House Numbers

Are you having a great Memorial Day weekend thus far? We definitely are! My goal is to spend the entire weekend in my swimsuit (well, except for when we’re at church – ha!). Otherwise, we’re hanging out at my parents’ house and enjoying time with friends and family. 

One of my goals for the weekend was to get my numbers painted on the door. This really did turn out to be a fairly simple and inexpensive project, although let me say that if you are at all inclined to perfectionism and/or OCDness, this may not be the project for you. More on that in a bit. In the end, I spent $0 on it because I already had all of the supplies. Here’s what you’ll need if you want to do this project too:

  • a printout of your numbers/letters/whatever to transfer onto the desired surface
  • a ruler
  • a fairly soft pencil — no harder than a #2/2B. Ideally, I’d probably go with a 4B.
  • a variety of fine-tipped paintbrushes 
  • painter’s tape
  • a cup of water for your paintbrushes and a surface for your paint. I used a styrofoam container
  • paint of your choice (I used artist’s acrylic in white; any interior latex would work just as fine)

1. I laid out the numbers in Adobe Illustrator. I guess you could do this also in a program like Word (ick). I had measured the size of my door space, and knew that I needed the letters and numbers to fit within an 18.25″x6.25″ space. I printed them on two 8.5×11 and then trimmed them down.

2. Now for the transfer. To transfer these to the door, I traced the reverse of the image (aka, the back of the paper) to have a perfect mirror image of the letters & numbers with my soft pencil (once again, nothing harder than a #2. You want to be darn sure you get that lead to transfer to your surface). I then taped them to the door, making sure it was even and straight, and scribbled over the edges of each to achieve the transfer of the tracing. Simple! And kinda fun.

3. Give your screaming toddler who just woke up too early from his nap (because you kept running upstairs to get all your supplies in order – ugh) something to do so you can finish your project. Ring the doorbell over and over again to pique his curiosity and bring him into eyesight to make sure he isn’t running amuck with rolls of toilet paper.

4. Depending on what letters and numbers you’re using, use as much painters’ tape as possible to help keep your lines crisp. Here’s where you’ll run into problems if you’re a perfectionist or uptight. It is really really difficult to freehand these, especially if you have a lot of curved letters. Zeros, fives, threes — really anything other than a 1, 4, or 7 is going to be tricky. I’m just warning you. You’re just going to have to let go. And don’t look too close at my front door when you come by, mkay? Because it is not perfect.

5. Use teeny tiny little brushes to get your details right. I mean itty bitty little brushes. I used a range of four different brushes I had. Also, it required several coats of the white acrylic to really look right. Be sure to use a lot of water with your acrylic; it will help you substantially and keep from looking gloppy. Is that a word?

6. Ring your own doorbell for the billionth time to lure your child into view. Watch as a myriad of books and trains come flying down the stairs. Discover later that your brilliant offspring has located his own diaper bag and disemboweled it of all the snacks you’ve been hiding in it and has strewn them about the living room. 

7. And voila! Remove your tape and you have your numbers painted! Chase the toddler as he makes a break out the front door for your paint brushes and catch a glimpse of your handiwork as you drag him back inside.We are so happy with the result! When Simon came home from running errands, he commented on seeing it from the street. Later, when we left for my parents’ house, I made him drive really slowly so I could get a good look at it. AnNicole, I owe you big time – it was because of your blog that I caught on to this idea! Thanks, friend!


11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    janet said,

    wow, that looks great! you must live on a really long street. jude looks really cute out there in the garden and i laughed when i read his shirt. aw!

    can i also just mention that the colour of your grass is INSANE? is that really how green it is??

  2. 2

    Kristin said,

    It looks fantastic! I love it!

    I really got a kick out of steps 3 and 6 – I’ll have to remember that trick 😉

  3. 3

    sara said,

    looks great! and i loved the description of the process 🙂

  4. 4

    Thanks, you guys!

  5. 5

    Thanks, J! Ha, yes, we do have a super long number for our address, that’s for sure!

  6. 6

    Benita said,

    Love this!!! Too bad I live at number 7… It’s just not the same thing is it…

  7. 7

    Benita! How’s it going? It’s good to hear from you! Ha, well, you could always spell “seven” out! At my sister’s house, they have their numbers spelled out over their door — very sweet and vintage. “Sixteen-oh-four”.

    I figured spelling out “eleven thousand twenty-four” might be a wee bit of an overkill. 😉

  8. 8

    Oh, and by the way, Janet, no, the grass isn’t really that bright. I always up the saturation on my photos, so this green looks a little, well, greener than usual.

  9. 9

    AnNicole said,

    Wow! This looks fantastic! Okay, so it could be the jetlag, but I think I missed something. How did you get the numbers from the paper traced onto the door? As soon as I get back from Germany I’m going to do this…or you soon as I’m rested up :-).

  10. 10

    Elizabeth said,

    I love this idea! It looks so great. Thanks for sharing!

  11. 11

    Cindy said,

    Looks fantastic!!

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