So…it’s been awhile since my last post. Things have been a little crazy lately and it’s not exactly calming down. Despite this, I have found time for a couple of DIY projects, which of course, I will be sharing with you here.
For months now, I’ve been dying to get my hands on a vintage subway sign. I first saw them on pinterest (of course) and fell in love. I began looking to buy one but decided they were too expensive. Besides, I wanted one that featured our favorite cities. After some DIY research, I found that others had come up with the same idea and executed the project in all kinds of different ways. I saw personalized prints and painted canvases but nothing that really captured what I was picturing. I knew I wanted to accomplish three things with this project:
- An aged/vintage look
- Personalized cities that would bring back great memories
- The classic white on black lettering for authenticity
So with this in mind, here is what I came up with:
- 1 12×20 inch wooden board from Michael’s
- Vinyl letter stickers (1 in, 3 in, and 4 in sizes)*
- Paint (black and white)
- Homemade glaze (Valspar Glaze and Minwax “Special Walnut” stain)
And here’s what I did:
1. First, I sanded down the edges and front and back to smooth it all out.
2. Next, I painted the front side white and let it dry completely.
3. Using a leveler and pencil, I drew the first line for the first city. Then, I carefully stuck on the letters. I found that starting with the first and last letters and building in from there helped me center each city name. Following a straight line will keep them from sinking or climbing.
4. I repeated step 3 until all of the city names were on the board. (If you run out of stickers, you can do half the board first, allow it to dry, remove the necessary stickers and complete the second half. Be very careful painting if you do it this way! Trust me, I found out the hard way.)
5. I coated the front and sides of the board with a couple of layers of black paint and allowed it to dry. Once the paint dried completely, I removed the stickers. If the edges are a little rough, you can touch up the letters with white or black paint.
6. Next, I took the sand paper and roughed the sign up a bit . I wanted it to look nice and worn, so I sanded it a lot.
7. After I sanded to my heart’s desire, I grabbed the glaze and wiped it all over the front of the sign. After letting it sit for a few minutes, so it had started to dry but was not completely set, I wiped it down with a paper towel. You can continue this process until your sign has the aged look you are going for (it took me about three coats).
8. (OPTIONAL) If you’d like to hang yours on the wall (like me), you can pick up whatever picture hanging supplies you’d like to use and attach them to the back. I used small self-leveling sawtooth hangers from Home Depot. I simply nailed one into the back and hung it like I would anything else. There are many options if you explore the hardware aisles of your local home improvement store.
So here it is, the finished product. It took awhile, but I think it was worth it. Have you tried a similar project? Have another good idea for a vintage sign? Love to hear from you, it’s been awhile! :)
*Note: I picked up the 4 inch vinyl letter stickers at Michael’s and found a great combo pack of 1 and 3 inch sizes at Target.