There are plenty of ways to make wood signs to dress up your home, use at events, or give as gifts. Today I’ll be sharing one of the ways I used to make wood signs when Bourne Southern was a sign business (before we sold apparel). This diy wood sign tutorial is perfect if you’re a Fixer Upper fan and love the Farmhouse style for your home because it has more of a vintage style to it. Keep reading to see how to make your very own, and be sure to watch the video for other tips and instructions. The downloadable file for the exact stencil can be found below.
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 Craft Board 6″ x 24″ long (you can find these at Lowe’s pre-cut, but you can use any piece of wood you prefer)
- Market Fresh Stencil – Download here: Studio File SVG File
*You may need to resize the stencil to fit your exact piece of wood. Be sure to measure before you get started
- White & Black Acrylic Paint
- Dark Antiquing Wax
- 1″ paint brush
- 1″ foam brush
- 220 grit sandpaper or block
- 120 grit sandpaper or block (optional)
- Clear finishing spray (optional)
- Sawtooth hanger or command strips for hanging
- Old rag
how to make a d.i.y. wood sign
Start by sanding the surface and edges of your board with the 220 grit sandpaper to remove any splinters and to smooth it out. You can find these 6″ x 24″ craft boards at Lowe’s for under $5 and they are already cut! They are perfect if you don’t have a saw at home, or don’t want to bother with having someone at Lowe’s cut it.
Next, using the white paint, apply an even base coat of paint over the entire sign. Be sure to use long strokes from one edge of the board to the other to avoid lap lines and achieve a uniform finish. While that dries, go ahead and cut your vinyl stencil and prepare it for application. You can download the stencil here:
The vinyl I use for making signs is Oramask 813. This vinyl is made specifically for using as a stencil so it is somewhat transparent. Once the design is cut, you are able to see through it and place it perfectly on whatever you’re stenciling. I buy it in 24″ wide rolls so I can either use it on my 24″ cutter or with my Silhouette Cameo. When I want to use it with my Cameo, I just cut it down the middle however long I need for my sign! I use R-Tape AT65 High Tack transfer tape with the Oramask because it seems to work best.
Now that the base coat of paint is dry, position your stencil and apply it to the board. Smooth out any bubbles with a squeegee. You’ll want to paint a thin coat of white paint (the same color as your sign base) all over the stencil. That way, if any paint bleeds under your stencil, it matches the white base instead of the font. This helps you get perfectly crisp lines every time!
Once that layer of paint has dried, add a thin layer of black paint over the stencil. Make sure not to add it on too thick or the paint will peel up when you remove the stencil. Let that layer dry and remove your stencil.
I like to use tweezers to remove my stencil, but many people prefer to use a weeding tool. Use whatever you prefer!
You could just leave your sign like this and seal it with a clear coat of wax or spray, but I’m going to show you how to add a bit of farmhouse/vintage touch to it. Using your 120 grit sandpaper (use 220 if its all you have) roughly sand over the face of the sign and the edges to distress them a bit. Because the paint on the sign is matte, the black paint will transfer onto the white base. This adds to the character and vintage feel of the sign, but if you want to try to avoid that, you can sprinkle a bit of baby powder of the sign before sanding it.
After you’ve distressed it to your liking, dust it off. Start applying the antiquing wax with your foam brush in long strokes the length of the board. Make sure to apply it thinly, working it into the sign. After you’ve coated the entire sign, you will need to let it dry for at least an hour or two before buffing it.
Most instructions will tell you to let it dry overnight, but I am WAY too impatient for that. Usually an hour is plenty of time.. ha! Once it is dry, take your rag and just start buffing the wax into the sign. Basically you just want to buff it like you would buff wax off of a car. You want to rub the wax into the sign and you’ll start to notice a bit of a sheen to it. And after that you’re done! Just add a hanger or command strips and you’ve got a new sign!
Now that you know how to make a diy wood sign, you’ll be making signs for everyone! Sign making is so much fun because the possibilities are endless! If you already know how to make wood signs, what is one of your favorite tips that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you’d like to see more tips, you can watch my video tutorial below.
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