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How to make distress wood FAST!

How to make distress wood FAST!

Hello everyone and welcome to my happy place! So, I am done with my educator program and the final challenge will be coming soon! I do haver to admit that I am super exited to complete this course! I have a feeling like it took too long, but I am happy that I have only one more step left! You will be hearing more about it in the next blog, or two…

For today I have something totally different to show you. I have been meaning to do a video on this for a long time, but, simply do not have time for it, so I figure this will do the job for now. We all love custom made gifts and signs especially when they are reflecting our characters and personalities.

A customer of mine wanted a small sign made for her older son with a simple saying “It is what it is”. But this sign also had to be distressed and “to look like it was just pulled out of the ocean” with a little splash of orange! Challenge accepted! Before I jump into how I made this, let’s talk supplies:

These are all the supples that I have in my garage already and I am absolutely positive that if you look closer you will find similar items around your household as well. You will need a metal spatula or a scraping tool, an inexpensive paint brush, a chisel, sponge applicator, small stencil brush or a brush with coarse bristles, painter’s tape or a good quality masking tape, dark wood stain, light color paint, accent color (I used orange), gloves, sand paper and paper towels. TIPS: #1. Please work in a space that has good ventilation or outside #2. Protect your work surface! This project is very messy! I used parchment paper, but you can use whatever you have handy (old rags, magazines, newspaper…)

I started off by making dents and scrapes into the wood. I wanted this plank to look as old as possible. I simply took the chisel and dug into the wood. I then took the painter’s tape and masked off the sides and the bottom of the plank.I then ended the wood until it became smooth to the touch. This took approximately 10 minutes and after that was done, it was time to paint it!

When you get to this step it is very important to have all your paints and tools ready. The wood stain dries very fast and you do not want to risk this drying on you while you are opening your pain cans. Please do this before hand!

I first applied a very generous amount of wood stain and then immediately after I added paint without letting it dry. After I applied the paint I took the spatula and scraped off all the excess of the paint and stain onto a piece of paper towel. After that, I added accents of orange paint and I let it dry overnight.

The next day when I took off the painter’s tape I realized that some of the stain seeped onto the sides to the wood. This is ok, and it can happen, and if you would like to avoid this, make sure that your tape is nicely sealed onto the wood. But if this happens, there is a simple way to fix it – sand it. Since the stain was left there overnight, it got into the wood pretty deep and to speed up the process I used an electric sander, but you can definitely do this by hand, but it might take a bit longer. After I was done with removing the stain it was time to apply a nice and even coat of stain. To apply the stain I used a sponge applicator. I simply dipped into the stain, this time not a lot and applied it onto the wood and immediately after I wiped off the excess with paper towel. I repeated the process on all 4 sides and the bottom and I left it dry for a few hours.

Next part is a fun one – part for cutting the vinyl. This was truly done in no time! After the machine cut my design, I simply peeled off the excess vinyl, put a transfer tape over it and burnish it with a little tool on both sides, from and back. I then peeled it off and attached it on the board. Since vinyl will not stick to the painted wood that easily, when taking off the transfer tape be extra careful and slow. After this was done, simply applied two coats of clear lacquer and let it dry overnight.

After everything was done and ready, I just added two metal hooks on the back of the sign for easy hanging. And that was it! Aside from the drying process (which took about two days total), everything else was pretty much quick and honestly I have no issues nor challenges of any kind.

I really like how this turned out; but the most important thing is that the customer loved it! She was so pleased to see it and the best thing is that everything was done in time for her son’s birthday.

If you would like to order a custom sign, please shoot me a message and I will be happy to make something special for you. These are wonderful gifts for anyone and any occasion and if you would like to avoid the hassle of shipping, I will ship it for you to your desired address.

Thank you so much for visiting me today and I hope you like this project. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and/or suggestions that you would like me to create next. And don’t forget to connect on social media!


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How to make distress wood FAST! - Lana by Lana Design
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