How to build a sign, distressed in gray and yellow paint, to remember someone we’ve lost. Building a sign is such an easy and simple project. For anyone just starting out in wood working this would be a perfect project to start with. It required just a few cuts, six screws, wood putty, paint and a wall decal to create something beautiful that holds a ton meaning!
American Sign letters contacted me a few months ago offering a decal for Grandma’s House DIY if I was interested. Of course I was! (check it out here) This one rang true for me and my best friend as a gift for a very good friend of ours. Rachie and I rolled up our sleeves and got to work. I had these 1x6s painted white leftover from when I was doing trim for the house years ago. I’ve been holding on to them for just this kind of project and it even turned out that their being painted white worked out perfect as well! I cut three of them the width of the frame as their depth rang perfect for the height. I attached them to 2x2s, added eye hooks and a run of twine and boom, my sign was built.
Step 1: Distressing the Sign
I filled the screw holes with wood putty, let it dry, filled them again and then sanded them down. I ran my orbital palm sander with a fine grit sand paper over the entire thing, taking care of any sliver causers etc.
From there I did a coat of gray paint but that felt very boring so I hit it with my sander again. I loved how the white came through and really popped! I took the sign over to Rachies at that point and we went to work figuring out how to incorporate the yellow. (We knew our friend who this sign was for had a yellow and gray color scheme in her bedroom.) In the pictures that yellow is so danged florescent! It is not that ridiculous in real life I promise lol. We taped it off and made stripes by dry brushing the yellow on (we did not do a solid coat, we hit it very lightly) and then we hand sanded it. At that point it was time to get the decal out and we stood there putting it off for a good thirty minutes because we were so nervous about screwing it up lol
Step 2: Adding the Decal
This was a BIG decal, we considered cutting it into three sections but worried then we wouldn’t get the sections straight so then we decided to do the entire piece.
Shane (Rachie’s husband) joined us so we had six hands helping. We first made sure the letters were secured to the front paper first by rubbing them REALLY hard. And then we carefully pealed the back off, making sure each letter stuck to the top paper. Then it was time to go for it. Generally with these decals you only focus on the decal itself (obviously…) but in this case we went ahead and stuck ALL of the sticky paper down across the entire sign. When we pealed it off it took paint off in several places too, creating even more character. With the decal on there I did two coats of a satin poly acrylic and called this sign done. I am totally thrilled with how it came out!