24 September 2014

Stenciled Outdoor Art - There Is No Place Like Home


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Home means a lot of things to me. The house where I live. My family. My hometown. The USA.  FolkArt® Stencils & Paints were the perfect pairing to the "there is no place like home" decal that I found to make a wooden sign for my front porch! Whether it's my house or the USA, there's really no place like home.

Let me show you how easy it was to make!

Here's what I used:
  • FolkArt® Stencil1®  (available at Michaels)
  • FolkArt® Stencil Adhesive  (available at Michaels)
  • FolkArt® Stencil Creme  (available at Michaels)
  • fairly stiff stencil brushes
  • scrap pieces of wood
  • leftover latex paint and water-based stain
  • 1.5" paintbrush
  • small piece of fine grit sandpaper
  • large decal/sticker
  • paper towels
  • optional: clear protective spray, hanging hardware

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Don't forget to use your coupons at Michaels!!

Step 1 - Creating the sign base:
To create the base, I used some scrap 1"x2.5" wood we had in the garage. Gus cut two pieces about 15" long (I planned for it to have a rough, weathered look, so I didn't mind if the edges were a bit uneven), then used wood glue to glue them together (making it 15" long X 5" tall). Once it was dry, I added a coat of dark stain that I also found in the garage.

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Once the stain was dry, I used some fine grit sandpaper to roughen the surface of the wood a little, then wiped it down to remove the dust. Then I used some leftover eggshell latex paint in an off-white color and a dry paintbrush to lightly brush paint onto the boards. After several swipes, I lightly sanded again, dusted, then went back in with the paint and dry brush until I was happy with the surface. If you haven't dry-brushed before, you're going for a look that sort of looks like the paint has flaked off.  Which is kind of weird, I know. If you don't like that look, you could just paint the wood, or leave the stain.

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Step 2 - Preparing the stencils and creme paint:
While that was drying, I prepared the flag stencil by applying the FolkArt® Stencil Adhesive to the back. The adhesive keeps the stencil in place while you're painting. It's repositionable, which is great if you're painting something that repeats the pattern, or if you didn't get it straight the first time. It comes in an easy applicator bottle and cleans up with soap and water. Once the adhesive is on, it needs to dry about 10 minutes before you position the stencil.

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While waiting, I also prepared the FolkArt® Stencil Creme. It has a light layer on top of it that must be removed before you can use the paint. I just used part of a paper towel to wipe across the top of the paint to remove the "skin". It's a lot like the "skin" that forms on pudding as it cools.

Step 3 - Applying the paint:
When the adhesive was ready, I positioned the stencil where I wanted it on the board, and pressed it in place.

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Then I just swirled my paintbrush over the FolkArt® Stencil creme, then dabbed it on the FolkArt® Stencil1®. The creamy consistency was very easy to apply. You don't want to overload the brush since this is a "dry-brush" paint. I like how easy it is to give depth to the piece by making part of the flag dark and part light. I used the colors straight from the package, but since these are oil-based "dry-brush" paints, the colors are easy to blend. You also get the added benefit of no drips, no run-under your stencil, and easy clean-up with soap and water.

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As soon as I was finished applying the paint, I removed the FolkArt® Stencil1® - perfect!

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Step 4 - Applying the decal:
Next, I peeled the backing off of the decal, positioned it over the wood - adhesive side down - and pressed it into place. Then I let everything dry for about 48 hours.

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Step 5 -  (Optional) Applying clear protective coat & hanging hardware:
Since I plan to keep this on my front porch, I sprayed it with a clear protective coat after it was dry. Then I added the hanging hardware.

This was a huge hit at my house! Gus wanted it for his workshop in the garage, and Buddy wanted it for his "apartment" in the basement. I'm sticking with the original plan, and hanging it on the front porch - but I admit, I got some warm fuzzies from the fact that everyone wanted it!

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Home. If you're lucky, it's the one word that fills your heart with wonderful, warm feelings.

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