Here is an easy and fun activity that helped keep my mind off of a few recent life events that can become somewhat emotional as a mom, like daughter moving back to China for another two years and son leaving for his Senior year of college.
All in one weekend, too. Thanks, kids!
Choices: 1) Pity party for mom or 2) Keep super busy. How about both? And, when I say keep busy it’s going to be something I enjoy. Creating. I highly recommend it.
I love the look of old stenciled signs. Today, I am sharing a DIY Farmhouse Sign you can easily make yourself. It’s not unusual to go out in the garage and find scrap wood from all of Dean’s projects or go to the craft sections in the house (working on getting the ‘sections’ to ‘a section’) and sort through a box of stencils. Usually, when I hand letter on to wood or paper I use more modern lettering fonts. To get the vintage look I was going for, stenciling was a must. Think about all the old farm and market vintage signs you see, the majority of them are stenciled.
The wood I used measured 5 feet 5 inches in length and 8 inches wide. It was a piece of pine wood that was 1 inch thick.
I painted the wood with Annie Sloan Chalk paint in Old White. No prep work was necessary. One coat was plenty but you can always use two coats if you prefer. You can use any brand of chalk paint you see at your craft store or home improvement store. Annie Sloan chalk paint is only sold at individual retailers. You can find if there is a stockist near you by clicking here.
Chalk paint dries quickly. That’s always good for me since I want things done yesterday. I let it cure for about 30 minutes before starting the stenciling.
You can find (affiliate link) paper stencils at your craft stores or similar ones from Amazon. I used 6 inch stencils for my 8 inch wide board (5 inch will work fine too). If you are using a 6 inch board, then the 4 inch stencil letters will work. The paper stencils are reusable several times. I keep mine in a gallon size plastic bag after I use them. Plastic stencils are also available and will last a very long time. Typically, they will be a bit more expensive but if you plan to do a lot of stenciling, it may be worth it.
If you are a beginner, you can use a (affiliate link) spray adhesive to spray on the back of the stencils to hold them firmly in place, just don’t spray too much because the paper stencil could stick to the wood.
Yes, that is my iced coffee. Coffee is a must when I am getting my creativity on.
I have stenciled several times over the years and feel comfortable using painter’s tape to hold the stencils firm. It can be tricky aligning the letters so that they are straight. If you can align each stencil edge to the top or bottom of the board, it makes it a lot easier.
In my case, I couldn’t do that because of the size of the stencils and board so I had about an inch of the paper stencil hanging over the top and the bottom so that it was centered on the board. You can also trim your stencil edges down, draw a pencil line using a yardstick and match up your letters this way. Hope that makes sense.
Granite chalk paint by Annie Sloan is one of my go to colors. It is a soft black that sands down really well. You can use whatever color you like. I think brown, gray or taupe would look good too.
Once you have all the letters painted on and it has thoroughly dried, you will want to lightly sand the letters. This will give it the vintage look. I love sanding blocks or sponges and use them for all of my chalk painting projects. You can see one of my very first chalk painted projects here. I was hooked after that.
Sand the letters in a horizontal motion until you see little lines. You can see how much the paint color lightens up. The sanding makes it look less perfect.
Surprisingly, even the little sanding that you are doing can get a tad messy. I did the painting on our outdoor lanai and for the sanding I took it out in the yard.
Above is before sanding.
Here is after sanding. More difference than you would think, right?
For different variations, you can stain the edges of the sign or nail stained pieces of trim on the sides if you want more of specialized piece. Here is an example of a hand lettered sign that I made where Dean nailed the trim on the edges.
I hope that this DIY farmhouse sign inspires you to make your own vintage sign. What words or phrases would you stencil?