DIY Home Décor – Ampersand

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Ready for another home décor idea? Here is a painted paper maché ampersand to use a decorative accessory.

On the look out for home décor accessories to use for staging our home for sale, I found that  shapes like an ampersand (&), hash mark  (#) or the at sign (@) are popular. I saw a paper maché ampersand on the CreateForLess website, and decided to give it a go!

Here are the supplies used:

I painted the paper maché ampersand with three coats of the DecoArt Americana Decor Satin Enamel Paint 8 oz. Soft Linen. The paint looked okay but the paper maché itself was uneven in parts – and I was aiming for the look of glass.

Keeping in mind that paper maché is usually an imperfect method, I decided to camouflage the areas that were not smooth with a different surface treatment. I chose the Plaid FolkArt Painted Finishes Kit Concrete to add some textural interest and hide the flaws. The short little brush is intended for paints with texture – like a chip brush, but smaller – to get into the hard-to-reach areas.

There are two grey paints – both grainy to touch. The lighter grey is applied and left to dry.
The second coat is also light grey, but the dark grey is applied unevenly (missing some areas) while the light grey is still damp. It doesn’t take long to dry, so you have to watch it closely.

Here is the ampersand with the concrete effect added. A flash was used to take the picture, so it is brighter and lighter than in real life, but you can see the concrete texture clearly. I could have stopped here because the rustic, industrial look is popular – it would look good in my son’s bedroom.

I chose to paint the ampersand again – this time with Design Master Ivory spray paint and seal it with Krylon Spray Triple Thick Glaze – because that is what I had at home. I had intended to use Diamond Glaze to give it more of a glass look, but was pleased with the Krylon Spray Triple Thick Glaze as well.

Part of staging a home for sale is removing lots of books from the shelves and adding accessories to highlight the negative spaces. Now, the ampersand stands out against the terra cotta color of the back of my bookshelves in the living room.

Here is another shot of the shelves – the moss balls in pots will be coming up soon as the next DIY home décor idea.

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About Ann

Ann works in Customer Service and Social Media here at CreateForLess, and has a passion for quilting. Ann has been an avid quilter for over 20 years and a quilt instructor, quilt designer and pattern writer for over 7 years. Ann's crafting interests include quilting, applique, paper piecing, machine quilting, crazy quilting, general sewing. Basically if it involves quilting...she loves it! Ann is blessed with a supportive husband and two great children (a college-age son and grown daughter) who tolerate appearing in public with her despite the inevitable thread on her clothes.

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