Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vintage Inspired French Sign


A cupboard door...right?  Well, yes it was a cupboard door, but that's not what I saw.  I saw the vintage french sign I longed to create and on top of that, the door cost me just $1. 

The final result of this was in part planned and in part accidental.  Some accidents are happy, and this was one of them.

I should have sanded this, but I was being lazy and I didn't.  I also didn't use chalk paint which will stick to anything prepped or not.  Nope, not even primer, I just used regular latex paint and slapped it on that baby.  Of course it really didn't want to stick at all.  I suppose that was part of the happy accident as it gave the door a yummie weathered look that I love,

Here's where it get's kind of interesting.  I chose a graphic from my favorite website, the graphics fairy.  I then reversed the image and printed it out on a laser printer in the 14 x 20 size.  This was going to be an experiment really.  I placed the image ink side down on the door insert and using my nail polish remover method, I attempted to transfer it.  A tutorial for my nail polish remover transfer method can be found on my French Magazine Rack post.   I'm planning on doing a 'consumer report' sort of thing on all the transfer methods out there.  But for now, trust me that transferring is not a perfect science and doesn't always work the way we expect it to.  Nail polish works best on ink jet prints and while it worked here for me, it doesn't always work for laser ink.  Anyway, the remover turned the laser ink turned into a gummy vinyl mess and only partially transferred, leaving just enough behind to give the impression of an old weathered french sign.  WOW, another happy accident!!!  A touch of distressing and a couple of satin coats of varathane and.....VOILA!

I absolutely love the results.  This sign is definitely going to The Vintage Chicks June 2012 show.

And these two I made later as a thank you for Karen of Circa Interiors and her sister Kim.  Kim wanted to buy above the one that was at the sales event and didn't.  I feel that kind of remorse on a regular basis.  The one I made for her was actually prettier than the original I think.



  1. Lovely job! My printing mistakes don't come out a nice....they all tend to turn a pinkish shade of ink that isn't attractive at all. Looks like I need to invest in some of the water slide decals or pay for ink jet printing. Boohoo for me but thank you for sharing your projects and providing inspiration.

    1. Thanks for your comment Molly. Since doing this project I have tried other projects using a laser printer and they refused to transfer at all. Not sure why this particular job did. I usually have great results with my ink jet though. Not sure if you are in canada or the states, but citrisolv is supposed to work great for doing transfers. Sadly it's not available in Canada where I am, so I use nail polish remover on my ink jet jobs. I have found it works best if the print job is quite fresh so I don't wait long to transfer.