Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chevron Bench

I started this project a few weeks ago and have been so busy I haven't had a chance to finish it. After the hubs and I bought our house, I mentioned I would like to get a couple of small benches and put on either side of our back door. So, he made me some! How sweet, right?! They were just right, and I decided  a cute paint job was in order. Now, this was about 10 years ago, and the dorky awesome paint job I gave them has since passed its prime. Apparently I was feeling quite patriotic, because I went with a red, white and blue color palette. I used paint stamps and everything!!! (Insert eye-roll here.) Luckily Unfortunately, I forgot (I really did) to take 'before' pictures so I could share my past artistic abilities with you. Darn it! It would have been embarrassing to post them for all to see, and 'oh, the horror!!' if they would have made their way onto Pinterest, but I was willing to make the sacrifice just to show the progress.

First I painted the benches with some leftovers from when we gave our Airstream a facelift. I then printed off a chevron pattern that I downloaded from I taped the patter to my bench, and began tracing it with a ball-point pen, pressing hard enough to leave an indention of the pattern in the wood. I found this idea on Pinterest from "That's My Letter".

Ignore the scribble marks- Punky-Pie was helping.

Now here is where I tell you that this project did not go as smoothly as I had planned. My first mistake was not printing enough of my template to cover the entire bench at once. I was dumb naive enough to think I could do a section at a time and just move the pattern to finish. HA! Of COURSE it didn't get lined up just right! Also, by the time I finished tracing the first section, I had poked holes in the pattern, causing me to get ink on the other sections. Fortunately, paint covered this up, but it was a pain in the arse all the same. I got the pattern traced on both halves of the bench, but needed to do one more stripe across the bottom. Now, by this time I had had enough- my hand was cramping and my back was hurting from all the bent-overness. The pattern had also had enough. I wound up having to free hand the bottom stripe most of the way because I couldn't get the pattern to line up right. I am not sure what happened there.

I first went along the outer edges of the indentions to get the outline, and then went back with a larger brush and filled it in.

After what seemed like years, but was actually only HOURS, I finished!! Ta-da!! I am really happy with the results!! 

All that work and only one bench is done! UGH! Now, for what I learned. I think the 'tracing' technique would be best used for smaller projects where you want to use lettering. I did see some projects using a chevron design where the design was done using painter's tape, but I didn't think I could get it right. IF I decide to make the benches match, I will try this technique instead. Then I will also be able to use a paint roller instead of small brushes to get a better, more even coat of paint for my stripes. I did look for a stencil of a chevron pattern, but couldn't find one in my town. 

I am happy with the way it turned out, but I my execution was definitely lacking! If I don't place the benched close to each other, they don't have to match, right??? Right???

I hope you can learn from my errors in judgement on this one, and if you have any suggestions for other techniques, ideas for the other bench, or any other random (but non-snarky comment...I am the only one allowed to do snarky here!) comments, PLEASE share!

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