Sunday, April 13, 2014

Growth chart ruler tutorial

Growth Chart / Giant Ruler Tutorial

 1”x8”x6’ pine board
black enamel spray paint (I use flat)
sand paper – 120 and 220 grit 
tack cloth
spray adhesive (temporary/repositionable)
wood stain and brushes
saw tooth picture hanger
measuring tape
optional: T-Square 36” or longer
Freezer paper
Masking tape
Rags (for wiping off stain)

To begin:
Sand your entire board with 120 grit paper, I find an orbital sander and/or a mouse sander really handy.  (I put 120 paper on the orbital and 220 on the mouse sander).  Take special care to knock the sharp edges off of the board, this will reduce splinters, and improve the aesthetic of the project.

When sanding is complete, use a tack cloth to remove the dust.

Next, along the long edge of the board you want to make a line about ½” from the edge.  This line will be used to position your stencil.  Don’t make it too dark or it will be harder to remove later.  I use the long T-square for my long edge to mark this line but any straight line will do. 

Applying the stencil:

The first time you use your stencil you need to lay it out to see how it fits together.

Notice that there is an extra tick mark at the end of the 1st stencil.  It will match up to the first tick mark on the second stencil, same with the other 2 stencils.

You will overlap the stencils when positioning them on the board, so that the end with the cut away or white line is on the bottom of the join.

To position your stencil on the board you will make sure you can see your line directly at the top of the first tick mark on the stencil, and the last tick mark of the stencil.  Once you see how that works out, you are ready to spray the back of the stencil with the spray adhesive.  Take care to spray it well.  This will reduce overspray when you paint.

Once all of the stencil pieces are in place, use masking tape to seal the seams.   Now you are ready to spray paint the board with the stencil applied.

A light coating of spray paint is all that is needed.

Let the paint dry for about 5 minutes.  Remove the stencil by gently lifting from the bottom edge. Place the used stencil on the coated side of freezer paper to keep the sticky side clean for re-use.  You will clean it later using soap and warm water.  Place your stencil aside. 

Once your paint is dry, sand the board again using the 220 grit paper.  You can distress the image as much or as little as you like.  This light sanding will remove the pencil mark you put on the board to position your stencil.  Use the sander to remove any unwanted imperfections or blemishes caused by paint overspray or paint bleeding under the stencil.

Again, use a tack cloth to remove the dust.  If you notice any marks on the board from the adhesive, they can be removed with a soft wet cloth.

Now you are ready to apply the stain.  Follow the manufacturer instructions.  Be sure to stain the sides and ends of the board.

Once the board is dry, you can affix the saw tooth picture hanger.

To prevent warping of your ruler, either hang to store, or lay on a flat surface.  Leaning the board on a wall will cause it to warp (hard lesson to learn).

Your Friend,

Shelley Tumino

To order a stencil set, email me at  
$25 free shipping

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