Reclaimed wood sign tutorial

Feisty’s nursery is coming along – the Flyer hung up curtain rods and blinds in her room and ours this week, which means we can once again sleep in the dark and get dressed in rooms besides the bathroom.

To help complete my grand vision for Feisty’s room, I still need one of these letters, a tree painted on the wall (wish me luck with that one), and the sign I finished today.

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I found a reclaimed wood board at an architectural salvage shop we discovered over the weekend. The board was $3, and I had to get a set of paintbrushes, which was $2.97. These signs are at least $25 on Etsy, so I am pretty happy to have this one for a lot less! I will probably go back and clean up the letters a bit when it dries, but this is basically it. I didn’t use stencils, but those would make things look a bit more professional. I was going for whimsy, since it’s for a toddler’s room. Here’s how I did it.

Reclaimed Wood Sign Tutorial

Materials needed:  Reclaimed wood board or boards, cut to correct size and assembled if necessary; soap & water; paper towels; sandpaper; sealant; chalk; paint; paintbrushes; two (or more, if needed) picture screw eyes and hanging wire; picture frame hook/nail; drill; hammer. Gloves and stencils are optional.

How to do it:

  1. Wash your reclaimed wood and let it dry thoroughly. My board was FILTHY – it was more of a grey at the shop and turned this nice walnut-y color after washing and drying.
  2. Sand the surface that you’d like to paint. (I wore gloves for this, but it’s up to you.) I didn’t want to lose the character of the wood, so I just used 180-Grit sandpaper until the board was a bit smoother and all the splinters were worn away.
  3. Apply sealant to prep the board. I used Delta Ceramcoat all-purpose sealer (it’s non-toxic!) that I got from…somewhere. Can’t remember. Most craft stores have it or a similar product. I didn’t feel like getting a big paintbrush out of the basement, so I just used a paper towel to slather it on. Have no fear – it dries clear!
  4. Let sealant dry. Mine dried for a whole day, but that’s due to me being busy. A couple hours should suffice, just make sure it’s completely dry and not tacky to the touch.
  5. Sand the dried, sealant-covered board again briefly.
  6. If you’re using stencils, skip this step. If you’re freehanding, write your message or draw your design with chalk. You won’t be able to see pencil markings, and chalk wipes off really easily if you goof.
  7. Actual painting can take place! Paint over your chalked design or stencil, making sure to keep the paint even. I used Delta Ceramcoat acrylic paint.
  8. Let it dry. See if you need a second coat – repeat step 7 if so.
  9. Measure to find the middle of your board. Space the screw eyes so that they are equidistant from the middle point – there should be one on each side of the board.
  10. Drill into the board to make holes for the screw eyes, then insert screw eyes until secure. Attach hanging wire to desired tautness.
  11. Hammer picture hook and nail into the wall; hang up sign.
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