Tuesday 1 April 2014

Decoart Retro Grungy Americana Sign Box Tutorial.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you are all keeping well? Today I am sharing part 1 of this Retro Americana inspired cupboard box as part of the Decoart International Design Team. Warning, this may be a little photo heavy but I hope you stick with me.
All products used are from the Decoart Range of paints and mediums.
For Part 1 I will be going over how I painted the box, In Part 2 I will go over the techniques for the rusty tin insert.
Here is what you will need.

Americana, Baby Blue, Berry Red, Slate Grey, Silver,White, Heritage Brick(not shown)
Sand Paper
Tape for masking

The box started out like this...

There was a plain wood and  perspex insert so you could add some photo's or a scrap book page layout, the box its self is about 13" square with a hinged lid.

After dismantling the box, The lid and main box were first given two coats of Gesso (sanding between coats)
they were then painted silver and then a coat of  Heritage Brick Americna, As my end result was to look like an aged metal box I wanted to use a base colour that is often used as a Primer in spraying cars.

I also wanted to go for an Americana style feel for the finished piece so wanted my colour scheme to be the Red, White and Blue
I used some masking tape to mask off the different sections, The white was painted first and the Red and Blue after, the same process was carried out on the lid as well.

Some sanding back was done on the box to reveal the different layers and to add to the aged look.
The inside of the box was painted first Gray and then Silver.

To age the inside of the box I mixed up several washes of Decoart's Traditions paints. I used Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Orange.These colours combined give a nice burnished and tarnished colour to the silver.
I have used the Traditions paints for washes as the pigment quality is a lot higher than with the Americana line of paints.When the new Media line hits the shelves I will be using them, they will be packed with even more pigment and will be ideal for using in mixed media projects.

When working with washes I always have my mister bottle close at hand just in case i want the wash to be thinner after I have applied it, The washes have been mixed to   a 60% - 40% Water/paint mix. The washes were added randomly but at the same time and then some water was spritzed to thin the washes out where needed to get the nice runs and to get the colours to bleed together.

On the bottom surface of the box and on the shelf I used a couple of different Jars, using Raw Umber spread thin on my craft mat I stamped with the rims of the jars to give the effect of old stains left behind by jars and tins of paint etc.

The out side of the box was also given several washes, This time I used Carbon Black and Quinacridone Gold Traditions to give a real grubby look to the box.Finally I gave the box two coats, inside and out of The Satin Glaze, this will help protect the surfaces but it also gives a really nice sheen and helps bring ot the colours that little bit more.

The box is now ready to be hung in my man cave ;) Ok, Garage.
Thanks as always for stopping by. Ill be back soon with how to create the rusty tin sign to go in the middle.

I would like ot enter this over at Simon Says Stamp where they are having an Anything Goes Challenge.


  1. You really have created a wonderful 'grubby' look to your box, love the three colours and your ageing is superb - a superb creation! Anne x

  2. this is fab! wow love what you do with paints...wish i could get the hang of them :( . this will look fab in that man cave. x hugs x trace x

  3. Fantastic, love all the distressing detail and stunning image

  4. Fabulous box! Look forward to part 2 of the tutorial! x

  5. WOW, this is so cool and such a fabulous box, Mark! I love the distressed look to this piece and all the details, it's fantastic and with a great tutorial too! Thank you for sharing and for joining us over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge blog... :) x

  6. This is simply fabulous! Are you going to teach us something like this? I can't wait to see how did the rusty part. xx

  7. Absolutely stunning, Mark - brilliant paint work as always, and such a cool retro look - I love it!
    Alison x