Boot Hill is my latest project; a cactus garden with funky salvage and in the style of the old west.
Everyone knows that in old western towns, signage was essential; you needed to know where to go for the Saloon, Mercantile, the Livery stable, and where all the gold mines were located.
Sometimes they weren't the written word, quite often they would be in the shape of the item that was being sold, such as a boot for the store to buy new footwear, or a hat for the milliners.
These rustic garden signs are part of the theme.
All of them have some kind of direction for the visitor to take; go to Paradise, or Nirvana, Glory Be or Utopia.
Here's how I started to paint them; I am lucky to have a carpenter in the household, and he knows to always bring me little bits of lumber - these are planed boards, 1x4" strapping from a project.
Usually, when I make a garden sign I'll paint the boards with acrylic craft paint as a base, then do the lettering over that. This seals the wood, and makes it easier to paint on.
These had been painted with latex primer paint so it saved me a step.
I used several shades of blue, just to give the background a more aged look.
Blue paint is the one voted most likely to fade over time, so to make these look vintage, you can be very sloppy when painting them.
After they dried, they were sanded a bit, to remove any rough spots, and also to sand off some of the blue paint, especially around the edges, and where the grain of the wood is a bit raised.
See more about weathering and distressing here.
The lettering is simple block letters; I decided to do a play on words; these are all related to things to do with a cemetery and the final destination of the miners souls; and all are also typical of the names they would give to their gold and silver mines.
Three more signs are in the shape of clouds, just to emphasize the theme. Then all of them are attached to the boot post, at the corner of Boot Hill cactus garden.