There’s something about making things by hand that feels so right. This DIY handpainted sign project adds that touch of humanity to our family room space.
Today I’m sharing how to make a handpainted sign without using fancy stencils or a vinyl cutting machine.
A few weeks back I posted this wall art I had made on Instagram and many folks had asked if I would share a tutorial. Below are the steps to make this planked wood sign with handpainted lettering. If you can color in the lines then I promise you can make this sign.
I choose this quote because 1) I recently saw it in the March 2015 issue of Country Living magazine 2) I’m a long time Little House on the Prairie fan and 3) we needed some wall art in that spot after the tree shelf from Christmas came down.
Growing up I wanted to be Laura Ingalls, life on the prairie was so basic and simple and I loved everything about her rustic family lifestyle. That might explain a little bit of why I choose to buy a 1740 saltbox farmhouse, living out my inner Laura every day (except with indoor plumbing).
At any rate back to the sign. You can make it any size to fit your space. I joined a couple scrap 1×6 and 1×8 boards to get the width I wanted and cut them all to the same length.
The first step is to find a quote or inspirational saying that you love. Then determine the size you need and go from there.
Below are the step by step instructions to make a planked wood handpainted sign:
Step 1: Attach planks using wood glue and pocket holes. My sign measures 29″w x 32″h (without the frame). If you don’t have a pocket hole jig you could attach two horizontal boards across all the planks and screw the boards to the planks.
Step 2: Set up a word document with your quote in the font you like. There are hundreds of free fonts online. I used Laser Metal font from here at 350 point. I recommend setting your margins to .10 on all sides of the word document to get the most use out of your space and print in outline to save ink. You can see the document will print on multiple pages and you have to line up the words by taping the pages together.
Step 3: Using a ballpoint pen trace the outline of each letter with heavy pressure. This will leave an indent in the wood where you will paint. I suggest working one row at a time.
Step 4: Using a small brush and white high gloss acrylic paint slowly paint on and inside the indent left behind by the pen.
Step 5: Apply Minwax early american stain.
Step 6: Attach 1×2 frame. (I suggest painting the frame pieces before attaching unlike I did here.) Keep a 1/2″ inset at front and use wood glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails.
For something lightweight like this I use 2 screws into the upper third at each side on the back then attach a wire in between the screws. Super easy and fast for hanging.
Hope you enjoyed this handpainted sign tutorial. I’ve made many, many signs and have lots of different versions floating around this blog. Click here for many more.