Hand-Lettered Wood Sign

Say it in style with a DIY painted sign featuring your favorite message. Chalk spray paint gives you a distressed look for less.

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Get the look of a pricey vintage welcome sign for less with this simple technique. You don't even need any fancy calligraphy skills—the secret to getting the perfect letters shown here is tracing a laser-printed sheet. Sanding creates a weathered finish. You can also write a different word or phrase of your choice, such as "Home sweet home" or a seasonal message like "spooky" for Halloween.

What You Need

  • Blank wood sign
  • Sandpaper
  • Chalk spray paint (two colors)
  • Laser-printed text (backwards)
  • Paper towels
  • Acetone
  • Paint marker

Step 1: Paint the Sign

Pick out two colors of chalk spray paint. This look works best if one color is lighter than the other. Spray paint a blank wood sign with the darker color. Let dry between coats. Apply the second spray paint color and let dry.

Step 2: Sand Wood

Sand lightly to create a distressed look. The darker color will show through. Use a finer grit sandpaper so you don't damage the wood.

Step 3: Transfer Text to Sign

Place the sheet with your laser-printed message face down on the board. Lightly wet a paper towel with acetone. Rub the back of the paper to transfer text. Add more acetone to the paper towel as needed. Allow the acetone to dry for 30 seconds. This will act as a stencil.

Step 4: Trace Message

Trace the outline of text with a paint marker and fill in. If desired, paint on accent patterns.

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