Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with Christmas tree sign
A messy story
A few years back, I worked for a themed environment artist. In the job description that day, we were to paint various boxes that were set on a parade float platform, to resemble a lit up village.
The technique we were to use was super loose and dare I say… messy.
While my partner in crime danced her way through her village, I appeared to be making a mess of mine. How was it that I saw candle lit cottage windows on her side and mudpie madness on mine?!
Obviously I did not have the sloppy technique down!
I remember going home super frustrated that night, feeling like a massive failure. Hours on that float, only to return and try again the next day. Ugh. I didn’t even want to go back!
But I did return the next day, and failed a few more times.
Suddenly, I stopped. I took a better look… “Oh my gosh, did I actually just DO IT?”
I did. There sat one lonely piccaso-like house among the other sloppy joes. I still don’t know to this day how I was able to do one and not the others, however when Dan oversaw the work, he said it was just fine!
“Don’t worry about it! No one will see the details from the road! That’s not what this kind of painting is.”
I wasn’t sure if it was still good or not, but of course, he was right. On parade day, no one really knew my mudpie houses from the Picasso ones.
To this day, I struggle with less than perfection. Which leads to this messy turned happy project today…
The intended perfect sleigh project
Morphing back to this week, I had this child’s wooden sleigh in my stash. In fact, I just used it for THIS pillow shoot.
And here’s what (happily!) happened next…
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Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with
Christmas tree sign
Supplies I used:
An antique wooden sleigh
1. Paint your sleigh red, or lightly sand a pre-painted surfaces to provide grip for the new paint.
2. Tape Buffalo Check in place, then stencil where desired.
Video – how to Buffalo Check
Click above to learn how to stencil with Buffalo Check for exceptional results every time!
Stenciling the sleigh
The sleigh was a pretty nice red already! But I did sand it down a little with a palm sander to rough up some edges and dull down the shiny finish a little.
Only… I messed up. I had too much paint on the brush and the lines bled.
I tried some more, and the stencil went crooked.
As you can imagine, I wasn’t all that excited to take pictures of a mess!
So I had a choice… I could repaint the entire thing and start over like brand new, or turn it into a sloppy joe mudpie Picasso.
What did I have to lose?
A charming messy technique!
Sloppy on purpose is NOT for the faint of heart, but it is fun!
Kinda like, someone back in the day attempted to paint this pattern by hand…
But hang on… I promise it only gets better from here.
Adding wax for easy distressing
3. Rub the Beeswax block against any surfaces you’d like to distress.
4. Paint over the Beeswax.
5. Once paint is dry to the touch, sand to distress as desired.
After the sleigh was painted, I decided to darken up the rails from red to black for a little more definition.
However, because I desired to have a chippy layered look, I rubbed Beeswax along all the rail edges first so I had the ability to sand away the black.
How the Beeswax block works
Fusion has a super bonding strength once cured, so the Beeswax gives you the ability to easily distress after the fact.
The wax block creates a resist between paint coats so if you sand wherever you waxed, it’ll lift the paint right up.
It’s fun creating layered techniques with it! See how the rails turned out below.
Find the Beeswax blocks HERE
Buffalo Checking the star
Next up, this little wooden star you’ve seen on THIS You Cut Tree sign from last winter also needed an update.
6. Coat out the star with Fort York Red.
Attaching the star
The star was attached to the You Cut Tree shaped sign I made last Christmas with one screw. Perfect!
Adding evergreen branches
Then the You Cut Christmas tree sign was positioned inside the sleigh, which was then filled with some firewood, a small saw, faux cranberry garland and evergreen branches fresh off the curb.
It’s looking super rustically cute already!
Check out those chippy rails! The Beeswax did a fabulous job.
And then it was time to take some shots… ready to see how cute this Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with Christmas tree sign turned out?
The finished sleigh with tree sign!
Here is the Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with Christmas tree sign beside the front door! What a quaint and festive greeting this turned out to be!
A few rustic red barn boards were placed behind the sleight to chime in with that beautiful red!
However, since it turned out so adorable, I later moved it into my living room!
In which I found myself asking…
… what mess?
You just can’t do decorating wrong when rustic is intended, don’t you agree?
Moral of this story:
Coming from a perfectionist here… it’s hard to let go and not show our very best online all the time. However maybe someone needs to see or hear about ‘your happier mess’… and quite possibly, it may unknowingly turn into your own version of an imperfectly perfect Buffalo Checked sleigh and star with Christmas tree sign of your own…
Wouldn’t you agree?
What do you think of the messy look? Are you generally a perfectionist type too?