DIY Metal Looking Wooden Letters

I am SUPER excited to be getting self-serving wine machines for my bar!! YAY!! So I have been working on the design around the wine machines. For the very top of the Wine are I want the word “VINO” (Spanish for wine) on the wall since the ceilings are 15′ High. I wanted that clean rustic metal look for letters and large ones since it is very high up. The metal letters were a little too fake or dirty looking at the store, so I decided to take wooden letters and use metal guilding. This cost a little more but looks REALLY cool!!!

I was also lucky to have my niece with me this week and was able to get help using the metal. The sheets can get sticky if your hands get the adhesive on them, and if the brush gets a lot of adhesive on it, it also starts getting sticky. After the second letter we used paper to cover up the letter to spray just a section at a time so the adhesive wouldn’t dry on us. This worked a lot better! It would’ve been difficult to do this on my own, so it is helpful to have someone ready with the brush to lightly tap down the sheets as you lay them.

Wooden letters of your choice
1-2 Soft Paint Brushes (Better to use cheap ones as they may get adhesive on them and not be usable for much more afterwards)
Krylon Sterling Silver Spray Paint
Metal Leaf Spray Adhesive
Metal Leaf Spray Sealer
Metal Leaf Sheets (I used both packs of 25 for the four letters, with practice and using the spray paint underneath I could have probably used less)

1. Spray Paint the letter with the Sterling Silver – don’t forget the sides (and back if you are not going to have these against a wall). Remember to be in a well ventelated area, and not in the garage if you have your AC intake in there.
letter spray

2. Wait for the spray paint to dry.

3. Cover most of your letter with scrap paper; spray the small un-covered section with the Leaf adhesive. Carefully pull up a sheet of adhesive paper and lay where your sprayed the adhesive. Lightly press the sheet down with the brush. Don’t worry if it gets folds it in. Continue to cover the area by cutting or ripping that sheets as needed and laying them down. I found it is easier to start with 1 full sheet where it sticks off the side some so it can be pushed over for the sides of the letters as these are hard to do. Don’t worry about your sheets overlapping either, as the extra gilding will just brush off.

Here is us applying the gilding:
letters (1) letters (2)

Here’s a close up of the gilding:
letter close

4. Cover the section you just did with scrap paper and the rest of the letter leaving a small open section again. Repeat step 3 and 4 until your letter is covered.

This is our letter N with the gilding and some of the supplies we used; granted my iphone doesn’t take the best pictures with the bright Florida sun:
letter gild

5. Lightly brush off the extra gilding when finished (we found it is best to let the letter dry before doing this otherwise we kept pulling up the gilding in spots. Also, the spray paint underneath will conceal those hard to get spots or small areas you missed. We found that spraying adhesive over the completed parts to patch up the gilding didn’t always work so well or left a different look on the letters; but mine being so high, this didn’t matter much to our use.

6. Let everything dry and spray with the sealer. Then hang your letters!! I loved this effect because it made them look real. It was also a lot of fun to do and great for the younger ones to help! I will post a completed picture once up at the bar in September!