Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Grocery Sign and Distressing Tips

...or at least I hope it looks like it! I've been enjoying doing some crafting for my real life home and signs like this are my new obsession. Once I found the key to getting the lettering to look the way I wanted, I was off and running!

I used to print the lettering on the computer and try to transfer the design by using pencil on the back and pressing hard. Uh... not very effective! I saw a tip online to use a ballpoint pen and create an indent in the wood but found it just wasn't distinct enough. I finally tried using my stylus (like for scrapbooking or other paper crafts) and found what I was looking for! The indent was deep enough that even I could see it and paint it.

One little painting tip: I added paint thinner to make the painting easier but found that it really soaked into the wood this way and the distressing was harder. If you really want a weathered look, you may want to play with paint thicknesses to get the effect you want.

For weathering:
- I used a mixture of india ink and alcohol to grey the wood before painting and make it look older.
- For more blotchy areas where you want the top coat of paint to flake off completely, use your fingers to apply a little wax (like mini-wax), vaseline, or even chapstick! Paint right over it, allow the paint to dry COMPLETELY and then scrape it off. Voila! Blotchy paint!
- To "sand" it, I used a steel wire brush from the electronics section of Home Depot (the guy though I was crazy). I have no idea what they use it for, but I've commandeered it for a much more fun purpose!

Happy Distressing!


  1. Your sign is looking great, well done!

  2. Love your sign and thanks for the tips.

  3. Enjoying your blog... I'm your newest follower...please come on over and visit and follow me when you get a chance.
    Have a lovely fun filled mini day.

  4. I love what you did with this sign. It is too neat!!! I will need to try these tips. Have a wonderful Holiday. LJ



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