Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EAT

My parents are in the process of getting their home ready to sell, which, inevitably means that they’ll need to start staging the home so that their space looks appealing to just about anyone. And right now vintage and distressed items are really in. But not so distressed or so vintage as to appear overused. Nope, it needs to be a hip kind of used ๐Ÿ™‚

So in trying to work out projects that will work well for them, I made these distressed letters that can grace their kitchen or breakfast room and be super cute and not at all personal and off-putting to potential buyers. And because this type of thing is wildly popular right now, I have a feeling you’d love a set in your home as well.

Now I wasn’t exactly thinking about the difference in the size of our homes. Mine is tiny where theirs is not. As such these letters, while big by the standards of my kitchen, just won’t make a dent in the decor of their home but at least these were good practice!

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EAT

For this project you will need:

  • Large letter cut outs (shop craft stores or online)
  • Base color of paint
  • Top color of paint
  • Fine grit sandpaper

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATIf you can find wood letters your in business. Mine are actually compressed board which isn’t as nice but is less than half the price and not as nice but will still work. These are 18 inches tall but you can find much larger letters online if you have a big home.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATNow technically you would want to cover the entire letter with your choice of underpaint (the one that will show through the top layer of paint). I however was positive I had a full bottle when I only had dregs so I just painted the edges. Although you can tell on the A I didn’t quite realize my situation for a moment. It will work fine if you just paint the edges but if you cross over into an unpainted area you won’t have that color peeking through but the color of the original wood or pressed board. Oh, say hi to Max.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATWhen your first color is dry, go over it with a coat of your top color. When that is dry paint over one more time. Here you can see the ready to be distressed, first coat of top color and bottom color only.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATWhen completely dry (like overnight so the paint doesn’t gum up on you) begin sanding the edges and roughing up the letter about a half an inch inward. Be random and be quick about it so that it doesn’t look overly polished. These are distressed, after all!

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EAT

And a quick side by side of distressed and just painted white.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATNext to get those nice seams you see on some of the more expensive letters (mostly because they are actual woodworked pieces put together) we’re going to fake it with just a pencil and a ruler. Draw on the seams as they would make sense to be.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATGo over the lines with some sandpaper to scuff them up and so that they look less drawn on.

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATAnd here is our first letter! Looks an awful lot different from the cheap particle board, doesn’t it?

Distressed Large Letter Art Tutorial - EATAnd there are the finished letters. In an effort to keep them from looking too “cookie cutter” I distressed them different amounts and concentrated on different areas. Unfortunately you can totally see the edge of my base coat in some places (like in the middle of the E) so I’d really recommend a full coat so prepare your materials better than I did.

What do you think? Will you have some large letter art gracing the walls of your home any time soon?