Step 1: What You'll Need
1×12 pine board cut to desired length
2 colors of craft paint – one for lettering and one for background
paint pens in a third contrasting color – fine and medium thicknesses
1 1/2 or 2″ angle brush
small 1/2″ chisel-edge or angle craft brush with short bristles (mine says “angle shader” on it)
graphite paper or carbon paper
ball-point ink pen
computer with word processing program (or even better, Photoshop)
printer & paper
60 grit coarse sandpaper
220 grit fine sandpaper
2 D-ring hangers or a sawtooth picture hanger
Start by deciding where you’re going to put the sign once it’s done. Then you can determine how long your 1×12 needs to be to fill the wall space. The wall that mine is on is about 7′-6″ from the doorway to the kitchen to the door that goes into the garage, and I just bought a 48″ wide board (no cutting!).
Step 2: Lay Out the Text
I decided to go with the phrase “Farm Fresh Eggs” since we have chickens, but you can do whatever you like.
Step 3: Assemble the Template
Step 4: Print Out Shadow Reference Page
I printed this one out to fit on one piece of paper, not actual size, since I was just using it as a visual reference for doing the dropped shadow.
Step 5: Distress and "Age" the Board
Step 6: Painting
Wait for this coat to dry completely according to the specified drying time on the paint container. After it’s fully dry, take your printed-out and taped-together template and lay it on top, centering it on the board and making sure it’s straight. Tape along the top edge and sides so it doesn’t move and mess up your lettering in the next step.
Step 7: Transfer Lettering Onto Board
Step 8: Fill in Lettering With Paint
Step 9: Outline and Add Shadow
The ones I used came in a 2-pack, and I use both of them. So if the fine-tipped ones you buy are sold as individuals, get two of them.
After that is completely dry, take the medium-tipped paint pen in the same color and add in the dropped shadow, using the printout as a visual reference for where they fall for each letter.
This is the step where I said you could fix any tiny spots that aren’t entirely inside the lines. The thicker dropped shadow lines give you a little fudge room to cover those up. In the photo below, the “a” and “r” are done, and the “m” isn’t – it makes such a difference!
Step 10: Sand, Finish + Hang
Go around the edges with the 220 grit fine sandpaper to expose the wood underneath the paint and give it a distressed, aged look.
Finally, take a clean, dry cloth and wipe down the entire sign to get rid of any remaining sawdust from sanding.
If you'd like to make it look even more aged, you can add a thin layer of wood stain on top and wipe it off immediately after applying. I did this on one corner, then decided I didn't like it, so I sanded it out and skipped this step.
Then you’re ready to add your hanger of choice to the back and mount on the wall.
For the blog post my wife did for this project, click here. She also gives directions for building and finishing the bench we made for this same room here.