Magazine article Sunset

House Numbers Blasted in Stone

Magazine article Sunset

House Numbers Blasted in Stone

Article excerpt

THOUGH OFTEN overlooked by homeowners, house numbers are the first thing looked for by visitors. The pair of house numbers shown here make sure that a good first impression is carved in stone.

Stone's natural color, shape, and texture give these numbers distinctive good looks that set them apart from their more utilitarian metal and wood kin. While professional sandblasting is required to etch the numbers, most of the project can be done by anyone capable of cutting a stencil. However, it does require a little legwork to bring together supplies from different sources.

We found the black slate and lichen-covered flagstone at a building supply yard. Both kinds of rock are relatively soft and flat with broad, smooth surfaces. Though we opted for more free-form shapes, you also can choose stone that's been cut into squares and rectangles for patio paving. (Tile stores are a good place to look for smaller, lightweight slate squares.)

To find the right stone, you'll probably have to sort through bins of heavy rocks, so be sure to wear gloves and grubby clothes. Rocks are usually sold by the pound; the black slate ran about 60 cents per pound, the flagstone 11 to 16 cents.

For the numbers them selves, use rub-on characters from an art supply store or a typeface created on a home computer, or draw your own by hand. Make sure the letters are tall enough--4 to 6 inches--to be legible from a distance. (If necessary, you can enlarge them on a copying machine. …

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