Distressed Wooden Sign

I am super excited with how this project turned out.  It was one of those delightful moments where something turned out even better than I had envisioned.  I just couldn't stop looking at my rustic Western sign.

The goal:  My sister threw an amazing cowboy hoe-down party for my nephew's 3rd birthday on Saturday.  I will be sharing some details of the party later on because it was rip-roarin' fun!  She asked me to make a rustic sign that said, "Anderson Ranch" to hang up on a tree in the back yard.  Here are bits and pieces of my journey:

I was able to walk out of Home Depot with this piece of wood for FREE!  Great start!

The only problem was that my piece of wood was silky smooth, and I needed it to look rustic.  Can you believe that I have never ever distressed something before?!  I had so much fun with my mallet, screw, and screwdriver that I am having visions of distressing every piece of furniture in my home!  This was excellent anger management!!!  I went to town on my wood until I realized that the opposite side of the wood was actually much more naturally distressed.  It had a fabulous knot in it and was already a bit more rough.  I didn't even mind the extra distressing... I seriously LOVED it!  (What does that say about me?)
I started out by giving the distressed wood a good coat of brown spray paint.  See that fabulous knot?  

Next, I applied my vinyl on top of the brown coat.  I used a fun Western font called "Playbill."  I was so tickled with how Western it looked!

Now I gave my sign a good coat of Heirloom White.  I sprayed right over the top of my vinyl.  I loved how all of my distressing really showed up after this coat.  Check it out...

At first, I was a little disappointed because I found that my vinyl peeled up around some of the edges, so some letters were a bit blurred.  I contemplated fixing them up... and then I realized it simply added to the rustic look!  Oopsey turned into a daisy!  I even took it to the next step by sanding the edges of the letters so the brown would blend into the white.  Of course I sanded the sign's edges too.

I realized I didn't have any wire strong enough to hang this bad boy... but I came up with a frugal solution!!  I untwisted a wire hanger and used my big muscles and rusty wire cutters to fashion the wire into a sign hanger!  It was nice to find an easy solution around the house!

And here is the lovely finished product, hanging on the tree:

Deliciously rustic, don't you think??  

PS My friend Kelsey from Tattered & Inked was my paint distressing consultant on this project!!  I seriously e-mailed her to ask her advice.  She knows her paint!!  If you haven't checked out her blog, swing by and say hello!
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