April 7, 2013

Tutorial – How to Paint, Stain and Antique a Block Using Three Different Paint Colors.

One of our most popular spring craft projects are these double sided Easter/Spring Blocks, {little side note, these babies are a perfect Super Saturday project because they are easy, but still allow for a lot creativity)  When I first posted them online I had lots of questions about how one goes about painting the blocks so many different colors.  This tutorial will cover just that, along with some other  basics.  For a tutorial on how to apply scrapbook paper click here.
First the supply list.
Supply List:
  • Medium grade sandpaper (I used about 150}
  • Several different coordinating paint colors.
  • Painter’s tape
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Squegee for applying vinyl
  • Stain (optional)
  • Terry cloth rag cut into fours.
Step 1: To get started it’s always a good idea to lightly sand down the blocks, just to smooth things up.  Don’t forget to wipe away the sawdust with a slightly damp rag before you start painting.  If you don’t you will end up with saw dust in your paint, which never really works out well.
Step 2: Paint the sides of the block. I like to paint the blocks three different colors.  The sides of the blocks get one color, the front and back of each block get their own colors.
Start by painting the sides.  Keep in mind that you are painting mdf.  Mdf is like a sponge when it comes to paint. it will soak it up like a cool drink of water.  Be smarter than the block though and don’t let it trick you into globbing on the paint.  {Additional painting tips below}

Step 3:  Once the sides are painted use painter’s tape to cover your beautiful new paint.  This can be a bit tedious, but you want to take the time to make sure the tape is pressed down tight and sealed so that nothing can leak under it.
Step 4: Paint front and back of block. 
PAINTING TIPS and TRICKS: The biggest mistake people make when painting crafts, or anything else for that manner, is they try to get the job done in one big, heavy, thick coat.  As mentioned above the best way to get a smooth finish is to use smaller amounts of paint and apply a couple of coats.  To accomplish this dip your foam brush in the paint and than “blot” off the excess paint on either a paper towel or paper plate, than start painting. 
Once both sides of the block are painted and dry you are ready for some optional steps. 
Step 5 {OPTIONAL}: Sand the edges of the block to create an antiqued look.
Using a medium grade sand paper.  {I like something around 150}.  If you are a more experienced crafter you can use a lower grade of something around 60-80.   This step is always the most intimidating step for people.  The key thing to remember hear is that there is no wrong or right way to it…it all depends on what YOU like.  You can also put your nerves at ease by knowing that paint is very forgiving.  If you really don’t like the outcome of your sanding you can always repaint and start over.
Rough of the edges of the block by rubbing them lightly with the sand paper. The harder you rub the more antiqued your block will be.  If you are a more experienced crafter and want to move quickly through this step you a lower grade sand paper (some where between 60-80}
This is how mine turned out.

Step 6 Stain the block {OPTIONAL}: .  This step really is quite optional.  MDF really doesnt’ soak up stain that well, so really you aren’t going to change the color of the edges much.  BUT if you want to warm up or soften the color of your stain a bit this can be a great way to do it.
To get started take a rag about the size of a wash cloth and cut it into fours.
Take one of the rags and get it slightly damp ringing out any excess water.  Than hold the rag like shown.
Take the tip of the rag and dip the tip lightly into the stain, wiping of any excess on the edge of your stain jar.  Rub the rag with the stain on it over the sanded edges and if desired the face of the painted block.  Use damp rag to wipe of any excess stain. 
**TIP: Once you are finished staining if there are any areas that you feel are to dark simply take a high grain sand paper (160-200) and softly sand the area until desired color is reached.
Here’s how they turn out finished. 

Love the SPRING/EASTER blocks.  Then you will love the SUMMER/4TH JULY BLOCKS I have also been working on!!  Can’t wait to show them to you.


  1. I am inspired beyond words! You ladies are truly talented and I will be making a purchase!! Do you sell the blocks? (un-painted)?

  2. By the way...my name is olivia not paul! Thats my husband!