It's not easy to do a good job painting on barn wood. Usually the surface you paint on is very weathered, full of ridges and cracks. It also is dry and sucks up the paint. My method to successfully paint on a piece of barn wood is:
1. Clean the board.
They are usually very dirty. Use some Simple Green in water and a scrub brush. Rinse and let dry for a day or two.
2. Paint Base.
No need to sand but use an old brush as you will shred it on this surface. I usually do a background coat, leaving plenty of board edge all around. This first coat keeps the detail coat from being sucked in too much.
3. Paint Details.
Again, use an old brush and realize that your painting will not be precise. But if you are painting on barn wood, you are going for a rustic look, which you will get! The font I used to create this sign is Fancy Pants.
After the paint was dry, I did sand over the entire sign to distress. Some times I sand, some times I don't. It all depends on the look I'm going with. If you are putting this outside, you must use varnish and several coats to be sure to get into all cracks and crevices. I prefer the unvarnished look to my barn wood signs so they are for inside use only.
5. Pull the slivers in your finger(s) from painting the sign.
Written wryly but this is very true! These signs ALWAYS give me slivers, while painting them and setting them out at shows to sell! But it's worth it...love the barn wood look!
I'll be taking this sign and lots more hand painted items to this event on Saturday...
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