Although I originally made these faux zinc numbers for the holidays, they are perfect just about any time of year. You could make some with the year you got married, your street address or your children's birth dates. Or heck, once you get into the letters instead of numbers the possibilities are endless - names, initials, whatever you want to say in big old shout-it-from-the-rooftop letters.
Remember Mary's big old M on the wall of her apartment on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! You've got the idea!
The other day I knocked these zinc-like numbers out in no time.
- Cardboard numbers - I bought them at Hobby Lobby ($2.49 ea)
- Craft paint in dark black - I used Americana brand's Lamp Black
- Craft paint in gray - I used Americana brand's Zinc
- Craft paint in metallic silver - I used DecorArt brand's Dazzling Metallics in Shimmering Silver
I started out painting the numbers with the dark black and let that dry to the touch. I coated the entire number on the front and sides.
I added a coat of the gray color using a dry brush technique.
To dry brush, I dabbed the paintbrush into the paint and then pounced it on a paper towel so that very little paint was left on the brush. And just putting it here and there using short brush strokes.
I let that dry to the touch.
Then I added the shiny silver color, also using the dry brush technique and using short brush strokes. I would say I coated it 82 maybe 83%, so that there was still a fair amount of black left showing through.
I think they look fairly zinc-ish.
After I got done, I thought maybe it was too obtuse a reference. Would people understand the 2 and the 5 were for December 25th?
So I added the greenery and berries (totally stolen out of my yard) just to make sure it was understood that they were for Christmas and not representing my age.
'Cause you all know I get mistaken for 25 All. The. Time!
Down to Earth Style
Very cool! Love this idea especially 25 for Christmas.
Susan @ Rustic ReDiscovered
Love the numbers. Great project! The finished look is awesome.
They look great!! And I love "obtuse" references to things...sort of like a decorating "game" 🙂
These are really great. I have some letters that I've been thinking about gilding or maybe trying to do a zinc finish like yours, so it was great to find this post, thank you.
Pinning this too !
Wow, love those. I like using the 25 as well.
Ginny @ OrganizingHomelife.com
They look fantastic! Great tutorial. Like I needed another excuse to go to Hobby Lobby! 😉
I really thought you were about to show us how to work with metal. Sneaky, sneaky.
These are great Pam! And so much more affordable than actual zinc letters!!!
I love this project Pam. I am going to give these a try.
The wooden section piece that you used to put the 25 in front of, what is that from? I purchased one almost like that & thought maybe it was used in an older post office for letters to be put in since the sections are small. Am I close? I really enjoy viewing your site, lots of ideas & all I really need is.....time! Merry Christmas!
It's a printer's box also known as a California Job Case. It was used to keep all the letters and numbers used in printing on the old machines in a specific order. Some of the boxes are larger than others because those letters were used more often so you needed more of those ones (more e's are needed than y's, etc).
Hi Pam, thanks SO much for this tutorial! I found it to be just the paint effect I was looking for to get a 'metal look' on a tissue box cover I was making for my sons industrial style bedroom. You can check it out here, I even included a link back to this page, hope thats ok? http://mylifeinstep.com/8-easy-diy-tissue-box-covers-jazz-up-the-rooms-in-your-home/
I love your tissue box. Those nuts and bolts on the corner are so cute! Thanks so much for linking back to my tutorial!