vintage sled, take two.

Last year I picked up a few vintage sleds at garage sales and then added stencils to them.

I had them at my occasional sale that fall and two out of three sold.

But there were no takers for this one.

It’s easy to see why.  There just isn’t enough contrast between the wood sled and the black stencil.  But at the time my sale was looming and I didn’t have time to re-work it.  After my sale I tucked it away in the back of the carriage house and there it sat along with those ski’s that I posted on Tuesday.

So I pulled the sled out a week or so ago knowing that a do-over was in order.

I started by painting the wood with just one coat of Homestead House’s Coal Black milk paint.  I really just slapped it on somewhat haphazardly because I planned to distress it heavily anyway so I didn’t need precise coverage.  Plus, because I was painting over bare wood (much like with the ski’s) the paint really soaked in and provided great coverage with just one coat.

Then I debated what stencil to use.  I thought about another Christmas stencil, but that would mean that the sled has to be put away after Christmas.  Why not go more generic so that the sled can be a winter decoration rather than just a Christmas decoration?  No need to put it away until spring!

I also needed a stencil that would fit the width of the sled.  I ended up pulling out this pretty stencil that I’ve only used a couple of times.

I know it’s a little hard to believe looking at the pictures, but I used an acrylic craft paint in a dark greige for the stencil.  This color from FolkArt is called Barn Wood.  I prefer using this cheap acrylic paint for stenciling because it tends to dry out a bit over time, getting nice and thick, which helps give my stenciling a crisp edge.

I got a more ‘faded ‘ sort of look by using this color rather than white, and in contrast to the black background it still reads as ‘white’.

After sanding the wood heavily to distress I put the tiniest amount of Miss Mustard Seed furniture wax on a cloth and then wiped the painted wood down.  I didn’t really apply wax like one would normally, I didn’t work it into the surface or buff it or anything like that.  I mainly just used the tackiness of it on my cloth to remove any remaining loose paint.

I love the worn, dull, muted appearance of the black without any other top coat.  It works perfectly with the metal rails of the sled.

Once I had it all done I really loved the way it looked paired with my Specimens cupboard, but size-wise it just wasn’t working with some other plans I have for that spot.

Then I remembered that I had another sled out in the carriage house, so I pulled that one in the house and painted it the same exact way.

This one is a bit smaller and will be staying with me.

I took the larger sled in to Reclaiming Beautiful this week, so hopefully it will go to a new home soon!

Meanwhile Mr. Q and I are off to a creative writing workshop this morning taught by one of his favorite college professors Alison McGhee, so obviously next week my blog posts are going to be massively improved.  At least the writing part.  So be sure to stay tuned!


26 thoughts on “vintage sled, take two.

  1. Well, your post ended with a LOL, so I think you’re doing pretty well in the writing department! The sleds are lovely, as well. Enjoy your weekend and workshop! Cynthia


    1. Well, having just come home from the workshop I can tell you that I felt a bit out of my league. Most of the other participants seemed fairly serious about their writing, and they were very talented. And then there was me, basically an ‘accidental writer’, someone who never intended to write for an audience at all but sort of fell into it as an adjunct to painting furniture. I’m afraid I stuck out like sore thumb, but I did take away some great ideas for changing up my writing a bit. We’ll see whether or not I can put them to good use!


      1. Most of those students were very serious about their writing. In writing, I find there is no correlation between how serious a person is, and how good a person is. Unless it’s inversely proportional!


  2. The sled turned out so well, I can see why you are keeping it! Love the stencil, too. I have been stenciling on black with a light grey but I like the greige better. Enjoy your class, I love learning new things.


  3. Love the muted color of the greige against the black as opposed to white. My husband and I picked up an old sled years ago and hung it on the front of our garage above our two garage doors. We have kept it up year round since we bought it. It’s a great marker for people trying to find our house.


  4. I REALLY am jealous of that magic carriage house you have that always provides just what you need! These sleds are wonderful. Thank you for explaining how the paint reads as white without being white. I see now how I always flub up thinking, “I Have To Use White!” when I want it to be white but less dramatic.


  5. I have a couple of old sleds, very sweet! I know I have said this before, but you are so talented! You truly have excellent taste!


  6. I love the sleds! The stencil is awesome. Where did you get it. The design of it alone looks like Christmas. Maybe an ornament, but I like that you can use it through to spring. I love the black. Thanks for sharing.


    1. As I was writing the post I tried to remember exactly where I purchased this particular stencil and I couldn’t remember. I might have purchased it at a shop in Las Vegas back in 2014, or I might have ordered it online via Etsy. I’m not quite sure! I do agree with you though, that design does have a sort of Christmas ornament sort of look.


  7. What great ideas you share! I have an old sled you have inspired me again. What price points should I be looking at for sale once it is painted and stenciled?


  8. Linda, I LOVE your sleds! I have one out in the garage and now I am truely inspired! As far as writing…I am sure you enjoyed the class, but I don’t think you need any improvement in that area at all. I enjoy your enjoyable, informative, and oh, so delightful posts so much…I look forward to them everyday!!!


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