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 Sheet Music Christmas Trees

Bring the unexpected to your table with miniature Christmas trees made out of cut and curled sheet music. These fluffy trees will add texture and whimsy to any holiday arrangement.

How to Make Cookie-Cutter Christmas Ornaments

Looking for an easy way to trim the tree? Create beautiful handmade Christmas ornaments out of metal cookie cutters and pretty paper.

How to Make a Front Porch Christmas Tree

Create a country-style look on the front porch this holiday season with some indoor/outdoor materials — and a few gifts from Mother Earth.

How to Make Mercury Glass Votives

Transform inexpensive glass votives and hurricanes into faux "mercury glass" candle holders using silver and gold leaf. These chic, handmade accessories will bring a little shine to any Christmas arrangement.

How to Make a Wall-Mounted Christmas Tree Alternative

Designer Casey Noble shows how to bring the look and feel of a Christmas tree to a small space by creating a wall-mounted version using MDF trim and fabric.

How to Make Wine Bottle Candelabras

Add ambiance to your entryway this holiday season using only repurposed wine bottles, black spray paint and tapered candles to create glowing candelabras.

How to Make a Felt Poinsettia

Dress up your walls, banisters or doors this holiday season with handmade felt poinsettias.

How to Make a Backlit Wooden Christmas Tree

Designer Dan Faires adds a touch of modernity to holiday decor with a minimalist backlit plywood Christmas tree that's perfect for indoor or outdoor use.

How to Make Giant Christmas Ornaments

Light up your exterior entryway with these fun and festive oversized ornaments.

How to Make a Boxwood Christmas Wreath

Why settle for plastic evergreen wreaths or natural greens that will dry out in a few weeks? Make a preserved boxwood wreath that will keep its good looks throughout the holidays and beyond.

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.