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This weekend I painted and distressed a sign for my home and blog. This summer I have been invited to demonstrate numerous craft projects LIVE on Facebook for Hometalk. These have brought a lot of exposure to my blog and so I wanted to create a sign to display on video while I am demonstrating crafts live. I made a distressed wood sign with my blog name. It will work nicely in my house’s décor because “welcome to the woods” makes sense to welcome guests to our home; our last name is Woods. Here is the step-by-step tutorial for how I made it!

I started with a scrap piece of plywood. This one even had a splotch of bird poop, lucky me!

Turn a scrap piece of plywood into an adorable wood sign!

The first step was to sand this piece of wood all over with a rough sandpaper; I used 60 grit.

Sanding is an important step before staining or painting wood because it opens the pores of the wood to accept product.

After that, I wiped it down with water and a rag. Then I let it dry and applied white paint.

Painting wood signs is easy, no primer required because use will be light.

Click to see my absolute favorite paintbrush and get one for yourself!

Since this wood sign will get light use and I am going for a distressed look anyway, I did not feel the need to use a primer. I just slapped some white paint on in streaks. Also, I did not cover the whole piece of wood; I left edges splotchy for a more weathered look.

Before writing out your wood sign, measure and mark. Use a pencil to outline where everything goes.
The next step was the measure out my letters to be sure everything was centered and spaced evenly. Then I used a pencil to sketch an outline of what I wanted to write.

Handlettering, freehand writing calligraphy wood sign lettering

Instead of paint, I had more control with hand lettering using just a pack of black sharpies. You need multiple markers because for some reason they stop writing after a while if you are not on paper.

After the lettering was done, the final step was to distress further. I used the 60 grit sandpaper again to distress areas of the sign between the letters, even over the letters in some circumstances.

Distressed wood sign diy tutorial, freehand lettering by Melissa of Welcome to the Woods

I also dipped a rag in espresso stain and colored the areas of exposed wood, wiping off the excess.

Install eye hooks on the side of your rustic sign so they don't protrude into the wall when hanging

Lastly, I installed eye hooks on the sides of the sign for hanging wire in case I want to hang the sign on the wall.

Close-up detail of wood sign distressing and freehand lettering

When the hooks are on the sides, it adds to the rustic feel of the sign and prevents the hardware from protruding into the wall.

Display wood signs on shelves for an easy-going style

This sign matches very well with the other white, weathered sign I have in our living room: my sign displaying our 13 family values made from pallet wood.

Home decor ideas for decorating and creating wood signs

I like it displayed leaning on the shelves I recently built.

Distressed wood sign diy tutorial, step by step photos for how to make a sign like this.

Now I can use this distressed wood sign to display my blog name during live craft demonstrations as well as to welcome guests into our home. If you would like to see some of my Hometalk Live video demos, visit my Facebook page!

Thanks for reading! I hope you will join me again next Monday for some fall inspiration.

Signature welcome to the woods

Distressed Wood Sign DIY Tutorial

4 thoughts on “Distressed Wood Sign DIY Tutorial

  • August 28, 2017 at 2:25 PM

    Did you use stencils? Or is that free-hand?

  • October 18, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    I watched a video of you painting on an old window and I am so excited to try this. What kind of glass markers do you use? I have been checking Amazon and there are so many different ones. Can’t wait to check out more of your projects . You explain everything so well and make it look so easy. You keep crafting and I’ll keep watching!!!

    • October 18, 2017 at 2:45 PM

      I used regular dry erase markers for the front and then when I flipped it over and painted, I used a window chalk marker. This one on Amazon to be exact (aff link)

      Thank you for the compliment, Kay! I hope you subscribe to my email list and follow along 🙂


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