I recently moved my studio out of our basement into what was our dining room. I have wanting to convert the dining room for a while but I could never get my husband to agree. This year I have dealt with some heath issues that made being in the basement for extended periods of time difficult. Part of the fun with moving to a new space is that you discover things you forgot you had and getting to decorate the new space. In my case, I found a great large wooden T that would be great hanging up in my new space and lend itself be a fun and quick crafty project.
Quite a while back, I picked up this large wooden T on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby. I always wanted to create a T wall and this large T would be a nice part of it (and for cheap!!). The finish was scratched and in need of a cosmetic make over.
I originally thought I would decoupage pattern paper onto the T, but I just couldn’t settle on a design to use. The color of my wall limited me on my color choices. To be more simple, I decided new paint would be a quick fix.
I have wanted to try chalk paint so this seemed like a good first project. Most brands will have similar instructions but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on your jar. To begin, I cleaned the surface of the wood with a baby wipe.
When it comes to painting things like furniture, walls, and wood shapes, I pretty much stink. I always apply too much paint and end up with drips. I managed to restrain myself on this project and apply the paint in really even thin almost dry strokes of paint. I knew I would be applying many layers of paint and wanted to avoid the final piece looking bumpy or goopy from too much paint.
The first coat will be streaky and you will see the original finish through the paint. (Color shown: Waverly Inspirations by Plaid Crafts in Plaster)
The instructions on my jar of paint suggested 2 hours of dry time between coats. Since my coats were so thin, but I was able to cut that dry time down to 1 hour between coats. I applied a second coat of paint (again, thin even coats) after the first was dry. The second coat will really help block out that original finish from showing through.
Next, I applied a coat of a focal color (Waverly Inspirations by Plaid Crafts: Pool). I added two thin coats that completely covered the white layers.
I loved the blue layer, but decided that it was too much color against the cranberry colored walls in my dining room. To tone down the blue, I dry brushed one more layer of white (Plaster) over the blue, applying it in streaks allowing plenty of blue to show through. (Not shown, sorry, forgot to take that photo!)
I really liked where the letter was at, but I wanted to add something that would make it more personal and really representative of my style. I decided to add stamping. I chose my Dear Ruby stamp that is a great collage of different handwritten notes. The story behind the stamp is certainly perfect for the centerpiece on my T for Tutterow (and Tammy) wall.
I inked the stamp with Ground Espresso Distress Ink. I stamped the image over the T randomly, reinking every couple of stampings so that images were in varying degrees of the brown ink. Allow the ink to dry.
Use sandpaper to sand along the edges of the wood. Sanding will reveal layers of the paint layers below. I actually sanded all the way through to the original black layer and even bare wood by accident. that was such a happy accident because that dark edge really added a great detail. (If you are painting a piece that didn’t already have color like mine, you could add a dark base layer to start. Bare wood exposed will also take ink as shown below.)
You can also sand over the flat surfaces to break up the paint surface to add age and wear and soften the stamping.
To add more edge definition and age, apply Gathered Twigs Distress Ink to the sanded edges of the wood using an ink blending tool.
If you have ever applied Distress Ink over paint, you may have noticed that it does not always dry well on painted surfaces and can smudge. The chalk paint finish is very porous so the ink dries nicely on the painted surface.
If you need to tone down or remove any ink, simply use a baby wipe to wipe it away. Keep in mind that you may also remove stamping so you may have to restamp the area.
You can also apply ink over the surface. It will accent the edges of the top dry brush coat. It will play up the definition between those two layers. Use a dry cloth to buff over the ink to help blend and to remove any excess.
When you use chalk paint, you generally seal it with a wax sealer. Be sure to read the label before using it over the ink. Distress Ink is water reactive so a water-based wax sealer will cause a reaction with the ink. Instead, I used Distress Micro Glaze. To apply the glaze, I simply picked up the glaze with my finger tips and rubbed it over the surface. The Distress Micro Glaze adds a nice subtle sheen similar to how a wax finish would look on chalk painted furniture.
Buff over the surface with a clean dry cloth to work the glaze in and to remove any excess.
I really love the way the piece turned out! It is so vintage and weathered and so me! It looks so amazing hanging in my studio. It looks pretty amazing for a scratched up clearance aisle bargain.
I also really love how wonderfully the stamping and inks worked with paints designed for decor. It is a great lesson that you can blend and mix and match your supplies regardless of what section of the store they come from!
PS. The 50% off closeout sale in my online store continues! If you are interested in any of the current classes, hurry and grab them for half price. They will be retired and gone forever at the end of April. Read more about the sale and get the coupon code here: 50% off Online Classroom Closeout Sale.