Board & Brush is a new DIY studio in town where you can create fun and unique wood decor projects from scratch while enjoying a fun instructor-led atmosphere. Since we couldn’t wait to try it out and tell you all about it, we sent our contributor, Sara Lewis, to a Pick Your Project Workshop. She left the workshop with a beautiful wood sign to display with pride for years to come, as well as an excitement to share all that you can expect at a workshop.
What to Expect at Board & Brush Creative Studio:
I’ve been to a paint-your-own-canvas night, and I’ve also been to a woodworking course at a local craft shop. A night at Board & Brush is the perfect blend of each of these. When you sign up for a Board & Brush class online, you have to preselect which sign you want, and when you walk into the studio, it’s clear to see why. The studio is clean and bright, and the walls are covered with examples of completed boards. Large craft tables have supplies and each seat has the necessary boards and personalized stencils each person preselected during registration. A group of people sits at each table, which makes it a great layout for a night out with friends, or a chance to chat with new people! I really enjoyed chatting with my tablemates.
A Helping Hand
While typical wine-and-paint venues offer looser guidance while you work on a painting, Board & Brush is more instruction-based. I was intimidated when I saw completely raw and loose boards at my table. Would I really be assembling this thing?! Not to worry, the team members walked me through every step. Once everyone was settled in their seats and had their beverages of choice (they offer wine, beer, and soda to purchase, and complimentary bottled water!) Glen, who owns the studio along with his wife Gina, started the evening out on a bang (this is a setup for a delayed pun).
A Banging Good Time
Hammers, meat mallets, and long, threaded nails were put out on the table for each person to distress their sign (hence the bang). The team members walked around with earplugs for each attendee. At first, I thought that seemed overly cautious, but you are definitely going to want those earplugs! After a few minutes of getting your frustrations out on your board, the lights flash as a signal to stop.
Freedom of Expression
Once you’ve shown your board who’s boss, it’s time for sanding. Again, I was glad for Glen’s instructions. He showed us how on the example signs the corners were sanded way down to make the sign look weather-worn. Elbow grease is a must-have for this step. Then it starts to get really fun. It’s time to start deciding the color scheme for your board! I am terrible at making these kinds of decisions, which is why I so appreciated all of the example boards on the walls. There are two facets to the coloring on your board: the stain and the paint, and Board & Brush offers a wide variety for both. Glen, Gina, and their team made every example sign in the studio. So if you’re unsure about a stain or paint color, they can give you advice from their own experiences, and point out signs that have similar colors to what you’re thinking of working with.
Once I chose my stain color, a team member came by with my cup of stain. I followed Glen’s instructions and put on some gloves, dipped my staining cloth in the cup, and got down to business! I found the staining process very relaxing and loved seeing the wood transform in front of my eyes. At that time, some people also chose to do a whitewash or dry brush of paint over the stain to give a more worn or more colorful look.
While the stain finished drying, it was time for assembly. Luckily, my board was simple to put together with only two large boards and two supports. Glen showed me the best way to attach the supports, and that was that! This is a good place to point out that there are some steps that take some people longer than others. My staining and assembly went quickly since I only had four pieces total, but some people had more pieces that were smaller, so they needed a little more time. The pace of the course was set perfectly. If most people were done with a step, we moved on to the next. Towards the very end, individual Board & Brush team members would be working with people who were ahead of everyone else, so they weren’t waiting for the rest of the group to catch up. I really appreciated that there were enough team members to make this the case.
After the assembly came the trickiest part. During these next steps, I heard Glen say, “If it doesn’t turn out how you want it, we can fix it,” at least a dozen times, which was reassuring. The stencil you see at the very beginning of the night comes into play. The stencil is adhesive and must be carefully removed from its backing and applied to the sign. Patience is key here, but you can do it! Once the stencil was in place on my sign, Glen came by to show me the proper stippling technique to use to ensure the design would turn out perfectly. Remove the stencil, and voila! You can finally see what all of this hard work is going towards.
After a few minutes of allowing the paint to dry, you undo a little bit of your handiwork with some more sanding to make the paint look more aged. This step is done whenever you think it’s done. I didn’t want my sign looking too worn, so I swiped the sandpaper over each painted area lightly before deciding that was enough. A protective wax at the very end helps the paint and wood really marry and adds the last dash of a worn appearance.
A Finished Masterpiece You Will Love
When I was done, I looked at my sign and said, “I can’t believe I made this!” It really is a great, customized piece that I’m proud to hang in my home! At similar places I’ve gone to, I either enjoy the experience or the product I’ve left with, but usually not both. This time was different. I loved everything, especially my finished work.
I loved the laidback atmosphere at Board & Brush, and that creating my board was just enough of a challenge, but I still ended up making something I truly love.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves, distress some wood and create a DIY masterpiece that you can be proud of for years to come? Check out the class schedule and reserve your time at https://boardandbrush.com/coloradosprings/.