My First Wooden Sign

I am a very down home person and I prefer the rustic homemade look. I like wood grain and distressed paint. If it was up to me, my whole house would be furnished and decorated in recycled wood. I have been known to sand paint off cabinets and trim because it looked to perfect. I tend to drive my boys a bit crazy with my “it’s to perfect” attitude, but they are slowly getting use to it. They have learned to never throw out wood pieces without calling mom first.

That is how today’s project came about. My eldest just did some major work on his house and gave me some real wood floor planks.   They are just the right size for a beginner to learn to do wood signs.

Items you will need …

  1. A piece of wood.
  2. A Cricut
  3. Contact Paper or 631 vinyl
  4. Paint – 2 colors – base and word
  5. Sealer
  6. Tools- Sandpaper, brushes, weeding tool, and transfer tape.


This turned out to be a really super simple project.

  1. First pick your board and sand it down to get rid of any rough edges or lose slivers. Sanding also gets rid of any paints and old sealers if you are using recycled wood like I am.

Pick your board and sand it.


2. Paint your board. I like the distressed, white washed look. I also used a chalk paint, which I had never used before but will be using again. I really like the look and feel of it. Whatever paint you choose please try to stay away from high gloss, weather resistant paints. It will keep the paint you want to use for the words from soaking in.

Paint your board.



3. After your base coat is dry, you can give it another coat if you want it completely covered. I liked the wood showing through, so one coat was enough, and I gave it a light sanding to rough it up a bit and distress the edges.

Sand to rough up the paint.


4. Now it is time to cut your stencil. I used a Duck Brand clear contact paper. I was able to find this in the housewares department of Walmart. It was 12in x 36ft and cost just a bit over $5.00.


5. Now, like with all good lessons comes the Learning Mistake. I used my Green Mat, the Standard Grip. Well when I went to remove it, the paper backing stayed on. The backing is very thin, like normal printer paper. The Standard Grip was too much for it.

Do Not Use the Green Mat.


6. So after I learned that little lesson, I got out my Blue Mat, the Light Grip and tried again. This time it worked perfectly.

Use the Blue Mat.



7. Now remember, we want to remove the letters and leave everything around it. Don’t forget to leave the center of letters, like on my E, I had to leave the center part. I know it is really hard to see. Clear on white and a bad photographer make for very bad photos.

Weed out the letters.


8. Once you weed it, use your transfer tape to stick it to your board. Yep, same bad photographer. Remove transfer tape and smooth the contact paper down paying extra attention to the edges of the letters.


Place your stencil on the wood.


9.  Now paint over the letters in the SAME color you used as your base coat. This is to seal the edges and prevent bleeding. It is basically the same thing you do when using painters tape on a wall. After you have covered the letters let the paint dry completely.

Coat with your base color.


10. After the base coat is dry, put your first coat of your word color on and let it dry for about 10 to 15 minutes.

First coat of word color.



11. Now but on the second coat of your word color and let that dry for about 10 minutes. Long enough for it to set up but still wet to the touch.

Now your second coat.

12. While your paint is still damp, not wet, slowly pull off your stencil. Don’t forget to carefully remove all the centers of the letters you had. Try to keep your fingers out of the paint, or at least off the wood to avoid fingerprints.

Peel while damp, not wet.

13. Thanks to the first coat of your base paint your edges should be nice and smooth.



14. Now let your paint dry completely. Then you can distress it a bit with a quick sanding, or just add your favorite sealer.

Sand and seal or just seal.

15. Now you could be done, or you can embellish and personalise it in some way. I decided I wanted to hang it.

Twine always makes me happy.

16. Now it is done for me.

My Fist Wooden Sign.


There is todays project. My first wooden sign. I know for a fact I will be doing many more of these. I already have some more wood cut and ready to go. It is one of those projects that I will not have to spend any money on and can do in between daily housework. That is my favorite kind of project.

I hope you enjoyed todays project and I hope it sparked at least a little bit of crafting inspiration.


Thank you for coming and see you soon,


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