life is better at the lake

life is better at the lake: so true. and in helvetica. i made this wood sign as a birthday gift to be hung at theIR cottage on the lake in canada. i have helvetica stencils in 2 sizes; i think 2 inch and 4 inch. so i plotted out what size i needed the board to be and my husband cut me a piece of nice plywood at 15x15 inches. i painted a couple of coats of blue stain - which is harder to find colored stain than one might think. i saw a tutorial on pinterest about drawing out your letters with a pen first and when you painted the letters you'd have perfect edges because the paint would basically well up in the pen line ridge. that did not work well for me at all. seriously, i would recommend against that technique. the well of the pen line did nothing for me and worse than that the ink from the pen bled into the white paint. so i had to do extra coats of white paint in order to cover up the blue ink bleed, and even went over the edges with a white paint pen as well. so i used white acrylic paint for the letters and carefully painted within my templated pen lines. after i did several coats of the white paint is when i went over all the edges of the letters with the paint pen. in the end, the letters look pretty good, however not perfect, but oh well, handmade has character. i wanted the sign to be indoor/outdoor ready since i didn't know where it would be hung. so i painted several coats of mod podge outdoor sealant on all sides of the sign. you have to be super patient here because the layering of this thick sealant takes forever to try, and the humidity in ohio does not help that along at all. it was still somewhat tacky to the touch a month later when i went to wrap the sign (so i wrapped it in freezer paper first to be safe.) the sign is hanging on an outside wall of the cottage now and i believe holding up well.
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