So we knew we needed a little something in our office, decoration-wise, to give it that finishing touch.
I’d been seeing a lot of message type paintings through my reading of modern design blogs and magazines, and thought doing something simple like that would provide the right impact…
But what would we say?
Since it was our office, we thought maybe doing motivational quotes would be appropriate.
We looked through a few, and I found some that I liked one night. I made a little photoshop of it to help Christy visualize my idea…
After she approved, we went to work.
We started out by enlarging the photoshop of the message to the actual size of the canvas we were going to put the message on (48″ x 60″). Be sure you’re using a high ppi so the letters print crisply – I used 300ppi.
I then made a grid guides of 8 1/2″ x 11″ squares on the photoshop art and printed out all the sections on cardstock paper. After doing this once, we realized that using an adhesive backed medium such as frisket paper would be a much better choice…so use that.
We decided to put this message on a canvas. I wanted it to look like a painting, and wanted it to have the texture and expression of a painted surface that one can only truly appreciate in person. The canvas was coated in gesso and a couple thick layers of acrylic paint with a palette knife.
We then took the printed pieces, and lined them up on the canvas – which had dried overnight – to double-check the layout. Everything looked great, so we began the much-more-tedious-than-we-expected step of cutting out the letters with x-acto knifes.
Doing that work took a couple nights worth of patience because we chose so many letters and used such a big canvas.
We then took a lot of double-sided tape and began putting all our cardstock masks in place on the white canvas. With frisket paper you’ll simply peel the backing off and press firmly in place on the canvas, making sure the edges of the letters won’t allow paint to seep through.
Now with all that (finally!) out of the way, we proceeded to what we thought would be the easy part. Spray painting the letters.
Nice, so now we just pick up the masks and it’s done, right?
We thought for a moment that maybe we could just paint around the letters and clean it up. I gave up on that idea after about 2 minutes.
So I painted the whole canvas white again and we started attempt #2.
Since all the spray paint just diffused around the masks, this time we thought we’d be smart and just roll the paint on with a miniature roller.
The results were much better, but still not perfect. That’s when it dawned on me that we should have made our letter masks out of frisket paper (a paper-like film with an adhesive backing).
It was too late though, and after all that effort I would just paint around the letters and clean it up. This was more doable since the letters weren’t in as bad shape as they were after attempt 1.
After a few days of touching up letters in my free time (Christy’s hands way too shaky for the task), we finally had something to put up in our office…