So, I saw this sign a billion years ago, and have always loved it. The colors, the size, the distressing. So gorgeous! So I finally decided to do my own version.
I started off with two boards from Home Depot. I went with 1x12x6 boards, which cost me $11 each. I knew I was going to distress them, but still had hubby pull practically every board off the shelf so I could find perfectly straight (and pretty) ones.
First step? Let's distress these bad boys.
I took a hammer and a screwdriver, and went to work banging these up. Well, I did the screwdriver part, since Ava refused to give me back the hammer. I have no idea what kind of wood it is, but it was soft enough for Ava to mark them up with a hammer. Who knew?
Next, I aged them with vinegar and steel wool. You grab a bowl, dump some vinegar and a steel wool pad in it, something magic happens between the two, and after a while, you rub the liquid on the boards. Some say to leave the steel wool mix sitting in the bowl for 24 hours, some say half an hour. I think I let mine sit for an hour or two. Long enough to go satisfy my Taco Bell pregnancy craving. So, however long that takes. Then rub it on (wear gloves!), give it some time, and voila! I used white vinegar mixed with balsamic, only cause that's what I had on hand.
So here are my two boards. They are attached in the back with metal brackets that I bought from Walmart. Think I spent $6 on 3 of them? And get the long ones, don't get the short ones like I originally did. These boards are heavy.
Now, I had a LOT of trial and error on this project. Luckily it all worked out in the end, but if I can save you some headache and hassle, then of course I'm going to share my mistakes.
I took a pizza stone and drew on my sun circle. Originally, I made a mark along the circle every 4 inches, and from the center of the sun, across that mark, and to the edge of the board, drew the sun rays out. You remember how you did perspective in art class, right? Now, unless you WANT a ton of the same color, then don't do that. Does that make sense? Here is a crappy, 5 minute photoshop job of what I'm talking about.
A mark every 4 inches around the circle = too much color on the longer rays.
So, of course, I didn't realize that until I drew out all of my lines in a red sharpie (don't use a sharpie, it'll show through your paint if you change your layout later. Use a pencil)
So, instead of the 4 inch marks, I did some marks an inch apart, some two inches, some 3, some 4. I just eye balled it. I didn't want to get confused with my old marks, so I squiggled those out. Again, don't use a sharpie. It'll show through your paint. Luckily I was able to cover all of those with my red rays later, but it limited me on where I had to put them.
Next, it was time to paint. I didn't have a pattern I followed, just placed the colors where I thought they looked pretty.
I did a combination of blues, greens and yellows. Ignore the blue painters tape on the board in the pic.
While my reference pic had the red lines the same width from beginning to end and made it look fabulous, it didn't look right on my board. So, again, no pattern, just put some tape on there and tried to keep a good angle from thin to thick.
I painted white paint on the lines before I did the red. The red just wasn't covering up the color transitions. And it worked out, since when I sanded it down, some of the white showed through the red, and I really liked it. After I painted it, I then taped off the center and painted that too.
And here we are after it's painted.
I sucked at making this tutorial, and forgot to take pics of the next step. I sanded it down to wear down some of the paint. I also white washed it (mix white paint and water, smack it on your board, rub it around and wipe it off) and then did some stain in the hammer marks and wood knots to really bring those out. Just did that over and over until I was happy with it.
I will say that when you sand it, don't do circles or back and forth like you'd normally do. Sand in the direction of the rays. It really brings them out and accents them nicely.
If you don't have access to a projector like I do (ask your church, your child's school, the library), it shows on the original blog how he got around that. Print the words out, shade the back with a pencil, trace the words on the board, and the pencil shading on the back will transfer the words to your board.
Then I painted those in with white paint. Don't put it on too thickly, as you'll be sanding these down too. The font I used is called miserably lose. I didn't want a font that I'd have to be super worried about straight lines and perfection.
Here is before and after I sanded the letters. At first, I just sanded down the whole thing, but it was taking down my sun ray paint too much. So I tore off little pieces of sandpaper, and sanded just the letters themselves.
Once you're happy with it, add some hangers on it (I wanted mine to show), have your hubby hang it up, and voila! I love how it looks old and sun faded.
Hope you like it! I've been wanting something to go above the couch for a long time, and now I have the perfect piece.