I bought a bundle of laths from Home Depot, which cost about $12 and was more than enough for this project. They were the length I wanted (48″) which made it easy. Next I joined them together using wood glue and a heavy duty staple gun along three vertical cross braces on the back (I used laths for the braces). I first attached them to just two vertical laths, and then added a third for stability once I was done.
Once the laths were all joined, I painted them white.
I then used Illustrator to enlarge a deer silhouette I found online, and traced the image onto the boards. I used a stiff, fine tipped paintbrush to paint along my traced line.
After I had my outline painted, I used a sponge brush to paint the rest of the deer head.
Once it was dry, I used my electric sander to distress the entire piece. To age the boards, I made a steel wool and vinegar stain. The stain is super simple to make – drop a piece of steel wool into a mason jar half full of vinegar and let it sit for at least 24 hours. I think I may have used more vinegar to begin with, but after testing my stain out, it was super dark, and I ended up majorly diluting it before I got the amount of aging I liked on my boards. Just make sure to do lots of testing before you use the stain on your actual project. I ended up going back and forth several times with distressing and aging, until I got the look I was hoping for. At one point the distressing formed two eyeballs on the deer’s face which was fairly comical.
Lastly, I used picture framing wire to hang it up. It’s pretty heavy so it’s important to use something strong – don’t ask me how I learned that the hard way – and it was done!
I love large pieces of art, and I’m so happy with how this turned out! Last week I finally made some new curtains for the living room too, and will be sharing those with you soon!