HOW TO MAKE SUBWAY ART - reverse stencil

There are a few tutorials available around blog land showing how
to achieve a subway art look, so why am I offering another?

I wanted a certain finished look that I was not able to find
and I wanted to share some of the unique qualities that AS Chalk Paint offer in the process.

I used vinyl letters creating a reverse stencil on top of white chalk paint,

The letters were made with commercial adhesive vinyl
left over from my contractor days. (drawer liner or mac tac should work)
I used a computer program to get the size and shape I wanted
then printed them out and cut them by hand.

I only wanted the white for the letters so I washed the rest off with water.
I did not want all that extra white coming through areas that were going to be distressed.

The remaining steps I took are:

1) painted over everything with AS Graphite
2) once dry, remove the vinyl letters
3) waxed the drawer face
4) distress with sand paper
5) wax and buff to a shine

The finished project is pictured below.
You can see some of the drawers have the extra white underneath.
I found it was messy that is why I removed it but maybe you'll like it that way for your project.


Have you stopped into firstfinds hardware store lately?
Here are just some of the switch plates available for your home.



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  1. Waiting anxiously.......


  2. What sort of wax do you use on chalk paint?

  3. Thank you, thank you! I have a dresser to subway art on and I was just thinking through the steps I would have to make it work...daunting, until now! Brilliant method which I hope to borrow and complete a project soon!

  4. That looks fantastic! Great tutorial. You make it look really easy so I'll have to put it to the test someday soon.

  5. Oh wow - this is perfect timing as I am in the beginning stages of a very similiar project! Thanks for the tips lady!
    home sweet nest

  6. Thank you for your tutorial. I had such a fun time using your techniques on a vintage liquor cabinet! I have a question, though....there was some residual stickiness left on the cabinet after I peeled the letter stencils off. Did that happen to you? I was able to continue with the project, but when I got to the distressing step at the end, the paint dust tended to collect on that stickiness, darkening my white letters quite dramatically. I was wondering if there was something I could do differently next time. Thanks!



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