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Creative Guest: Crafts by Amanda


Hi everyone! I am beyond thrilled to be guest posting here at the fabulous Ucreate. I can't thank Kari enough for inviting me! My name is Amanda Formaro and I blog my projects over at Crafts by Amanda and my edibles at Amanda's Cookin'.

I'm the mother of four wonderful children aged 12 through 18 and am happily married to my high school sweetheart. I love to create, there are always ideas bouncing around in my head! My biggest love is painting. I love to distress things and give them character and showcase those things throughout my home.

Today I'm going to share with you how to distress a piece of wood using some acrylic paint and a sander. You don't need power tools, this can certainly be done by hand, but every woman should have a sander in her craft room (in my humble opinion). :) It speeds up the process and is so much easier. Sometimes I use masking tape in the distressing process too. You can see that technique used on my Distressed Eat Sign (pictured below).

While I used a big chunky piece of barn wood for the eat sign, I used a simple piece of thin plywood for today's project. I picked the "family definition" vinyl from Say it on the Wall, which is 24" x 24". That's a rather large piece of vinyl, but I knew exactly where in my living room it would be going!

The first thing I did was lay out the vinyl sheet onto the board to see if I needed to trim the plywood at all.

I used my Ryobi hand saw to trim off the excess and then sanded both sides and all the edges smooth.

Then I used white acrylic paint. This doesn't need to be pretty, just squeeze some onto the board and spread it around with back and forth strokes.

I purposely don't cover the board completely because when I'm all finished I want some areas to show bare wood, some to show bare and white, and some just white. Let the white dry completely.

When the white paint has dried, paint over it with your dark color, in my case a dark brown.
For my secondary top coat I chose a dark burgundy red. You don't want a really wet paintbrush for this step. Dip the brush in the red then dab off some of the excess.
Brush the red on lightly in random areas, keeping it in the same direction as the brown brushstrokes.
You'll want to let this dry completely, so go eat some brownies. :)
Now it's time to rough things up a bit. I use my handy dandy Ryobi sander and a medium grit sandpaper. Sand with the grain of the brushstrokes and use a light hand. You want to sand off the color in some areas down to the white, and in other areas just lightly. There's no perfect science to it, just sand until you're happy with it.
As you can see, I sanded harder in some places than in others. Some areas you can even see the bare wood.
Next I used some antiquing gel over the top, especially where the white was showing, to tone it down and give it an aged look. You apply the gel with a paintbrush and wipe it off with a dry rag.

The harder you rub the more will come off, so you have the ability to change the aged look as you go. Work in small sections at a time.

Let the antiquing gel settle and dry a little bit, about 15-20 minutes.

Pull out your sander again and rough up anywhere you see fit, but especially on all the edges. If you have any areas that the splintered like mine, be sure to smooth those out to avoid splinters. Dust the whole thing off to remove any loose particles left over from sanding.

If you are using a large piece of vinyl like this one I recommend having someone help you. It can be challenging to hold one end of the item still while peeling the other. Prepare your vinyl by rubbing a straight edged item (credit card, jumbo craft stick, etc) all over the transfer paper backing.

Carefully peel back the transfer paper a little at a time, watching to see if any letters come up with the paper. if they do, simply rub that are with your stick and continue until the transfer paper has been removed.

Position the vinyl on your sign board, again with the help of a friend if you can. You'll want to hover it over the board until you are ready to set it down as it may stick once set in place. If any letters came off during the peeling process, just carefully set them aside and add them last (see the word "group" fourth line down from the top?). Use your straight edge to rub the vinyl letters onto your board, rolling the backing back off as you go until all the letters are stuck to the board. When you are all finished, give the entire project 2-3 coats with a clear acrylic sealer in matte finish. I attached a very simple hanger to the back using a piece of twine, some scrap cardboard and some Gorilla Glue super glue.

Hang! I hope you enjoyed this project. I am so happy to have been able to share it with you, thanks for allowing me in to your inbox and thanks to Kari for having me. :)

Crafts by Amanda


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