Last year, the folks from Unfinished Wood Co. and Plaid Crafts sent me these signs and the milk paint I used to make this easy ocean themed decor. I’ll show you how to use hot glue to make batik style stencils that you can use on all sorts of surfaces. You can make the stencils as small or as large as you need to cover the surface you want to faux finish. If you’ve never used Milk Paint, it’s a beautiful medium. It’s like the love child of paint and stain, not too opaque and not too sheer. It gives beautiful coverage and the colors are rich and saturated.
Living at the beach is my dream, and one day I will make it happen. For now, I’ll just have to surround myself with things that make me feel like I’m at the beach. Then if I squint my eyes and play some ocean sounds it’s almost like the real thing.
Would it be too much to fill a room with sand?
I’m asking for a friend.
Watch the video, then grab the material’s list and step by step tutorial below! (Side note: I no longer blog on Mornings with Madge, so you’re in the right place to find the materials list and step by step instructions.)
Tools and Materials (These are affiliate links, if you click on a link and make a purchase, we get a small percentage of the sale, for my beach relocation fund.)
20″ Crab, Seahorse, Whale Signs from Unfinished Wood Co.
24″x3″” Balsa Wood Strip cut into three 3″x8″ segments (I got mine at Michaels)
Plaid FolkArt Milk Paint Tavern Ale, Georgian Yellow, Churned Butter, Veranda Blue, Lexington Blue, Quaker Blue, Cottage Green, Absinthe, and Blue Belle
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max
Plaid FolkArt Milk Paint Finishing Oil
Plaid FolkArt Milk Paint Brush, 2-Inch
Plaid 3/4-Inch Craft Gold Nylon One Stroke Brush, Flat
Plaid Sponge Value Pack – 4-Package
Hot Glue Sticks
Ad-Tech Pro 100 High Temperature Glue Gun with Nozzle Pack, Full
Plaid Hot Glue Gun Helpers Silicone Mat
Stanley Mini-Hack Light-Duty Utility Saw
3M Wet or Dry Sandpaper Super Fine 400 Grit
Step one: Use the silicone sheet and your hot glue gun to create stencils. I made circles, diamonds, and ovals with a line in the center. Have fun with this, and don’t worry about it being perfect. We’re trying to mimic the look of batik, which is created with melted wax. Start with one column.
Step two: Make columns as shown.
Step three: Connect the columns to make rows. Make this as wide and tall as you need for your signs. These would also be great for faux finishing furniture or even for fabrics with a fabric spray.
Step four: Paint surface and sides of wood sign with two coats of the lightest color of milk paint. Let this dry between coats.
Step five: Place stencil over sign. Use a sea sponge to dab the darkest color over the stencil, then go to the lighter colors. Less is more here! Move stencil across sign and repeat, make sure to wash and dry stencil in between applications! Once you finish stenciling, go back with the lightest color to soften the lines just a little.
Step six: Seal the paint using the Milk Paint oil. Wipe on, rub off excess, wet sand, buff to a sheen with a soft, dry cloth.
Step seven: Paint the signs the darkest color. Let this dry. Use a pencil to mark your letters on the signs, or you can use stencils here.
Step eight: Use the lightest color to paint over the pencil markings. I added dots by hitting the side of my brush on the sign.
Step nine: Seal paint on signs with oil, repeating step six.
Step ten: Use wood glue to connect signs. Place a heavy book or other object on top while this cures to prevent the balsa wood from bowing.
The paint/oil takes 30 days to fully cure, but you can hang these right away and enjoy them. Milk Paint is an indoor paint, do not hang these outside. Use Chalk or Acrylic Paint and a sealer for outdoor use. You can attach hardware to hang these signs on a wall or rest them on a shelf or table top.
You did it! Pour yourself a pina colada, relax, and imagine you’re at the beach. Ah, much better!
Sea, sand, sun, YES!
Sea, it’s easy!