Distressed Nantucket Silhouette Sign

I had the most gracious host and hostess on a recent trip to Nantucket. The couple has been vacationing on Nantucket every year for as long as they both can remember and have now passed the tradition on to their 3 children, who have undoubtedly caught the ACK love bug. I mean, how can you not when you are surrounded by beauty like this:DSC_1276

How do you thank a couple who opens their vacation home to you and makes you feel like part of the family? I thought about how much they must miss Nantucket when the weeks-long vacation comes to an end each year. So, I picked up the paint brush! I hope that by giving them a small piece of the island’s charm, they can think about Nantucket in the dim, drab days of February.

In my haste to get the sign shipped to its new owners, I failed to take a proper photo so please excuse this iPhone stand-in:

Nantucket Silhouette Sign FinalI painted the silhouette of Nantucket on a piece of oak plywood, certainly nothing fancy but it was a nice thick piece so I knew it would do once I distressed/weathered it a bit. This is what it looked like after I gave it a good sanding:

Oak plywoodI tried a new technique that I thought might help weather/age the wood a bit. I was striving for a darker, driftwood look so I applied a paste of baking soda and water and let it dry in the sun. After a day, I sanded off the first application, reapplied the paste and let the wood dry in the sun for another full day. This is what the board looked like with the paste:

Baking Soda Paste to Weather WoodOnce it had dried, I sanded the excess baking soda off and then wiped the whole piece of wood with a damp cloth. I will try this method again in the future but in this case, it didn’t totally do what I wanted it to. The paste had aged the wood a bit but I wanted a darker look so I mixed black latex paint with water to create a thin black wash. I applied the wash over the front/edges of the board with a rag and wiped off any excess. Once dry, I applied  off-white latex paint (also mixed with baking soda!), with a rag.

Distressed Nantucket Sign How ToOnce the paint had dried and I had sanded it to look distressed, I painted a silhouette of Nantucket with a small painter’s brush, using a map of the island as my guide. I painted  Nantucket and its surrounding islands with 2 coats of black latex paint. Once dry, I applied a thin layer of Minwax paste finishing wax. The paste should be left to dry for about 15 minutes and then buffed off with a clean cloth.

Because I cannot wait until I return again, here are more pics from my Nantucket trip:

DSC_1270Returning from a late afternoon on Ladies Beach:

DSC_1288The hosts’ house:





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