Review: Board + Brush Sign Painting Class

Board + Brush hosted our class participation. All opinions are my own.

I really enjoy the crafty businesses that have popped up in the last few years. I enjoy crafting on my own for sure - but it's also very nice to just walk in and have everything you need right in front of you and a helper to guide you through.

Our office moved to Blue Ash last fall and I saw that Board + Brush as I passed by every day through downtown Montgomery. This is another of the sign painting classes which I've done a couple of times before so I thought I would check it out.

The first step is going to their online gallery and picking the project you would like to make. The thing I like about Board + Brush is that pretty much every class is "create your own" - there aren't many "okay - we're all making this type of sign" - so you and a friend can make completely different items and still go together. For the most part - all of the signs are $65. It's all BYOB and they have classes 3-4 nights/week.

Also - when you register - you'll make a note of what personalization you want on your items. I am terrible with decisions so it took me two weeks to decide on what I was going to make. I don't have a ton of wall space left and I've done two other sign classes - so I had to make sure I would have a place for it.

Once you arrive, everything you need is on the table ready for you from gloves to cloths and distressing tools. We might have had a little fun with the distressing tools. The projects are laid out on the tables with the supplies ready to go - you just walk around and find where they put your stuff. You can also note on the registration if you're going with friends so they seat you together.

The most fun part of the class is choosing your colors. First you'll need to choose the stain color you want to use - they also have techniques like white wash and dry brush you can add on top. Then the wall of colors! (Cue angels singing) So many possibilities. If you think it took me two weeks to decide on the sign - how many times do you think I changed my mind with the colors???? Oye - luckily you're on a schedule - so you have to keep it moving. 

You are provided with "raw" wood boards when you get there - so you have to connect the pieces and put everything together from scratch. They're very available to help. We also could distress the wood. So imagine the noise when 25 women are beating wood with a hammer. #loud But it did provide that amazing boomerang - so it was worth it! 

Rachel went with me and had chosen a shelf - so her pieces were put together for her. #lucky After distressing the pieces - we stained them. We both went with fairly dark stains - which we liked a lot. I think I have a lot of pieces that are lighter and wanted something different.

After that - we got to stenciling. I have done a class at AR Workshop in Hyde Park - it was a canvas class - but they do signs as well - and the process was a little different on wood - but you got the drift. I did learn that stencils are very persnickety! If you try this at home - I urge you to have a dry brush and do the paint sparingly - you can always add more - but when the paint bleeds under the stencil - it's super frustrating!!!

Here's Rachel with her finished project. It's a bit hard to see - but there's a flourish and the year they were married as well.

And me with mine! Again - some of the darker colored paint doesn't show up as well. I did a photo sign - so I can use the little clothespins to hold photos. Of course - the sign is hung in our bedroom but I still haven't gotten photos printed to hang on it! Argh - at least it made it to the wall!

I asked about the red paint that I chose for the words "Johnson" and "love" and if it would show on the dark stain - and they assured me it would be fine - but it really doesn't show up very well. I wish they had guided me in a different direction on that. I might get a wood paint pen in white and do a shadow on the letters to help it pop.

We did learn a new way to put the hanger on the back and it's much easier than what we knew before. You screw two eye hooks in the back and then wrap a wire around each end and you're done! They also attached the strings for me - so that was nice for them to just bang that out quick at the end.

Why Should You Go? We enjoyed the class - mainly because of the company we kept. The helpers were okay when you asked a question but I wish they had guided me better on the paint choice. All in all - we had a great time. Rachel and I are crafting buddies - so we have a lot of experience at this kind of thing. It does take close to 3 hours - so be sure to plan for that and grab a bite before - or if you're having a big group - you can bring snacks with you. I don't love the price tag on these classes - but it is REALLY great for a project this big to have everything right there in front of you.

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