Tag Archives: craft

Hand-Painted Decorative House Numbers – The Process

Hand-Painted Decorative House Numbers – The Process

Hand-Painted Decorative House Numbers

I am the type of person who has 3 to 4 projects going at once. When I get tired of working on one I move to the next. One of my current projects has taught me that I really do love to doodle, and I really do love to paint. Combining the two has been loads of fun. My house number is “2728” and appears no where on my house, so when I saw these bare wooden numbers at a craft store the crafty light-bulb came on. I will paint! I will doodle! I will have the coolest house numbers on the block! For my like-minded craft friends the materials I used were:

  • Twinking H2O’s (mica watercolor paints)
  • Spray acrylic sealer (Mod Podge brand in both Matte and Glossy)
  • Black acrylic paint (Ranger brand in “daubber” is a nice, deep, true black)
  • Mod Podge Outdoor formula
  • I used a variety of fine-tipped paint brushes, one of which was a nail-art line brush

First I painted each entire number in a wash of Blue Pearl Twinkling H2Os, painting the face last, and while the face was still wet I used a nail-art line brush to randomly add three other complimentary colors of Twinkling H2Os, and let the colors run. To make the colors run a little more I used a small spray bottle to mist on water until the colors had run and blended to my satisfaction.

photo 1

photo 2

photo 4

 After the paint was thoroughly dry I lightly sprayed on 3 coats of Mod Podge acrylic sealer in matte, allowing 20 minutes to dry between coats. A test I hand done on watercolor paper had proven that the black acrylic paint, when applied directly on top of the dried Twinkling H2Os, crackled terribly (horror!). Adding 3 thin coats of spray acrylic sealer provided a barrier between the two types of paints, which prevented crackling. After this I thought that the sides would look better in black, to match my black design, so I painted the sides and back of the numbers in black acrylic paint. 


To create my designs I started with a black Bic permanent marker, and only drew out the thickest lines of the design. I then painted over those bold lines with the black acrylic paint, and using a variety of fine-tipped brushes just free-styled the rest of the design from there. I found that as long as I had the bold lines drawn as a starting point the rest of the design just flowed outward from there without any pre-planning or much thought.


photo paint over sharpie

photo2When the design was finished I allowed the paint to dry completely, and then fine-mist sprayed on two separate coats of the Matte Mod Podge acrylic sealer, allowing 20 minutes to dry between coats.  I then applied three coats of Mod Podge Outdoor formula to all sides, allowing half an hour of drying time between coats. I wanted to minimize the appearance of brush strokes, so I first tried applying this thick Outdoor formula using a makeup sponge. It worked somewhat, but what a mess I made! Therefore, my final coat was done with a soft-bristle flat acrylic paint brush, and yes, the brush strokes were plain to see. I found that upon drying the Mod Podge was still a bit tacky. I had read online that spraying a coat or two of clear acrylic sealer would remove the tackiness, so I tried it and it worked beautifully, and it even somewhat hid the brushstrokes, but the matte finish dulled my black painted design quite a bit.

 I then thought “why not try the glossy version of Mod Podge clear acrylic sealer?” The glossy version would most likely enhance the black painted design underneath rather than dull it. So, off I ran to Michael’s craft store with my 40%-off coupon loaded in my app. Arriving home with my spray can in hand it then proceeded to rain for the rest of the day, and the instructions on the spray can said not to use in high humidity because it might dull, so I had to wait. My craft cabin is not well-ventilated due to it being closed up to keep it air conditioned, so spraying inside the cabin is not an option. When I finally get the glossy spray on, magnets glued to the back and the numbers applied to my door I’ll post the final result photos. Wish me luck!

UPDATE 7/13/2014: The numbers are finished and on my front door! The Mod Podge Glossy Acrylic Spray worked beautifully — hiding the brush strokes, glossing it up and deepening the color of the paint underneath. I am very pleased.  

photo 2
photo 3




Sometimes You Just Need a Creative Quick-Fix. Yeah. Right.


I love to create beautiful and interesting things, but the perfectionist in me often gets in the way of my creativity.  I don’t do failure well.  When learning a new technique I will first study it to death via online tutorials, books and magazines before attempting it,  simply because I fear failure.  It’s ridiculous, I know, but this perfectionist is far from perfect.  So, every now and then, in order to escape my perfection obsession, I need to create something really quick and simple.  These simple creations are often something lighthearted and fun, so when my scrap-booking and creative-journaling friend told me about the latest trend of paperclip bookmarks I was all over it.  I was excited!  This was something crafty and fun that I could bang out with the supplies I already had in abundance!

WELL, THAT didn’t last long.  Sometimes creativity does not come easily to me and I start over-thinking the project.  The pain-in-the-ass perfectionist part of me took over and this quick little craft-fix became a major project inside my head.    What materials would I use?  What colors would I combine?  How would I pretty-up the back so it wouldn’t be ugly?  Which glue will work the best?  What should have taken 20 minutes took 2 hours to complete.  Was it worth it?  That depends.  If I decided to sell these I wouldn’t make my money back in the time spent on them and that would upset me.  If I give them away then I  could consider it a labor of love, and I could live with that.

These are going out in the mail today to my dear scrap-booking and creative-journaling friend.   A labor of love it is!