This project turned out to be quite the educational experience. . . Well worth the end product, but I certainly know better now.
We had a few boards left over from a fence we built. So here's the Tweak:
6 Boards cut: 2 - 5ft, 1-1ft, 1-2ft, 1-3ft, 1-4ft
I wanted the boards to look a little more aged then they actually were so I spray painted the edges black. As well as the center board. This is a 'mist' type spray paint job, you want the natural organicness of the boards to shine through.
Next paint the center of the boards with your color choice. As it turned out I ended up with 2 different effects. Heavier paint in the center then misting it to overlap the black edges.
The first one, Christmas, I adhered the vinyl lettering to the just dried paint (clue when working with cedar boards).
Then lightly brushed white paint over it all.
Then remove the vinyl to reveal the color underneath.
Then I scuffed over the top with sand paper.
The excitement came with the other boards...
It was over a week later when I pulled the others out to complete the project. The paint did not have any tack to it, it was completely cured. I attempted to us an indoor vinyl which did not have enough tack to stick to these uneven pieces of board. So I re-cut letters with outdoor vinyl. Still had a bit of trouble getting them to stick, but did manage with a lot of pressing... Turned out we actually liked the look of the vinyl directly on the board so decided to leave them that way.
Marking the center of your worded boards on the back side. Then evenly placing them spread apart. This allows you to put screws through the back side so they are not visible.
What I learned from and after the project.
Recap- press vinyl on fresh painted slightly tacky paint. Use outdoor vinyl, low tack transfer tape if available.
New tips- If you want a more crisp lettering you can brush a quick clear decoupage layer over the vinyl. Then paint over with white. Then remove vinyl letting while the paint just a little tacky.
Also if you are wanting the vinyl directly on the wood, because of the porous wood you can also put the decoupage over the letters and leave it so it will stay put and not slide or bubble.
Hope all this helps you tweak something fun this Holiday Season.