Subway Art Wishes


***This post contains affiliate link for your convenience***

If you have been following my blog lately, you know I am working on updating my son’s bedroom.  In his room I wanted to create subway art. Not typical subway art, but my wishes for him.  Art with meaningful words he can read every day. Words he can remember and carry with him everywhere he goes. 

I had seven signs complete, but didn’t have the perfect all encompassing “wish” or “quote” for the last sign.  That is when I posted on my Facebook page asking, “What quotes would you like your child to read each and every day?.”  Thanks to everyone that helped me out!

There were so many great quotes within minutes of my request. 

One that resonated with me was from

Krista from Porch Productions

she said,

“Be Yourself.” 

Subway Art

It was perfect!  Kids have so many pressures today.  I want my children to be secure with who they are and know it’s okay to be themselves. 

Cindy”s Notions also said,

“Be Yourself, everyone else is already taken.” 

If you would like to see more quotes, head to my Facebook page here.

Below is the Subway Art my son can read every day…

Vintage Subway Art

Let me show you how I made them.  It is very similar to the Atlanta Subway Dresser

I did last year.

I wanted a worn, vintage look here, so there are several steps to get the end result.

I chose (2) 1×8 pine boards that were cut down to eight 1′- 9″.

DIY Vintage Subway Signs

Then painted with Annie Sloan Pure White.

Vintage Subway Art

Once dry, I sporadically painted Old Ochre – Annie Sloan with a dry brush.

Subway Art

Subway Signs

When I say sporadically, I rolled my brush in circles, dry brushed everywhere

and had fun with it.

DIY Vintage Subway Art

Then I got out a very old (yuck) toothbrush. 

DIY Vintage Subway Art

Dabbed it into some Annie Sloan Graphite paint and dry brushed everywhere. 

Splattered a little here and there too.

Again, created some messy art.

DIY signs

As you probably know by now, I love to layer paint.  It gives dimension creating a

one of a kind look.

DIY Vintage Signs

I tried not to strive for perfection here as this is just a layering effect, not the end result.

Create Subway Art

Yeah, definitely not perfect at this point.

Moving on to creating the vinyl letters…

Thanks to my sweet friend, Terri, who was kind to offer me the ability to use her Silhouette Cameo.  I can see how this machine can be an addiction.  It cuts vinyl letters to perfection and quickly.  It also allows you to use a font of your choosing.  Love that!

Once the letters were cut, I laid them on the board to get proper spacing.

Creating Subway Art

I wanted to keep an inch border, so I drew a straight line an inch from the edge around the perimeter of the board.

Subway Art

I also used a straight pencil line for the letters.  Then peeled the backing off of the vinyl and set the letters gently on the line.  This can be the most time consuming.  Definitely a place to take some time.  As you can see, the letter ‘N’ is upside down.  I looked at these boards over and over and didn’t realize it until after they were painted.  Argh! 

Sometimes I just have to live with the imperfect.

After all of the letters were secure on the boards, I lined Frog Tape next to the border lines.

DIY Vintage Subway Art

Creating a border will make the letters pop.

Vintage Subway Art

This is one of the boards with the tape border complete.

Now it’s time for the paint, but before jumping into it, I had to make sure

the letters were secure.

I used a brayer for this and it did the trick.

DIY Subway Sign

Excuse my brayer, it is worn with dried glue and paint, but still works like a charm. 

I made sure to push hard when rolling those letters and gave the edge of the Frog Tape a rolling too.

Now it’s time for the fun part.  Painting!  This part may also be a little scary, but this is where I had to dive in and go for it.

Subway Art

Using Annie Sloan graphite paint, I painted right over everything.  A little scary, right? 

I used 2 coats to make sure I had good coverage.

No worries though, once it is dry it’s almost like opening a present.

Subway Art

Peeling off the letters and tape was instant gratification.

Next, I wanted the edge of the board to have a graphite – black trim.  When they hang on the wall the sides of the boards will be graphite like the body of the board. 

Below you can see the end result.

Subway Art

To create that look I used tape around the perimeter of the board like this.

Subway Art

When turning over the boards they will look like this.

Subway Vintage Art

This was the last step. 

Painting Annie Sloan graphite on the edges of the boards.Subway Art

Once everything was dry, I removed the tape and had 8 Vintage looking

Subway Art Pieces for my son’s room.

DIY Vintage Subway Art

My wish is that he reads them every day. 

Do you have quotes you would like your child to read every day?  If so, do tell! 

Thanks so much for visiting today.



If you’ve enjoyed reading this post and find it helpful, share it with your friends.

Similar Posts


  1. These turned out so great, Angie! (Wonderful messages for your son.) And I love the painting technique you used on the white portion–I may have to borrow it for a future project!

    1. Thank you, Heather! I bet your step-son loved the words of inspiration. 🙂

      A Cricut machine would be awesome! Now I can understand the rave about these machines. It’s so fast and easy. Think about all of the possibilities with these machines. I might have to purchase one myself.

  2. Hey, Angie, these signs look great, and so inspirational. I have a Silhouette, should probably use it more. I mostly use it to make tags for when I’m doing a weekend booth. Yeah, really creative, huh?! 😛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *