How to Make Architectural Letters

Create the look of worn-metal architectural letters to display a little joy on a holiday mantel or entry table.
Finished Metallic Letters

Finished Metallic Letters

Spell out the season's greetings on a table, mantel or location of your choice to spread a little holiday joy.

By: Janell Beals

Materials Needed:

  • paper mache letters
  • tinted primer
  • silver metallic paint
  • rust-colored acrylic paint
  • foam and bristle brushes
  • rag

Gather Supplies

Select letters, gather paint, brushes and rag.

Supplies for Painting Architectural Letters

Supplies for Painting Architectural Letters

Select letters, gather paint, brushes and rag.

Apply Primer

Brush a layer of primer over letter surfaces, leaving noticeable brush strokes in varying directions. Let dry to the touch.

Prime Letters First

Prime Letters First

Brush a layer of primer over letter surfaces, leaving noticeable brush strokes in varying directions. Let dry to the touch.

Apply Metallic Paint

Brush a layer of metallic paint over letter surfaces, leaving noticeable brush strokes in varying directions.

Apply Metallic Paint on Architectural Letters

Apply Metallic Paint on Architectural Letters

Brush a layer of metallic paint over letter surfaces, leaving noticeable brush strokes in varying directions.

Wipe Letters

Wipe away excess metallic paint with rag.

Wipe Letters

Wipe Letters

Wipe away excess metallic paint with rag.

Add Rust Accents

Mix or use rust-colored paint to brush highlights over letter edges and any rough or raised areas.

Add Rust Accents

Add Rust Accents

Mix or use rust-colored paint to brush highlights over letter edges and any rough or raised areas.

Wipe Letters

Wipe away excess rust-colored paint.

Eliminate Excess Paint

Eliminate Excess Paint

Wipe away excess metallic paint with rag.

Apply Second Coat of Metallic Paint

Brush on second layer of metallic paint to diffuse rust accents.

Architectural Letter Creation with Janell Beals

Architectural Letter Creation with Janell Beals

Brush on second layer of metallic paint to diffuse rust accents.

Rub In and Wipe Away

Using rag, rub in metallic paint and wipe away any excess.

Finish the Letters' Look

Finish the Letters' Look

Using a rag, rub in metallic paint and wipe away any excess.

Display the Letters

Spell out the season's greetings on a table, mantel or location of your choice to spread a little holiday joy.

How to Make Architectural Letters

How to Make Architectural Letters

Create the look of worn-metal architectural letters to display a little joy on a holiday mantel or entry table.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make a Trellis Planter

Take your plants vertical with a trellis planter. Use this planter as a focal point or as a privacy screen.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make Wedding Confetti Cones

Adorn wedding reception chairs with these sweet confetti cones so guests can celebrate the bride and groom as they leave for their honeymoon.

How to Make Rolled Paper Roses

Paper flowers fashioned from old book pages, newspaper or brown Kraft paper are a frugal alternative to store-bought ribbons and bows.

How to Make a Tea Bag

Make morning tea extra special with a handmade tea bag filled with a delicious herbal blend and a special love note

How to Make a Wood Cutting Board

Woodworking projects can be intimidating, but this project is actually easier than you may think. With basic shop materials and dense hardwood, which is the best wood for cutting boards, you'll be able to create a chef-worthy chopping accessory that any foodie would love.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.

How to Make a Space-Saving Floating Desk

Create a streamlined, custom floating desk that is aesthetically pleasing, efficient and packed with storage with these easy instructions.

How to Make an Easy Macrame Plant Hanger

By using basic supplies from the hardware store, you can make this easy macrame hanger to display your favorite houseplant. This project can be adjusted to fit any planter, and since the rope is polyester, you can also hang this project outdoors.

How to Make a Vintage Chalkboard Globe

Select a saying that inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

On TV

Vintage Flip

6:30am | 5:30c

Flea Market Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Flea Market Flip

9:30am | 8:30c

Flea Market Flip

10:30am | 9:30c

Flea Market Flip

11:30am | 10:30c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Fixer Upper

1pm | 12c

Fixer Upper

2pm | 1c

Fixer Upper

3pm | 2c

Fixer Upper

4pm | 3c

Fixer Upper

5pm | 4c

Fixer Upper

6pm | 5c

Fixer Upper

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Fixer Upper

8pm | 7c

Fixer Upper

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Fixer Upper

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Fixer Upper

3am | 2c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.