Thursday, February 16, 2017

Drywall Compound + Stencil = sign

Always look forward to learning something new to me. This post it is using drywall compound to add a stencil to a board, using it two different way (thick and very thin coatings). 

Since the thick drywall on the board was a FAIL (see later in this post) I tried again by scraping the first try off, then staining the board first, waxing/buffing then adding a fairly thin coat of drywall compound to the stencil. Better.

The chalkboard sign got some additional lightly stencilled words under the drywall compound stencilled Historic Route 66.

Read Debbie Doo's January 2nd post -  How to Stencil Using PlasterDebbie included a suggestion she received on her Facebook page from readers to use molding paste or drywall compound to stencil and since I had drywall compound on hand I tried it out. 

When I finished making the signs I checked on Pinterest - drywall compound - and WOW, what a lot to see/learn !

Project # 1 (fail) and Project # 1 redo ( much better)


•  Drywall compound
•  drywall spatula
•  masking tape
•  paper towels
•  newspaper to protect surfaces
•  hook for the board
•  q-tips for cleaning lines outside of stencil letters
•  Rust-o-leum to paint Project # 1 board
•  CeCe Caldwell Beckley Coal to paint the edges and back of
   Project # 2 chalkboard
•  CeCe Caldwell Clear wax and wax brush
•  stencil (used Donna @ Funky Junk Interiors Historic Route
   66 stencil)
•  # 1, a small board and sign # 2 a reused chalkboard with an earlier      stencil (Farmers Market)

Added the back hook before I started so I wouldn't break the plaster off later.

This was my first try.

Placed the stencil, held it with some masking tape (and my fingers) then covered the surface with a thick layer of drywall compound. Removed the stencil right away and had a strange raised stencil.

Put it aside to dry overnight. Scraped the plaster off the next afternoon. FAIL. Drywall compound too thick, not a useful sign, can do better.

Tried again with a different sequence.

2nd try:

Painted the board with Rust-o-leum Chalkboard paint and dry rubbed most of the paint off and then used a damp paper towel to pull more paint off. When dry, waxed with clear wax. Buffed.

Then - used the same stencil and drywall compound and applied thinly with the spatula. Same sequence as used in Project # 2 (below).

To clean the stencil after use - carefully scrape the drywall compound off the stencil  - not into the sink, clogs drains - clean it onto newspaper as much as possible. Wash stencil clean (paper towel in sink drain to catch any remaining drywall compound).

Project # 2

When cleaning the stencil on a piece of newspaper (first try Project # 1) I got the next idea.

Why not try a very thin coat of drywall compound on a chalkboard Farmer's Market sign that I was going to be changing. Donna of Funky Junk Interiors repurposes some of her signs so I decided to try that too. Here is the first try with this sign here February 11/16.

New additions and changes follow.

Chippy look, needed a bit of cleaning up but drywall plaster flicks off easily before it has time to cure/dry.

Next step - now what would the next step be? 

Decided to add CeCe Caldwell clear wax. The wax removed most of the loose drywall compound and somewhat removed the 'outside of the lines' of drywall compound. Used a damp q-tip to clean edges.

The lettering Farmer's Market behind the sign was too prominent so I black stencil brushed it 'backward' and also added pale stencilled Vintage, Flea, Coffee to even out the 'behind to the sign' words. 

Finished the Historic Route 66 sign by painting the edges and back CeCe Caldwell Beckley Coal, added a hook, waxed, buffed the black areas (carefully around the drywall compound areas).

I used my finger to apply the wax to the Historic Route 66 lines and when I buffed it was very carefully and lightly. Used damp q-tips to remove a few areas where the compound was outside of the letters.

Finished sign, Project # 1, 2nd try below.


Drywall Compound breaks off if it is NOT totally dry. It has a bit of a powdery texture, takes some practice to get a raised but not too raised pattern on the board/surface. Needs to be a raised but more flat finished surface.

More practice needed.

Scraped off first try, tried again with LESS drywall compound for Project # 1.


The drywall compound - very thin coating - made a great quick sign from the Historic Route 66 stencil. 

Chippy look, handled clear wax ok with VERY light buffing.

Thanks for visiting.

Featured by:
Jann @ Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson Feb 23/17
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors Feb 24/17
Kileen at Raven Would March 1/17

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  1. I love it...especially the first sign, the way you offset the stencil. The overlay one is very creative, too. I am off to pin! :)

  2. Joy, I love the crispness of the stenciled image. This is a great sign. Sylvia D.

  3. Wow, Joy , what a great idea! I have never seen this done before. Thank you for sharing your projects with us and all of your tips. I saw your post over at Pam's Party and Practical Tips blog party.

  4. a lot of work went into that, thanks for sharing the process

    Happy Mosaic Monday

    much love...

  5. I certainly have learned a lot by reading your post. I had never th ught of drywall compound as a stencil but it looks really great. Thanks for sharing all of the process with us and the mistakes too. That is where we learn most. Pinning.

  6. This is so interesting Joy! I have never heard of stenciling with drywall compound. Love the look!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  7. A fascinating post with a great tutorial which I enjoyed very much even though I'll never try it for myself!
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with everyone at MM this week.

  8. Glad you didn't give up after your first attempt. This looks really cool.

  9. This is a very beautiful craft you have made...

    Please visit:

  10. That looks so cool! Still, it would scare the hell out of me!

  11. What a neat project, Joy! I've never seen anything like it. It turned out great though :)


  12. Awesome DIY! Looks great!
    Thanks for linking up to #ShowMeYours
    Hope to see you there again next week!

  13. I love trying out new materials and processes, Joy--what fun! Thanks for linking up your "experiments" with us at Vintage Charm :)

  14. Hi Joy, just popping in to let you know that you are being featured at SYC.

  15. Joy, I love this!! If I had an ounce of your crafting skills I'd be set!

    Thanks for joining us for #ShowMeYours this week! Hope to see you next week.

  16. Great sign! Interesting use of drywall compound. I would not have thought to use it with a stencil. Thank you for sharing at Link It Up Wednesday!

  17. I did this technique on my stove back splash. I think it was my all time favorite do it yourself. Love the idea of making a sign this way. Thanks for sharing at Monday Social.

  18. Oh my goodness... never before have I ever wanted to make a black stained sign complete with rake holder than I do now! Love your textured idea, way to test out the waters!

    Thank you so much for your mention of the stencils! :)

    I've featured you this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk 367. Thanks for linking up!

  19. Great tutorials with both fail and success information. Thanks for sharing at Monday Social.


  20. I hadn't seen this technique. I love the results!

  21. Love this idea Joy!! I am so going to try this. It looks wonderful.

  22. I missed this the first time around since I've been flaky with my blog this year. Sooooooo glad this was in your round-up for 2017! I've never heard of this idea for you and am intrigued with this process. I'm guessing the allure of using dry wall compound is the durability of the finished product? Plus a more textured look? Pinning and off to Debi-Doos, too. Thanks for posting about your successes and fails with this process. I'll keep it thin!

  23. Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. Well this article that ive been waited for therefore long. i want this article to finish my assignment within the faculty, and it has same topic together with your article. Thanks, nice share.
    Vehicle Graphics Telford


Thanks for visiting. I read and appreciate all your comments. Joy

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