Do you ever have times of feeling SUPER motivated . . . with great bursts of energy to tackle projects you’ve been carrying around in your head? Times of enough forward incentive to conquer two, or three, or six undertakings at the same time?
That’s what sunshine does for me.
When it’s dreary and drizzly outside my window I seem to lack ambition but with the long sunny days of summer here in SC I’m on a roll!
As promised in my post Adding the French Country Look to Your Kitchen, I’m back to share:Some of what I’ll be sharing I learned while taking the Farragoz Painting Course seen on my sidebar (if you haven’t it checked out yet you should). It has been a great course for learning things about painting that I’d never learned anywhere else, as well as teaching me to make my own paints from natural products.
For this project I’m using some items I had on hand from previous projects (items the course teaches one to make from scratch), Americana Decor’s Chalky Finish paint in black and white Liquitex Gesso.
On a pre-cut board from Michael’s I began by painting on a few layers of Gesso and then layers of black paint, drying between each coat with a hair dryer.
Can you see all the cool cracking caused by my hair dryer? Next I took a cheap candle and smushed it on the surface, wherever I wanted the black paint to show through my top coat. Note the big chunks of wax left behind.
I painted over everything with Behr’s knockoff of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) color Country Grey. This color and all the remaining paint colors used in this tutorial were mixed with my Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe #3. One coat covers well but I used two for an even more layered look.
Lettering was next and this picture on Facebook was my inspiration.
I eyeballed the picture and drew it by hand on a piece of paper about the size I thought would work for my sign. You could use a stencil but I rather like the not-so-perfect, hand lettered look.
After a bit of drawing, erasing and drawing again I was finally happy with my penciled lettering and transferred it onto my board. Tracing with graphite paper is one way of doing this or, if you are too lazy to go looking for the graphite paper up in your craft closet, a simple Typography Transfer tutorial can be found HERE.
After transferring my letters I lightly distressed the board, mostly around the edges, and used a knife point to “pick up” the paint that was over the wax, revealing the chalky black beneath.
This extreme close-up shows an example of the kind of depth you can achieve with layers of paint and wax.
The next step was to dry brush around the outer edges of my board . . .
. . . using Behr’s ASCP knock-off of French Linen.
Painting the lettering was done with a tiny brush and a steady hand . . .
. . . using Behr’s knock-off version of ASCP Greek Blue.
The shadowing was not done in an ASCP color but is a Behr sample that I bought to try on a BIG future project (one of the things I’m working on this week).
This is a picture taken during the shadowing process. I had to keep reminding myself that my shadows needed to fall to the right and below my letters. No worries about perfection though because any goof is an easy fix with more paint. Wink, wink!
After lettering I used my tiny brush to freehand some embellishments on my board. Not worrying too much about keeping things uniform or perfect makes it super simple for anyone to do!
Finally I waxed my board to protect it. I added dark wax first . . .
. . . then a little soft wax to “erase” some of the areas I didn’t want to be quite so dark.
I used dark wax only on the sides, allowed all the wax to dry for an hour or so, then buffed the entire sign to a nice sheen.
That’s pretty much it . . . MY favorite tips for creating Rustic French Signage. Below are several shots of La Creperie Bleue on display in my French Country decorated kitchen.
Cute “vintage” signs are sold everywhere right now and I have one that you may have seen in my last post. I like it a lot but I’d much rather have something that is original and not mass produced. Maybe you’ll try your hand at creating some rustic signage of your own. If you do I’d love to see pictures or answer any questions you might have along the way.
If being crafty isn’t your thing but you’d love to check out some beautiful rustic French signage to purchase, I think you’ll be delighted by what you see at my friend Janice’s online shop, French Velvet Horses.
Janice’s heart goes into everything she creates and that is the mark of a TRUE artist!
And now, since we’re lovin’ on all things French lately, a little language lesson:
Blessings to you my friends and *bonne nuit!
*Bonne nuit – That’s good night before going to bed, which I’m not, because I’m on to another project while the motivation is strong!
French Country Style board on Pinterest.