I began making home decor signs a few years ago as gifts for family members and special occasions. I started mass producing signs in June 2016 as a fundraiser to raise money for a mission trip to Haiti. People were really excited to see the designs I came up with by myself and then I started on custom orders and it has been very successful. For gift purposes, I loved doing this because it was a way for people to know that you were really thinking about them when you created this piece of art for them. I usually create signs with people’s last names on it & the year they were married or quotes that people love.
Step 1: Supplies Needed:
-desired stain colour (I usually choose a walnut stain- something really natural)
-print out stencil
-white or cream paint
-paintbrushes in varying sizes
-cup of water to clean paintbrushes
-paper towels to dry off paintbrushes
First things first, choose a board. Choose one that is the right size for your project, doesn’t have divots or crevices, in it and will be easy to work with when painting.
Sand off board. Sanding off the boards to create a smooth surface is very important so that the stain will apply evenly all around. Some boards have ridges in it, so it will vary how much sanding needs to be done. I use an electric sander and sandpaper for most boards.
Brush off all wood dust with a clean cloth.
For staining, I use cheesecloth to distribute the stain onto the board. Cut out a small square of cheesecloth. It is the best for staining purposes because it won’t suck up the stain like a sponge.
Make sure you wear gloves when staining & use a tablecloth underneath to ensure it will not stain the surface underneath.
Wait for stain to dry.
Next step is to create a stencil. This part can be rather tricky when coming up with different fonts to use and the size of the letters need to fit on the board. This is a trial and error process. Usually sample prints help and having the board measurements are useful when creating stencils.
Use carbon paper to transfer stencil onto board.
Trace stencil onto board.
Once you’ve finished tracing out the stencil onto the board, you can begin painting.
Painting will take the most amount of time during this process. I use white, off-white or cream coloured paint when painting on top of stain because I personally think it looks the best. For more complex signs, I use thinner paint brushes for more control.
When you have finished painting, allow time for it to dry. The paint should be even and opaque and you should not be able to see stain seeping through the paint.
Apply finishing gloss to the board with a sponge brush. This will give the board a professional look and it will ensure the paint won’t chip over time.
Finally, put mounting hooks on the back of the board so people can hang up the sign in they desire.
Hang up your sign or give it as a gift to someone you love!