Introduction: Chiselled Wooden Sign

Every now and then, you might find yourself bored with a space and just want to add that little bit of oomph! Well, a chiseled sign could be the perfect thing to spruce up your home and give it more character. With just a little wood and paint, you can create something that can change the way a space looks and feels. The best thing about these signs is that they’re super easy to make and you can choose any design that your heart desires!

Need a dose of DIY signs in your life? Read more to learn how you can make one super fast!


Step 1: Find Inspiration for Your Design From Anywhere You Like

Get inspiration from the most creative part of your brain or…. Pinterest, otherwise use our template. We created a simple little design on the computer. Then before printing, we flipped the design so that it becomes a mirror image and printed it the exact size we wanted the project to be.

Step 2: Transfer Onto the Wood Using Acetone (nail Polish Remover)

Lay the image face down on the wood, and using a rag soaked with nail polish remover rub the liquid over all the printed parts of the design. The acetone should soak the paper, which will transfer the ink onto the wood, giving you a perfect design template to follow. Make sure you take your time and apply firm pressure.

TIP:If you’re confident, you can freehand draw your own design onto the panel instead of transferring it.

Step 3: Chisel Out the Outline

Secure the wood on a solid surface using clamps. We used the Power Chisel, for the whole project as it’s easy and fun. To ensure the ‘coffee’ lettering had sharp edges. We used the 60 degree deep V (8mm) that comes with the Power Chisel. First horizontally across the grain, then vertically along the grain. As a ‘Rule of Thumb’, Chisel the outline, outermost ink line of the letter or image first, then remove wood inside the outline.

Step 4: Chisel Out the Rest

We used a combination of the 60 degree deep V (8mm) and the 90 degree deep V (18mm) to chisel out the rest of the lettering. For larger areas where you need a smoother chiselled area, use the 20mm shallow gouge chisel. You can also use the 7mm deep and shallow gouges for detailed carving. All these chisel profiles come with the Power Chisel.

TIP:When cutting a curve, always cut away from the grain instead of carving into the grain to avoid the wood splitting.

Step 5: Add Border

Once we are finished with all the lettering and chiselling, we decided to add another design feature and chisel out a recessed border. For this, we used the 90 Degree deep V (18mm). So get creative! You can chisel any kind of frame that suits your design. The sky is your limit!

Step 6: Paint Your Masterpiece!

Use a thick water-based acrylic paint (poster paint) to paint the chiselled out areas. Be mindful of the type of paint you use as some types of water based paint will soak into the wood and give is a slightly blurred look.

Apply a generous amount of paint and don’t be afraid of spreading the paint around and going out of the carved out edges. We know, it’ll look hideous, but don’t worry, we’ll get rid off the excess paint soon!

Step 7: Start Sanding

Once the paint is dry, sand off the excess paint using any type of sander you have handy (we used the Contour Sander). You can even hand sand if you wish! Use a medium-fine sanding paper to get rid of excess paint. Then use a fine grit to finish the surface of the timber. To remove and additional wood chips and dust, use a clean, dry brush.

Step 8: Apply a Clear Finish of Your Desire

You can use oil or wax to finish off your sign. If you’re planning on hanging this project indoors, use a non-toxic finish, and be mindful of fumes.

Step 9: Add Sign Hangers

Drill a small hole with a fine drill bit to avoid splitting the wood from the screw. Be sure not to drill out to the other side.

Step 10: Hang It Up

Find a rope or a sturdy twine and tie it to the sign hangers to hang up the sign.

Enjoy looking! haha