Have you heard of Board & Brush? We have one locally now, and when I heard about it, I knew I had to give it a try! The creations they offer are right up my alley! Distressed, rustic wood signs that you can customize to your own liking? Oh yeah!
A few months ago, I invited my daughter to join me in checking it out. It was such a fun girls night out for the two of us.
How It Works
Begin by visiting the Board & Brush website, to find a location near you. They have them all over the United States and even Canada. Once you’ve entered your zip code, it will show you the shop nearest you. Click on that and it will take you to the workshop calendar, so you can choose a date and time that works best for you.
Then, you will be prompted to visit the gallery to see the many options of items you can create. You have to make your selection ahead of time, because they custom cut a stencil for you with the words, names, dates, etc, for exactly how you want it personalized. They also make sure they have all the supplies you will need to make your chosen project ready and waiting for you.
I actually really liked choosing in advance, because there are so many great options, and I was able to get cozy with my laptop and cup of coffee and take my time going through them to make my selection. Since I was at home while doing this, I also was able to consider where I’d want to hang or place my finished creation, making sure the size specifications listed on the gallery would fit the place I had in mind. Having to choose quickly on the spot at the workshop would have been stressful and overwhelming for someone like me. So, making the selection ahead of time is a win-win.
Some of the projects you can choose to make….
Once you’ve made your selection, you enter all the details into the online form, pay with your credit card and that’s it! On the day of the workshop, just show up at the scheduled time, and you’re ready to go.
What makes this workshop extra fun is that you are allowed to bring your own snacks and beverages! And yes, that means WINE! I brought a bottle of wine for my daughter and me to share, plus a couple of plastic glasses. We didn’t bring any snacks, because we had stopped for dinner before our evening workshop, but lots of other women brought munchies and appetizers.
Board & Brush had a dedicated table set up for the food, so that you didn’t get sawdust or stain in your snacks. 😮 I’m not sure if it’s always like this, but at the workshop we went to, everyone invited others to share the goodies they brought, so it ended up being kind of like a little potluck!
When You First Arrive…
When you first arrive, they will have an area all ready for you, with the appropriate wood, tools, and stencil needed to make the creation you pre-selected. When you make your reservation online, they ask you to list the other names of people in your group, so they can make every effort to set you all up near each other. My daughter and I were at a table with another pair of women who were sisters. It was fun to get to know them, and see what creations they had chosen to make.
I really liked the way the class was structured. They explained each step of the process one at a time, and gave hints about various techniques and tools to use based on the look you were trying to achieve. Then, everybody was given time to complete that step, with instructors coming around to answer questions or give advice. I felt like it was the perfect pace and that the ratio of instructors was just right for the number of ladies there. I would guess there were about 30 women at our workshop and they had 4 instructors.
If you finished your step before the rest of the group, it gave you a little time to sip some more wine, and wander around to ooh and ahh over everyone else’s projects. It was so much fun!
When most people were finished with a step, the instructors moved around passing out new tools and supplies needed for the next step. There was a lot of choice involved in the customization, too, beyond just the personalization of the text.
Step 1: Distress your wood
The first decision we had to make was how distressed did we want our pieces to be? I like vintage and farmhouse style, so I went with a lot of distressing, while my daughter did a bit less on hers.
They laid all the pieces needed for our projects out in front of us, along with various hammers, nails, wood blocks for pounding, and sandpaper for roughing things up. Women, wine, and tools! The party was on!
This might have been my favorite part. I loved being able to use the different tools to pound, dent, chip and crack my boards. Board & Brush even provided ear plugs for this part, because 30 ladies taking out their aggression on wood was loooouuudd…. 🤣😂
Step 2: Select your stain color
There were at least 10-15 colors of stain or paint that you could choose from as the base color of your project. We have dark wood floors in our home, so I choose a relatively dark stain. My daughter chose a dark one, but hers was a shade or two lighter than mine.
Board & Brush provided brushes, foam rollers, cups of your selected stain, and even rags to wipe off the excess and get it just the shade you wanted.
Rubber gloves were also provided to keep your hands clean (although I’d recommend double gloving, as my daughter ended up with a hole in her glove and got lots of stain in and around her freshly manicured nails.) 😦
Step 3: Fasten all your wood pieces together
My project was two pieces of wood, fastened together with two crossbars on the back. My daughter’s consisted of 4 pieces of wood and two crossbars. Some peoples didn’t require any screwing together. It just depended on what you had selected.
Power drills and screws were provided and we assembled our newly stained boards into one piece.
Step 3: Choose the paint colors for your words/pictures
I used three different colors on my piece. An ivory for the words, a gray for the key, and then a small amount of dark brown sponged onto the key to make it look a little rusty and vintage. These choices were all mine, and I liked that I had the freedom to make it just how I wanted.
Board & Brush brought my color choices directly to my table with a foam brush and instructions on how to apply the paint to minimize it leaking under the stencil. Another perk, is that they handle all the clean up!
Step 4: Spray with a clear topcoat
Finally, after our paint had dried a little bit, they brought around spray cans of a clear acrylic top coat to spray lightly over the whole thing.
I loved my experience at Board & Brush and can’t wait to do it again. Remember, my post about Great Gifts That Aren’t More Stuff? Lunch out and then a Board & Brush Workshop is what I gifted my own best friend for Christmas. I’m so excited to be able to set up a time with her to join me for a girls’ day out and we can have fun doing this together!
Have you been to Board & Brush? I’d love to see your creations, if so. What about any of the other “make & take” or “sip and create” workshops that are available? Is there one I should try next? Leave me a comment and let me know!