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Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

0mfg33kette
Budding Contributor

Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Hi Folks,

I've been commissioned by my sister in law to be to make an alternative wedding guestbook for their wedding in October.

I have made one of these before with basic papercraft and some handy artistic skills I've picked up over the years, but this one has a twist: she has asked for it to be "unique" and match the decor in their home - rustic, white and wood, so that it can be displayed in their home after the wedding.

Now, my skills in painting aren't good enough to get a woodgrain finish mimicked with paint, so I've come up with a brilliant idea to use raw timber veneer as the base cut into planks and assembled onto a sheet of MDF to resemble solid timber "palings" (plus side is that this will be lighter than timber, thus won't be too heavy to hang).

My concept and design is not my issue. At the moment, I'm trying to determine what products I will need to achieve the required look...

Question 1: do I stain the veneer with a clear stain bringing the veneer up and using the natural wood colour and grain? (I have QLD Maple veneer, and some Raintree veneer in case the maple is too dark/orange) OR Do I whitewash the veneer and distress it for a more rustic look?

It will later have material (designed to mimic birch bark), MDF heart and leaf shapes (painted white) glued to it as well as some MDF laser cut lettering (also painted white or black to offset the potentially whitewashed and distressed veneer)...

Question 2: what kind of white paint do I use for the MDF hearts and leaves? Once painted and dried, guests will be writing their names on them (forming the guestbook), however, I am not sure what kind of paint would allow for a pen or Sharpie in any number of colours without bleeding or not holding colour over time...

It's challenging and something totally new to me...

Can anyone make any suggestions or may have worked with similar materials for similar purposes? And can perhaps provide some input?

Your help and feedback is much appreciated!

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Welcome to Workshop @0mfg33kette. We're really pleased you could join us and hope that you'll get lots of helpful feedback for this project and many others in the future from our clever community members. Please let me know if you ever need any help getting the most from the site, or have any feedback about how we can make Workshop even more useful for you.

 

Let me tag keen woodworkers @Wayne and @r23on for you. Not only are they very experienced and knowledgeable woodworkers, but they have also completed some terrific wedding projects recently. I'll also tag @Simon who has some great experience with different types of paint and stains, and @Yorky88 and @Beachbox who create a lot of products with distressed looks. 

 

Looking forward to seeing how your project progresses.

 

Jason

 

Show off your handiwork at the Workshop Gallery
Simon
Junior Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Hi @0mfg33kette

A couple of points in response to your questions:
1 - Are you sure the timber is a veneer? If so, you could be limited with your options as far as clear coats (varnish or oils to enhance the natural colours), or stains (to change it completely). If you are yet to purchase any timber, it might be worth considering other options than lend themselves better to timber care products (e.g Pines, Oaks, etc)
2 - Painting the MDF shapes is pretty straight forward. Most acrylic/water based primer/undercoat will adhere to MDF these days (check the tins to confirm) and can then be painted over with a top coat of any acrylic paint. There is an option for a single top coat of oil based paint, however this paint is harder to use, takes longer to dry, smells, etc and although unlikely, may not have great adhesion to the surface once dried.

Any questions or thoughts let me know
Simon
0mfg33kette
Budding Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Hi @Simon

Yes it's definitely veneer, it was sold as veneer for marquetry or making musical instruments.

I chose it for its weight and the beautiful grain and knot patterns. I know that it might not have been the best choice with regard to workability... I am new to this after all haha.

Though I took this into account and consulting with the vendor that supplied it to me - the QLD Maple veneer is 3mm thick, so probably could handle a stain albeit light. The Raintree however is 1.6mm so not likely to handle much.

Regarding the paint on the MDF hearts, I've tried using a Sharpie on acid free water based artists acrylic, and after a few days I noticed a purple 'shadow' like a bruise appear around the ink lines... eek. I want to avoid this if I can find a suitable paint.

Will sanding them lightly allow for greater adhesion of paint?

Thanks

Simon
Junior Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

I'd advise against sanding MDF @0mfg33kette. Best adhesion to an MDF surface would always be a suitable primer/sealer/undercoat.
With using a Sharpie or any find of marker pen on acrylic paints, the inks will bleed into the paint resulting in exactly what you are describing.
I can't say for sure but I think using a Sharpie over a gloss paint will give you better results that was won't bleed.
0mfg33kette
Budding Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Thanks @Simon,

I'm heading to Bunnings this week to grab some supplies. I have a scrap piece of MDF I am going to try a couple of options and see what works best, and if you can recommend any particular brands of paint, primer, sealer I'll keep my eye out for those. 

Would the bleeding issue occur even with a gloss acrylic too do you think? 

In the interest of easy cleanup and low smell (I am presently devoid of a workspace so a majority of my painting etc will be done in my living room - thank the stars for drop sheets!)

Cheers!

pat76
New Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Would love to see a picture, my Grandaughter is getting married in October. do you make for other people.?

Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

Thanks for joining in the discussion @pat76.

 

I will tag @0mfg33kette for you so they are alerted to your question.

 

Let me extend a very warm welcome to the community. We're delighted to have you join us. Feel free to post anytime you need a hand or have a project to share.

 

Jason

 

Show off your handiwork at the Workshop Gallery
Simon
Junior Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

You have a couple of options - most of the big brands have what you need.
Dulux's 'All in One' or Taubman's '3 in 1' are almost identical in quality and price. There may be some others available in British Paints and White Knight for a cheaper price - just confirm on the back on the labels they are suitable for MDF surfaces. Every brand will recommend you use their top coats with their undercoats and not to mix and match. Both Dulux and Taubmans brands will have waterbased gloss enamel top coats.
Good luck @0mfg33kette, post some before and after photos!
0mfg33kette
Budding Contributor

Re: Wedding Guest Board - DIY Alternative Guestbook

@pat76 I have some preliminary pics of the raw product but it's very far from complete. I may upload some over the weekend...
I've considered making these for other people, however at this stage it's just a "by special request" and I've only ever made them for friends. This will be the first wood and MDF project I have undertaken, so depending how it turns out will depend if I ever make another
I'm struggling with the nitpicking that comes with involving family so not entirely sure making an on going thing of it is something I can handle haha!
Weddings! Everyone loves weddings!

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