Faux Metal Industrial Monogram

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Faux Industrial Monogram made from unpainted wood! | littleredwindow.com

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram  | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!

So I’ve been painting and re-doing furniture and wood things for almost 20 years which is kind of crazy to think about. For whatever reason it’s just something I’ve always loved. And my parents were incredibly patient with my crazy plans to redo all my bedroom furniture. My bed involved splatter paint (it was the early 90’s, what do you expect?!) and I painted a perfectly nice desk with clouds, I even redid a horribly ugly metal office trashcan that had a chicken on it and I still have it (why in the world did I even have a trashcan with a chicken on it, mom??) The thing is, I just always loved the transformative power of paint.

Eventually someone gave me a book (this was pre-internet remember) full of faux painting techniques. I pored over that thing like it was required for a test. It was just so amazed what people could do with paint. That being said, at some point I came to my senses and realized that perhaps sponge painted walls and faux marble were not actually so cool after all. Cool in theory, but usually not so great in reality. And oddly, as much as I loved that book I don’t actually think I ever tried any of the paint “treatments”.  I guess if you ever watched Trading Spaces it became painfully clear that a lot of the time, unless you’re a professional, they can be a little much.

So the fact that I’m writing about a faux paint technique is kind of a surprise even to me. Just promise you’ll stop me if I ever start posting about sponge painting my living room walls, ok?

Anyway, I am so so into the Industrial design that’s popular right now. And I really know that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But you know, former architect, interested in how things are built, blah blah blah.  It just totally does it for me. And bonus points if it’s something vintage. Unfortunately around here, that usually comes with a huge price tag. In fact, Aa and I were just talking with someone about how when you live in a major urban area like Chicago, going thrifting or looking for salvage is basically pointless. There are too many professional buyers snapping up all the good stuff and selling it for way too much. And the turnover is too high. You’re just not going to find a hidden treasure in the local resale store, it has been picked over a thousand times. We have a couple favorite salvage stores we love to go to but we never actually buy anything because the prices are insane. So that’s how I ended up going Faux Industrial on my own. It was born out of desperation! Anyway, I’m surprisingly happy with how this one turned out, it could have easily been a disaster. If you give it a try, let me know!

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram

Unpainted MDF letter shape

Acrylic Craft Paint

Small piece of poster board or thin cardboard

Hole Punch

1. So here’s what my MDF letter looked like when I bought it:

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!

 

2. I started with a thin coat of a dark charcoal gray (Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Arrowhead) And the trick to this whole thing is that I applied the paint with my fingers. Acryclic paint is fairly nontoxic (don’t eat it or anything) and it washes right off but you could wear gloves if you want. I wanted an uneven coat and I didn’t feel like I could get that with a brush. You can see that the color of the wood is showing through quite a bit. This color was pretty cool and I wanted the brown to show through and warm it up a little. I also wanted to still see some texture and variation.

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! 3. When that was dry, I washed my hands started adding a very thin coat of a metallic color on top (Martha Stewart Craft Pain in Rose Gold – nope, not a Martha ad, those just happened to be the colors I had on hand). I used my fingers again to kind of massage it in.

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!4. Then I went back and added a little more of the charcoal color along the edges so it would look a little more realistically worn.

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!5. To make the rivets I painted a small piece of poster board the exact same way and when that was dry I used a regular hole punch to punch a bunch of little dots.

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!

 

6. My posterboard was white so I did have to add a little charcoal to the edges of the dots. Then I brushed a little glue on the back and glued them in the corners of the letter.

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!I am so happy with the end result! The metallic paint gives it a little sheen but it’s not shiny and the textured and rich finish ended up looking kind of galvanized which is great.  I can’t wait to hang it up!

Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial! Faux Metal Industrial Monogram | littleredwindow.com | Turn unpainted wood into faux industrial metal with this tutorial!

 

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23 thoughts on “Faux Metal Industrial Monogram

  1. This is such a good idea!
    I will have to remember it for any future party decorations I might need. A little boy construction party comes to mind 🙂
    Painting it with your fingers really gives the right affect!
    Thank you for sharing !

  2. I loved Trading Spaces too!!! I think it might have been the first big redesign show on TV. I remember one of the designers used actual hay as a faux paint treatment one time. The homeowners were so appalled, because one of them had terrible allergies!!! Faux paint is best left to the professionals, as you said, but I love this technique on the letter. It really does look galvanized!

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