Friday, March 31, 2017

How to fix your wood sign when things go wrong!

Do you ever have a project in mind and think oh that won't be to hard or take too long.  Well this was that project for me.  

I've made a lot of signs and they have gone fairly smoothly. I wasn't doing anything crazy and my sister even cut the vinyl for me.  Should have been simple.  Well things didn't go quite as planned, in fact everything that could have gone wrong did.  First the stain color was not the color I thought it would be, then my board almost didn't fit in my car and a lot of suitcases had to be rearranged  to get it home (I started this when I was visiting my family), then I left 1 letter in a state across the country, the new letter was the wrong size, then my paint started peeling when I was pulling off the vinyl, my wood was not thick enough to nail a frame to it, I cut one of my boards to short, hammered the nails for the hangers all the way through my board, and finally the letter W is way crooked.  I almost gave up several times but I'm so glad I didn't.  Its very far from perfect (and the W makes me a little crazy) but I love it.

If you are wanting to make a wood sign here's my tutorial for painting a wood sign.  (don't worry this one went smooth) and I love A girl and a Glue guns tutorial for making the frame.

So Here are a few tips in case your sign isn't going as smooth as you had hoped.
Paint peeling.
You have your sign all finished and you start to take the vinyl off and the paint comes with it!  umm that is the worst.  I found that heating it with a blow dryer and using an exacto knife along the edges of the vinyl  where needed worked really well.  Then smooth the paint back down on your wood the best you can.  I'm not sure why the paint peels, it can be a few different things.  I think I put my last coat of paint on way too thick.

A needle can help pull up the edge of your vinyl.

Distressing covers a lot of flaws.  The numbers on my board were in really bad shape (I started using the knife after these)  The 5 was not looking good and I had planned on trying to touch it up with paint.  Instead my sander saved the day.  I did a little heavier distressing in some areas and went over all the letters quite a bit.  This smoothed out all of the imperfections from the peeling paint and it made the 5 look like it was done on purpose.

What if you have a thinner board but you want to framed it.  You can use my tutorial for a chunkier frame.  In this case I hadn't planed on that so I didn't have enough room on the bottom to go this route.  Wood Glue worked perfectly.  I used Gorilla wood Glue and it seems really sturdy.  My bottom board is a little short it would be nice to have those edges meet up to give it a little more support like the top but even that one doesn't feel like its going any where.

One final tip:  This board is huge (almost 5 ft) When placing vinyl its really hard to get it lined up perfectly.  It helped to draw a light pencil line across the board.  Even then its hard to get everything lined up perfectly.  I knew the W was off a little but when it was laying down it seem like it was pretty close so I didn't worry about it.  Next time I would lean it against a wall and and take a step back to see how it looks.  Now that its all painted its something that can't be fixed.

Its not very often that one of my project goes perfectly, or turns out how how I expected it to.  Even the ones that end up being tossed in the trash are not failures.  Creating is a process, it starts with an idea and that idea evolves, and often its a surprised where we end up.  That's one thing I love about creating.   There are always a few bumps and surprises, or it takes a little longer or our skills aren't quite what we need them to be.  On the other hand their are those times when we amaze ourselves, things turn out exactly how you had hope or sometimes even better, we have a new idea, an awesome idea,  we learn new skills, and improve on the ones we have.  I feel like there is a lot unrealistic expectations in regards to what our homes, our projects, or even we need to look like to be considered beautiful or "pinterest worthy." My house is full of projects I love but very few are perfect.  I love that I can look at something and say I did that.  Keep creating, keep learning, keep doing what you love, and fill your home and life with things that make you happy.

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