Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Reflection on Numbers

I’m in that funky group of homeowners that think whimsy beats out traditional in certain situations.  Take our mailbox, for example.  There were u-g-l-y house numbers on the side when we bought the house 10 years ago.  About 5 years ago, I decided to take those off and come out with something on my own.  I like the outside of the house to somehow give a peek at the personality of the people living inside.  John wanted me to do something in purple and gold but he lost that fight after I told him that someone would rip it down.  I plant purple and yellow pansies at the mailbox and front door every fall and that’s enough for my Tiger fan. 

I decided to do a tile mosaic of our street numbers and used black, copper and cream tiles with cream grout.  I never took a picture of it, but it did the trick and held up for 5 years…until bits and pieces fell off this harsh winter. So, back to the drawing board.  Here’s what I started out with:

IMG_1157I bought this raw wood base from Hobby Lobby and decided it was going to reflect my love of black and white checks and a color in our living room…cinnabar.  I didn’t didn’t take pictures of the first steps (sorry!) but started by spraying the raw wood with Binzer 123 primer and them painted the raised molding a cream/white with a little gray.  Then I measures off for the black squares and painted them using black, dark brown and beige.  Yep!  I do like my Mackenzie-Childs and use their technique except for the colors of the interior as the accent colors instead of their traditional blue, gray and yellow accent paints.


I decided to cross hatch the cinnabar color on the surface and went over this three times until you couldn’t see the white primer underneath.  I added a wine colored paint to the cinnabar paint to give it more interest.

IMG_1150Next comes the stenciling of the street numbers using a white wax carbon paper underneath my computer generated numbersIMG_1151

I am using gold leaf for the numbers, so the sizing is painted on first.


Almost finished here with the painting…you have to let the gold leaf sizing dry to a tacky finish before adding the leafing. I used Mona Lisa Sizing and gold leaf.


I didn’t take pictures during the gold leafing stage…it gets kind of messy!  I then sprayed the front and back of the sign with an indoor/outdoor polyurethane to protect it from the weather.  Last step is to outline the numbers with a black oil based paint pen.  This should be done last because the polyurethane will make the black oil paint run if sprayed on top.


It’s pretty simple from this point…a little dab of Liquid Nails on the back…


and a good strong bungee cord to keep the sign in place until it all dries in a few hours.


And there you go…a unique street number sign that will hopefully get the job done! 

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