Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How to Create a Hanging Two-Sided Wood Sign

I love the look of old wood signs. Farmer's Market. Antiques. Honey for Sale. You can buy them but my favorite projects in the whole wide world are free. My preferred way to create is to make something out of nothing. A few years ago when I cleaned out a shed I found some old boards and made this sign.

I was sick one weekend and sat on the back porch painting this. The goal was something rustic looking and hand made. Possibly by a farmer. Named Fred or Jedidiah. Who lived on a farm and kept bees out behind the barn. And wore overalls everyday until he died, the farm fell into disrepair and this sign went to a junk shop when his distant yankee relatives sold the place.

Am I the only one making up detailed stories for project inspiration? 

 I drilled holes in the bottom and hung another sign. I loved that. The two part sign. A three part sign for this photo booth I made at a honey sale. Sometimes I took them apart and used them separately but sometimes I used them together. I felt really clever especially since the entire thing cost me zero. Zilch. Nada. My favorite price to pay. 

But as I decorated the patio and back porch over the last couple of years the signs started to feel a little rustic for the space. The beautiful thing about paint is that ...it's just paint.

That means you can always paint over it and begin again.

Here's how to paint your own wood sign. 

Drill holes in the wood if you are going to hang it the way I did this one. Otherwise at the end of the project you can attach a picture hanger to the back. 

Prime and paint your piece of wood with the background color you want. 

Print off the words, picture, or logo that you want on your sign.

Center it on your wood piece and tape it down.

Trace the design bearing down hard with a sharp object. I used a ball point pen.

Fill in the outline of your design with paint. I cheated and used a sharpie. Why make it harder than necessary?

Now comes the fun part! 

Now that the basic design is completed it's time to do the best part and work on the finishes. I made a turquoise wash for the bottom section. Turquoise wash = watered down paint. I used painter's tape to get a crisp line. I taped off the top and used a stain to get a cool effect. Then I mixed some furniture wax and dark stain together and wiped on and buffed.

I was pretty happy with it and hung it up. I found this bracket in our tool shed during the great tool shed clean up of 2017. You can read about that here, Reclaiming our Neglected Tool Shed.

 It looks great. Maybe a little too great. Too new.

 The cure for new around here is usually sandpaper. I love sanding the edges of everything to get a worn, loved, treasured, look. Y'all, it literally takes like two minutes! It's the final detail that attains that imperfect perfection I adore.

That's better. This sign got painted on both sides. If I'm hanging out on the patio I see the prettier slightly more sophisticated side with my logo. If I'm hauling firewood or transporting beehives through the gate I see the more rustic side. Anybody coming in that way also sees this fun little reminder of what goes on around here.

This side was free handed which is always fine for anything that you want to look rustic and hand made.

What will your sign say?

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