You know that feeling when you are driving along and you see an old, dilapidated piece of furniture sitting on the side of the road? Your heart begins to race, your hands begin to tremble... and then comes the panic that it may not fit into the trunk of your tiny little car. If you have ever experienced this sensation, you are in the right place. Welcome to The Refurbished Home! Whether you are looking for a fun new DIY project, a great price on a unique piece of refurbished furniture, or even a local builder for a custom project, The Refurbished Home has it all.
Hi, I'm Amanda, I am constantly in the middle of some sort of project (okay, usually more like 10-20 projects, but you get the idea) and I have decided it is time to start sharing them. I am a pretty capable person and can usually manage to build/fix/create something interesting on my own, but I also have a secret weapon. My husband, Patrick, is a builder, a very talented one if I do say so myself. We happen to make a pretty good team. I have big ideas, but Patrick's ideas can be huge, enormous even. Let me give you some examples.
When our son was ready to upgrade from his crib, I asked Patrick to build a "big boy bed". This is what I got...
and when our son turned 3 I asked Patrick to build him a swing set... not exactly what I had in mind.
I promise to talk more about those projects another time, but today, in honor of our new online home, I am going to show you how to make a fun industrial chic home address sign.
Here's what you will need:
- a chunk of wood (height and width are up to you but you want at least 3/4" depth for secure nails)
-paint for wood (optional)
-about a million nails, 2 1/2 or 3" work best(this project seriously takes a ton of nails, I'll explain how to estimate in a bit)
- spray paint for nails (optional)
- printed out copy of the numbers you will be using, in the correct font and size
The first step for me was to print out our house number in a bunch of different fonts and then spend a couple of days picking which one we liked most. Before you decide on a font please be sure to scroll down and read the notes about nails.
Once we decided, I printed out the numbers in the same size I wanted them to be on our sign. For the sake of conserving ink I printed only the outline of the numbers.
Now, on to the nails. Depending on the look you are going for, you have some choices to make. I would have loved to go with a nail that would eventually rust, but that would have resulted in rust running down the house over time. Our second choice was black, but the nails available in black also would have eventually rusted. In the end we went with 3" galvanized spiral siding nails. Galvanized won't rust but they are silver and that was not the look I was going for so I spray painted them.
*If you are wondering about that lovely background, whenever I spray paint anything I do it on this big old rug. I honestly don't even remember what color it was when I started...
So how many nails do you really need? Well you have to decide how big this thing is going to be. Each number on our sign is about 7 1/2" tall and about 4" wide. Each number required between 90 and 110 nails. Your choice of font is also going to make a big difference here, a thick bold number will use more nails, but will also look better and be easier to read from a distance. When it comes time to actually purchase the nails I recommend buying more than you think you need and holding on to the receipt in case you get to return some. And if you decide to paint the nails, paint them in batches. Trust me, turning over each individual nail so that you can paint the other side, is a seriously tedious task, you won't want to do 500 at one time.
**Update 9-25-14: I have finally come up with a more efficient way to paint the nails. If you happen to have some Styrofoam lying around, stick the nails in and you will be able to paint the nails without the need to flip them.
And the wood background. I chose a piece out of our scrap pile. Overall our sign is 27" wide by 11" tall . I wanted a piece that had already been aged and distressed by nature, so there was nothing left for me to do but cut it to size. Obviously you could paint yours if you wanted a different look, this would be the time to do that, and then we are ready to start putting this thing together.
Ready to begin! Now you simply have to lay the paper copy on top of the wood. Once you have it layed out exactly how you want it, go ahead and tape it down. I used packing tape so that it was held down pretty securely but I could still see through it on the parts where I accidently covered part of my numbers.
**If you are not painting your nails, It would be much easier for you to simply trace the shape of your numbers in a light pencil. The paper needs to be there in a later step for anyone painting the nails, but it is a huge pain to tear out, so don't do it if you don't have to.
Once you have it all set up how you want it, it is time to start hammering the nails. You want to work your way through a number in much the same way as you would if you were simply writing it. Start at one end and work you way to the other end. Keep your nails really close together.
As you go, you will end up with some nails that simply don't go in straight. Depending on which way the offending nail is leaning you can choose from three options. 1. Hit the side of the nail with the hammer. 2. Wedge another nail in between and use the leverage provided by the other nails to bend it back out. 3. Use a crowbar to do the same thing described in option #2. * If you painted your nails and are using option #3 be careful not to tear up the paper as you will be doing another coat of spray paint later.
One more thing you will want to check as you go. You want the nails to all end up at approximately the same depth. The easiest and quickest way to do this periodically is to simply take one of your nails and hold it up to the first nail you did. Hold your fingers against the head of the original nail and then move your "measuring nail" to the last nail you drove. If the heights match up, you are good to go. If not, adjust accordingly...
Once you finish the first number (or sooner if you are smarter than me), step back and take a good look at your hard work. When I did this, I found that my nails were spaced too far apart. I ended up removing a huge section of nails and re-doing it. I also added quite a few more nails in random places throughout. The picture here is before I fixed it, so if your work looks like this, good luck.
Finally! Now that you have driven all of the nails for your sign (and taken a break to massage your aching arm, seriously, I think I gave myself carpal tunnel with this project), tape off all of the exposed wood so that you can give the nails another coat of spray paint. Hammering on the painted nails removes quite a bit of paint, so a touch up coat makes a very big difference.
*I know that looks like I didn't tape very well, but don't forget I used clear packing tape earlier.
Tear into it. You have hammered all the nails, you have touched up the paint, now you get the satisfaction of tearing off all that paper and finally seeing how it really looks. One problem, the paper does not come off well at all. Rip off what you can by hand, and then use a pair of needle nose pliers to get into the nooks and crannies as much as you can.
Give up?... Eventually you will get to a point that even your pliers can not pull out any more of the paper. The good news? This is meant to be seen from a distance so no one will notice, and time and nature can slowly take care of the rest.
Love the sign, but don't want to make one? Good news, we can make it for you. Click here to request information.