Distressed Wooden Entrance Sign for Our House

Introduction: Distressed Wooden Entrance Sign for Our House

About: I love woodworking and tinkering and make new videos about it every week! Come join me on my YouTube channel!

We needed an entrance sign for the house to make it more of a home. I wanted something that looked and felt old and worn in. It was great fun experimenting with my tools and seeing what I could come up with.

As always, let's start with the finished product :) If you want to see the video, click here:

I highly recommend this lettering set if you want to do something like this with less hassle: https://amzn.to/2AqsbUu

Step 1: Printing and Gluing the Template

I started by printing and gluing the template to a piece of wood. The wood itself was just two short cedar boards which were jointed square and straight, and then doweled together together for strength.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Bit

The bit set that I have is pretty paltry and low quality, but as they say: use the tool you have. I used a flush trim bit which is about 4mm in diameter. It worked really well and gave me the look that I wanted.

Step 3: Get to Routin'!

The actual routing process was way more easy and straightforward than I expected. It was easy to control the router and I didn't make any huge mistakes. The only thing that stopped this from being absolutely perfect was the fact that the paper itself got torn up as I was routing and it made it hard to route up to the edge of the letter. In the end this worked in my favor as it gave the letters a slightly uneven shape which made them seem hand-carved.

Step 4: How It Turned Out

You can see that the letters are a bit uneven here. Sanding helped a lot in getting the look I wanted.

Step 5: Speaking of Sanding...

The amount of glue that I used was over the top and so the sanding process took way longer than I liked. God I hate sanding.

I hand sanded the insides of the letters. This removed the router bit marks and smoothed out the inner recess of the letters.

Step 6: It's All Too Straight and Boring

It turned out ok, but the block of wood felt like.. a block of wood. I wanted something with much more character so I broke out the grinder!

Step 7: Awwww Yeeeaaaahhh!

I love using power tools :)


The grinder broke up the edges and as an added and unexpected bonus it also burnt them slightly. It gave a huge amount of character to the piece and I will be using this technique again in the future. It looks great!

Step 8: Almost Done, Let's Add Some Stain

The stain that I like using recently is a teak oil-based one. It gives a rich, lively tone to wood which makes it feel both old and expensive.

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    2 Discussions

    Grinder effects (step 7) looks greaaaaaaaaaat, and satifying for watching.

    1 reply

    I know! I was so surprised how great this ended up looking. I can't waiting to use this type of technique again. Have any ideas?