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How to make a Rustic Wood Sign!

I'm going to teach you how I made this gorgeous rustic wood sign!

This here is one of my favourite hobbies – making rustic wood signs! There’s something soothing about going through all the steps and creating something beautiful like this, and then when the customer picks it up and you can see how much they love it – what better feeling?? 

You’re going to need some supplies to start out with. Luckily for me, my husband is a carpenter and I can ‘borrow’ everything that I need. For this sign I used his drill, and a wire brush attachment. I highly recommend a full face cover, because the wire bristles can fly off the wheel, and you don’t want to pick these out of your skin! At the very least wear some eye protection. 

I like to use pine for most of my projects, it’s a nice soft wood and I can easily get the grain visible for that rustic look. Technically you can skip this step if you want, but I just love the look of the signs when the grain is exposed. Whether or not you choose to wire brush it, make sure that you sand the board, especially the edges. It’s at this step that I like to put the sawtooth picture hanger in place as well, because then you’re not having to place your board face down after it’s been painted. Next you want to stain it, and you can use any color of stain that you like. On this one I chose a white, water based stain because it dries a lot faster than oil based and I wanted to get this out to my customer quickly. For a little extra oomph I also used some clear paint with glitter in it, because in my opinion sparkles belong on everything! 😉 (lucky for me my customer agreed). 

A carefully chosen pine board, with a drill and wire brush attachment. When choosing the wood you want to use, make sure it's nice and straight, look to see if there are any cracks in it. Personally I like boards with lots of knots in them - adds character!
Make sure you sand your board after it's been wire brushed!! No one likes slivers.
This is a water based stain - it dries faster so you don't have to wait so long! I use old towels to apply it, then you don't feel guilty about throwing out the stain rag afterwards. Bonus for water based stain, you don't have to keep it in an airtight container.

So next you are going to need to choose your font that you want and get that all cut on your machine of choice. For me I use a Cricut and have always had great luck with it, although making these larger signs can be a bit of a learning curve. There are tons of helpful how-to videos on YouTube that you can access to teach you this step. I also use shelf paper from the dollar store – you can pick it up for around $2-4 and it’s a much more cost effective option than the brand name stuff you can find in other stores. 

Pro Tip: Make sure that you apply at least a few layers of a clear coat BEFORE you use your colored paint!! This is especially important when you use a wire brush for that rustic wood sign look because it will help stop the paint from bleeding into your precious board. And don’t be impatient with this step and skimp out on it, DO IT RIGHT! You may regret it otherwise. (ask me how I know, lol). 

PRO TIP: And this is important! Make sure that you use a clear coat first so you can seal the edges of your paper to the board before you spray the actual color you're planning to use. This will prevent the color from bleeding onto the board that you just perfected!

And now, you can go ahead and start spray painting with the actual color you want to use! It is critical that you don’t rush this process – make sure that you do a lot of light coats instead of trying to rush through and get the paint on there. I know how it is, you’re excited to see the finished product so you go a a little heavy, BUT THEN IT’S WRECKED and you will be upset. Again, ask me how I know! Lol. Patience is a virtue. 

Great news! Your sign is now ready for display!!
Check out the end result:

Peeling back the sticky paper that I use for my signs. I don't rush the spray painting process, because when the paint bleeds through it's not pretty.
It's kind of hard to see, but the sparkles are in the grain of this wood. It looks so pretty when the light catches it!
My customer absolutely LOVED it!! She sent me a picture when it was in its place.

So what do you think?? Are you ready to tackle this project?
Let me know how it turns out! 

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Angela van Leeuwen

Angela van Leeuwen

Welcome, thanks for checking out my lifestyle blog! I’m an outdoor lover who can’t sit still - stick around and join me on my adventures!

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