Housewarming Gift - lettering on wood

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Project by BillGo posted 01-06-2021 03:44 AM 866 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not a very complex project from a woodworking point of view, a housewarming gift for my son as he moves into his new home. I thought it would be interesting for what I learned about laying out and applying lettering on wood.

The house is cut from pine and painted to look like the house they lived in when they were first married. As you can see I am challenged as a painter. I was hoping to at least convey a (albiet cartoonish) representation of that house, including the dogs.

When it came to the lettering, I was experimenting with fonts, layout, spacing, size, etc. My painting ability for the letters was even worse than the houseā€¦. Then I had an idea to use the Cricut that one of my kids has. I did not want to use vinyl letters on the wood, I wanted the letters painted on. I started using the Cricut to create templates to experiment with layout, and spacing, but soon thought to use the vinyl in a negative way, as a stencil. I chose to paint the letters on, so I could embellish them later. This stencil approach could also be used for other shapes and other media as well.

I tried several approaches, and ended up putting down two coats of polyurethane to start, then put on the vinyl stencil, and the paint for the lettering. I tried a few practice pieces directly on the wood, and found that the paint bled under the stencil. Putting the polyurethane down first, gave me much cleaner lines.

I used spray paint inside the lettering. I just could not get clean and even application when I tried using a brush. I also found that I needed to let the paint set for about 5min before removing the stencil. If I removed it too soon, it was too messy, and if I waited till it tried, the bond of the paint to the vinyl was stronger than the bond to the wood. This caused it to tear up the edges and leave a saw-tooth pattern. If I pulled the stencil up when it had set up on the wood, but not dried against the vinyl yet, I got that nice clean lines.

Anyway, I think this approach might be helpful for laying out nay type of graphic pattern on wood, using whatever medium to leave the graphic behind. Thanks for reading.

-- Bill - in New Hampshire

2 comments so far

View EllenWoodHead's profile


167 posts in 871 days

#1 posted 01-06-2021 05:53 PM

Thanks for detailing how you did the lettering. This is cool :)

-- "wood" and "good" rhyme, but not "food"

View Vicki's profile


1236 posts in 4839 days

#2 posted 01-07-2021 04:15 AM

Great tutorial. Awesome job on the project! Love it.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

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