DIY: distressed baby letters

This past weekend we threw a shower in honor of my best friend, who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first baby in eight weeks.  I wanted to make something to sit on the table with the invitation that could also be used in the nursery.  Since the parents-to-be are not finding out the sex of the baby, I thought wooden letters, spelling the baby’s last name, painted and distressed would be perfect; they could sit on the hutch or bookshelf. 

I started with unfinished wooden letters I found on sale at A.C. Moore:

I sanded the raw edges down with 100-grit sandpaper and then sprayed them with a light coat of this primer:

Be careful to spray lightly, even if you have to go back and do more coats, otherwise the paint will drip and you’ll have to sand it down and start over.

Once the primer was completely dry, I lightly sanded each letter with 100-grit sandpaper. (The primer adds a texture to it when it dries and sanding them makes them completely smooth-perfect for painting).

Next, I sprayed two coats of this high gloss paint in Bright Idea (wait 30 minutes in between coats for even coverage):

After completely dry, I used an 80-grit sand block to sand down the edges to mimick wear and tear:

I toned down the yellow and added a distressed finish using this:

…and a bunch of these:

I rubbed gel stain on the places I sanded down, and then wiped over them with a damp cloth:

I let the letters dry overnight and then rubbed some Minwax paste wax over each to protect them.  I love how they turned out and am even more excited that they can be used again in the nursery.

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I'm Kelly, interior designer, stylist, hostess with the mostest and editor of my blog, where I share pics of my work, my own home, décor projects, entertaining hacks, where to find the best decorating deals and all the beautiful things that are currently inspiring me!

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1 Comment

  1. Kathleen on April 18, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I love the letters and I love how they go perfectly with those jars of tulips!

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