I’m struggling to finish decorating the master bedroom right now. Of all the rooms in this house, it’s always been the one that is most glaringly too small. No matter which way I turn the bed, one of the two windows makes it too tight of a squeeze for two normal night stands. And forget symmetry. Builders of houses like mine just stick doors and windows all over the place, without regard to where the buyer will someday put actual sized furniture. So it’s a snug fit all around.
I’ve let those complaints keep me from trying to do much with the room since we moved in nearly eight years ago. The walls, though recently repainted, are still the same color of sage green they’ve been the entire time. I added curtains and a headboard a few months ago, which did a little bit to soften the space, but don’t even match the wall color. And though I still like the curtain pattern, I immediately thought that having it on the headboard too was a little much.
Maybe it’s the fact that I took the TV out of the room recently, but the room’s unfinished and unmatching state has started to bug me. Then yesterday, I found a really neat mid-century wooden chair on the side of the road (more on that in another post). I had to rescue it, but really didn’t have a spot for it in the living room. So I put it in the bedroom. That set off a chain reaction of moving furniture, switching out furniture, and just general changing around of the room in order to fit the chair.
It’s kind of like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie:
If you give a girl a free chair, she might need to move the bedroom furniture to fit it. And if she moves the bedroom furniture, she might decide that some of the furniture needs spray paint. And if she’s spray painting furniture, she may want to DIY some faux metal letters for the wall.
Makes sense, right?
I’ve wanted to buy some of the big distressed metal letters that Hobby Lobby sells, but they’re $25 apiece. Even at 40% off, that’s a whole lot of money if you want to spell a word. Then, the other day on Pinterest, I saw where someone had spray painted some of the paper mache letters to look like the zinc letters that Anthropologie sells. Fast forward to me yesterday, trying to figure out something fun and very “us” to go above the headboard. Bingo! I decided to try my own faux metal letters.
While searching for L-O-V-E in a pile of letters at Hobby Lobby, and not entirely happy with the generic-ness of that word, A-L-W-A-Y-S came to mind. Matthew often signs things to me with “Forever & Always.” It’s the best, most comforting phrase to hear. Just right for our bedroom wall.
The letters were just $2.47 apiece. I know they go on sale 40% off occasionally, so a less impatient and spontaneous person than me could do this for less money. I also bought several kinds of paint, ready to experiment. One can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint. One can of a crackle spray paint. And two bottles of metallic craft paint.
First up, I painted all the letters with the oil rubbed bronze. In retrospect, I’d say that this was an unnecessary cost. It really didn’t show in the finished product. I definitely needed a base coat, but some cheap black craft paint would have been just fine.
After letting the letters dry for almost an hour, I sprayed them all with the crackle spray paint. I really had no idea what to expect. Honestly, when I bought it, I thought it was a clear spray that would crackle whatever I had painted. It wasn’t – as you can see, it was a cream colored paint that crackled. It looked pretty cool, despite not being at all what I was going for. I wanted a cracked, rusty metal look. So I kept going.
Using a sponge brush and a paper towel, I applied several layers of the metallic craft paints. One was an antique gold, the other was a dark pewter. I just kind of played with them, mixing them together and also using them separately. Each time, I wiped a lot off with the paper towel so that you could still see the crackle finish below.
Finally, I sanded all of the letters. I focused mostly on the edges, to distress them. But I also let a little of the cream show through on the fronts.
The finished product doesn’t look exactly like any kind of metal letter I’ve ever seen. Jacob was disappointed, since he apparently hoped that they would be blue. He informed me that they weren’t a pretty color. And I laughed and told him that I wanted them to look like something I got out of the trash.
One great thing about paint is that you can always do it again. I think it would be cool if one of those metallic spray paints would actually rust. I discovered that the vinegar & steel wool wash I used on the display box caused the metal hardware to rust. If I could replicate that on letters, that would be neat. For now, I like these.
No finished photos of them up on the wall yet, though. I want the room to look a little more finished before I go posting photos of it on the internet again. Soon!