doesn't have to be solid, but it will be the color of the letter once the the stickers are removed. Speaking of stickers... I picked up some great repositionable stickers at Micheal's on sale and the worked fantastic for this project. I had a natural horizontal line in the wood that I used as a guide to position the stickers. I figured out where the middle should be and worked my way out to the edges. Even then I could have moved it more to the right, but I figure it just gives it more character.
You can see by the pic that I just painted right over the stickers with white paint. (yes, I know it's upside down, but I was drying the bottom.) Again, I used an acrylic craft paint, but I think next time I'm going back to enamel. It just doesn't feel the same to me. I used a brush to paint this coat because I wanted the horizontal paint lines to show to give it more character. It isn't a perfect, solid coat, but it won't matter because we are antiquing this sign. Remember flaws = character.

This is what it looks like when you peel off the stickers. I did this while it was still a little tacky to the touch. Once it was completely dry (requiring a fan since it's soooo hot here) I distressed it with sandpaper on the edges and across the lettering. It's your preference how much you do. I played with it and this is what I came out with. Once I had done this and wiped off the dust I used the rag again to put another coat of the gel stain to the sign. This aged the very bright white of the sign and makes it look like it's been hanging outside for awhile. When the stain is dry a good coat of matte (or semi-gloss) polyurethane (I use a spray) to protect it and I was done.
I'm pretty happy with it. Once it's completely dry I plan on hanging under the light next to the new backdoor. Now I can cross one more thing off my WannaDo list. Maybe I can fit in one more before I have to go back to work Monday. Maybe :)

Since I've decided to jump into this with both feet I'm linking up with Donna at Funky Junk for the Saturday Nite Special Link Up Party. Reading Donna's blog and checking out her pics has given me a fantastic push forward to making this dream come true! Thank you to Donna and all the others out there who bravely put themselves and their inspiration out there for others to enjoy!

Happy Independence Day to all!

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