Monday, January 24, 2011

faux metallic letter tutorial.


i'm all about using my painting powers for good and not evil (aka, nice "finishes", and not cheesy sponge-painting techniques), and today i thought i'd share a short tutorial on how to get a "metallic" look with paint. and it's so easy, trust me.

we've all seen the great zinc letters at anthropologie that are priced between $18-98/per letter. not bad if you are buying one, but bad if you are wanting to spell something out. anyway, i bought some cardboard letters at hobby lobby for around $2 each. they looked like this to begin with:

here are my supplies, along with a chip brush (the cheap-o brushes that are around one dollar at the craft store or home improvement store) and a paper towel:
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black craft paint and folk art "pearl" paint. it works much better for silvery metallic finishes than the silver paint does!

first, i painted them both black as a base coat, then let them dry:
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then, i did a super-quick dry brush of the pearly paint on top of the black. that means that i dipped a dry paint brush into a tiny bit of the pearl paint, and just kind of smudged it on. it's not rocket science...you just dab it on, then smear it around until it looks "right". you can also rub it off and around with the paper towel.

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if you do an up-and-down motion with your brush, it looks more like aluminum.

and, you're done! so easy. you could do this with lots of different items, too. picture frames, boxes, etc. i started with these letters, just because i wanted to play around with this metallic finish and make sure it was "do-able", but now the options are endless...

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32 comments:

  1. I've been eyeing the Anthro letters for awhile but didn't have the gusto to pick them up for $$/each. This is perfect. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  2. I happened upon your blog a couple of weeks ago, and LOVE it. I'm moving into a new apartment next week, and am going to try so many of your ideas. Thanks!

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  3. Yes! I just saw those letters yesterday and was trying to figure out a cheaper way.

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  4. This is great! Any ideas for gold or copper letters? I have to say your "yo" is fabulous. Perfect word choice.

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  5. Yo! That's awesome! And looks idiot proof (for people like myself).

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  6. Awesome tutorial! I'm so gonna try this. I've wanted letters like this for awhile now but the price is just a little much for me to justify. Thanks again!

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  7. This is such a doable project. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. chandeen - i'd try precious metals brand metallics. they're awesome!

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  9. I love this, the effect is gorgeous. I love that you chose "yo"

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  10. Great project! I've been thinking about putting letters in my house, but can't think of the perfect word. And I think you found it first. Yo - just perfect and I love it.

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  11. The talent that is you... Destiny

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  12. I like it. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.
    Seattle Real Estate

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  13. Thanks for the boost of Prceious metals Kristen - Laeving for LA tomorrow to show off your work - I'll send you pics
    Judy

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  14. Love it! I will be trying this for sure.

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  15. This will be fun, inexpensive & easy project to do while the kiddos are in school. Thanks for sharing!!! Your projects have been a huge inspiration to me.

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  16. Those came out so nice! I think this is my favorite letter project to date. Thanks for the how-t, I'll be spreading the word.

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  17. Say hi to your newest follower! These are awesome, and I'm totally stealing this idea. :)

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  18. love this! I have some letters from Michaels that are just waiting for this!

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  19. Awesome! I can't wait to try this on quite a few things around my house! Thanks,
    Amy

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  20. Awesome but I don't know where to buy cardboard letters here in our country.

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  21. What a great guide! Thank you, these look awesome in our new office!

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  22. ooh these look wonderful, thanks!

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  23. I did it! You inspired me and I tried it for myself. You were right, it was easy.

    I just blogged about it and linked to you. Thanks SO much. Lisa~

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  24. I was only looking at these letters today at a craft. Love Love your idea. You have inspired me to give it a go.

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  25. I found this tutorial on Pinterest a couple months ago. Thank you so much for posting it! I love it! I just made a cute Halloween decoration with it.

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  26. I have the perfect project for this technique... is the "Pearl" paint you used FOLKART #659? TIA!

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  27. This is great, simple, inexpensive & creative! Thank you!

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  28. what a nice blog comment you have post and it is very valuable for us Metal Letters

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