DIY project for sprucing up exterior entrances for holidays

By Debbie Travis  |  Telegram & Gazette            Decorating the exterior entrances to our homes is a wonderful way to mark the seasons and special events. At this time of year, holiday fare is abundant with options for everything from wreaths to trees, signage and lights. Where you live […]

By Debbie Travis
 |  Telegram & Gazette

           Decorating the exterior entrances to our homes is a wonderful way to mark the seasons and special events. At this time of year, holiday fare is abundant with options for everything from wreaths to trees, signage and lights. Where you live tends to dictate what way you will go. City homes vary from the classic look to imaginative takes on colors and shapes that have a chic persona. Country homes, such as the one seen here, provide rustic scenes developed with old wood, stenciled patterns, metal lanterns and flowerpots with lots of vintage character.

           I was excited to be introduced to Donna, whose passion and business enterprise is Funky Junk Interiors (www.FunkyJunkInteriors.net). She never stops rustling up curbside finds, old crates and baskets, weathered wood planks — castaways and anything vintage are waiting for Donna to repurpose. A soulmate to be sure! My friend Lorre at www.FusionMineralPaint.com connected us. As it turns out, Donna uses Fusion Mineral Paint on just about anything, especially outdoor projects, as it is a one-step wonder. No top coat required.

           Donna’s JOY sign sends such an uplifting message that I wanted to share the DIY instructions with you. Let’s begin with the board on which the sign is stenciled. This is a reclaimed board, so it was already beat up. But, advises Lorre, you can age new wood by applying shades of dark gray or brown to start. Then use a beeswax block to apply some wax randomly over the board. Paint over all with a much lighter shade and, once dry, give it a light sand, which will remove the light color where the wax was, revealing the dark coat underneath.

           Choose a stencil from Donna’s extensive designs, created around vintage, market-style signs and crate signage. Measure, place and mark the letters and snowflake motif onto the board. Load the brush, then offload most of the paint onto a rag to achieve a dry-to-the-touch stencil brush — this is key to a sharp image. Dome-shaped 100% bristle brushes stencil most easily. Tap or swirl the brush to fill in the stencil.

           The mat at the front door has been decorated with one of Donna’s designs called Buffalo Check. It fits perfectly on an IKEA mat. Position the stencil in the center of the mat so when you work toward the edges of your project they end with the same look. Use stencil registration marks to help position. A bristle mat requires more paint than a smooth surface. Tap up and down to avoid paint bleed underneath.

           Fusion can be applied over metal, but Lorre offers tips to start. Brand-new metal generally has a light oil residue because of the manufacturing process. This needs to be washed off with a degreaser, then wiped down with odorless mineral spirits or nail polish remover. Once the oil is removed from the metal, simply paint it. No primer is required.

           If you prefer to make a sign or design on fabric, using Fusion Mineral Paint is the way to go. Work over a board or other disposal surface, as the paint will bleed through the fabric. Festive cushions, a kitchen floorcloth or kids’ bedroom curtains are easy projects, and the results can be tucked away after the holidays to be resurrected for years to come. Memories are made of this.

                    Written by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email decorating questions to [email protected] Follow Debbie at instagram.com/debbie_travis, facebook.com/thedebbietravis and debbietravis.com.

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