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Lettering on Walls

Putting lettering on walls in the form of favorite sayings or inspirational words like "simplify", "faith" or "laughter" is very popular these days. This is a scary thought for most of us. It includes visions of paint dripping down the wall, little bits squishing out under a stencil or sometimes I see myself hanging from the door jamb by my fingertips when the ladder falls over.

If you are not a graphic artist or sign painter, you might be a little hesitant to attack a project like this freehand. Well, the cavalry is here! You can simplify this process in one of several ways.

First, the old tried-and-true method is stenciling. You can either find the size you want to buy or make your own. You can plan the placement (we will cover stenciling techniques at another time), carefully apply the paint and should come up with an acceptable job. If stencils are your "thing", a company called stencilsonline.com can create the one you want. However, I am not fond of stencils except in special cases, so there are a coule of alternatives.

There are a number of new companies out there that will produce your lettering for you and you just apply it to the wall.

I have checked out several of them and have found out a few things. One - more of a commercial lettering site - required a setup fee of $ 25 and $25 minimum purchase (total minimum of $ 50). A little pricey in my book for just a starting
point!

Charges by the letter are the norm and depend on the size of the letters. This seems fairly standard among the choices I checked out.

However, there are quite a few sites like Expressive Walls that will let you design your own saying, picking out your wording, colors, font and, in some cases, add some artistic scrolls or even animals or flowers. Most of these were priced fairly reasonably, too. I would recommend checking out several of them before deciding where you would order from. They also have sample sayings to inspire you or that you can order as is. Several will come up if you just Google "decorative lettering".

Another idea is to check your local yellow pages for sign shops. They will be able to do exactly what you want in whatever color, font and size you want. Usually you will be able to find one where you can get it locally and deal with real live people at a reasonable price. My suggestion would be to at least check it out before placing the order elsewhere. And if you have a problem, they will be handy to give you help. I have worked with our local sign shops several times and have always been pleased.

One of the best things about using vinyl lettering is that it can be removed when you need to repaint and replaced on the wall (most of them, as far as I know, will do this).

Next, let's talk about where you can put some of these really cool touches.

Of course, one place that comes to mind is over a door. Perhaps over your front entry door a "Please come back soon" type of statement to let your friends know they are welcome back to your home. Over the back door, how about "Back door friends are the best!"

In the kitchen, soffits or the open space over cabinets is a good bet. Any open space over a special-use area such as a desk, computer center or other work area would be a great place.

A child's room, of course, is a natural. Something that reflects the youngster's interests will delight them every day for many years (or until their interests change). This goes for tweens and teens as well. Inspirational sayings will help to instill good values they will remember always.

A special work of art may have scroll work added above and/or below the frame. In this case, choose a color that brings out the color you want to use to accent or compliment your room. If it is appropriate, including a short quote can be a real conversation piece!

Use your imagination and you will begin to "see" wonderful quotes in places that add welcome and warmth to your home.

The size of the letters will probably be obvious. The thing you need to remember about putting something over a door is that it will be seen from a distance and you will be below it. The minimum height for these letters should be about 3". The higher on the wall, the larger the letters need to be.

Font (the style of the lettering) is an important consideration. In a formal room or over your entry door, a cursive (handwriting style) font is good. You might try one like Lydia Crusive. Something like this will look a little more sophisticated. There are cute ones you can use in a child's room and some really cool ones for teens. You can have a ball with fonts. And using different fonts in different rooms will add interest to the overall decor of the house.

The last but certainly not least consideration is color. A dark color on a light wall or light color on a dark wall is obvious. However, don't be afraid to use a splash of color for an accent. Remember, the sayings are supposed to attract attention so why not let them add some extra excitement with a little color?

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