Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Make Wood Signs Using Chalk

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  How to make wood signs

 I was super excited when my friend, Alicia, invited me over to make wood signs! My friend found this tutorial to follow, and she even provided all of the supplies. I guess my only contribution was companionship. ;)

How to Make Wood Signs Using Chalk


Here's a list of what we used to make our wood signs. We only used supplies that were already on-hand.
  • Paint - we used chalk paints and regular house paint from the hardware store
  • Paint brushes
  • Glaze/wood stain
  • Sandpaper/scratch pad sanding tool (looks like a black, wiry sponge)
  • Soft cloth
  • Wood scraps
  • Chalk
  • Tape
  • Ball-point pen
  • Disposable gloves
  • Distressing supplies - hammer, screwdriver, chain, rocks, etc.

First Step: Distressing the Wood Part 1

This is the fun part! I think distressing wood is a huge stress reliever. Here are some ideas of how to make your wood piece look old:
  • Drop onto the ground.
  • Drag across rocks.
  • Hit with objects such as hammer, rocks, screwdriver, chains, etc..
*Note: Be sure to hammer down the edges of the wood just a bit to make the piece look more worn. Also, be somewhat gentle during the distressing process. One of my wood pieces split in two. :(


Alicia mastered chain distressing much better than I did. That chain didn't like me very much. It never failed to slap me in the knuckles when I'd try to use it. Ouch.

Second Step: Painting the Wood

This step is pretty simple.
  • Choose paint color.
  • Paint your wood.
  • Let it dry.
*Notes: Keep in mind that you will want the color of your wood to contrast the color of your letters. I used chalk paint to paint my wood piece. My friend used regular house paint.


Third Step: Applying Letters onto the Wood With Chalk

This step is somewhat tedious, but it seemed to work well.
  • Find a font you like and print your word/phrase onto a piece of paper. Be sure to get the size just right.
  • Take a piece of chalk and smooth it all over the blank side of your paper, covering it completely.
  • Place paper, chalk side down, onto your painted wood piece.
  • Secure paper to your wood with tape.
  • Trace letters with a ball-point pen.
  • Remove paper to reveal the outline of your letters.
*Notes: Use light or white chalk for darker painted wood and dark chalk for lighter painted wood. I used white chalk to show up on the greenish colored paint, and Alicia used green chalk to show up on the cream colored paint.

  img_3937img_3938 whimsy-collage

Fourth Step: Painting Letters Onto the Wood

This step is also a little tedious, but since you will be distressing the wood piece again, the letters don't have to be perfectly perfect. If you make a tiny mistake, you might be able to distress it out later.
  • Use a small brush to carefully paint inside the traced lines.
  • Let paint dry.
*Notes: I used white chalk paint and Alicia used black acrylic paint.


Fifth Step: Distressing the Wood - Part 2

More fun!
  • Use sandpaper to rub off paint, especially along the sides and corners of the wood.
  • Use sandpaper/sanding tool to go over entire piece of wood as well.
  • You can also repeat distressing step 1 if you wish.
*Notes: We chose not to repeat distressing step 1 since we were happy with our sandpapering results. :)

  img_3944img_3946 img_3947

Final Step: Aging the Wood

Whew - another easy step! Messy, though. Protect your work space, and use gloves to protect your hands!
  • Apply glaze or wood stain to the wood with a soft cloth. (Old, torn-up t-shirts work.)
  • Leave on for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Wipe off excess glaze/stain with a clean cloth.
img_3948 img_3949 img_3950 img_3951

Enjoy Your Wood Sign!

wood sign wood sign

Other Signs I Made

wood sign

I made this fruit sign to hang on my kitchen gallery wall that I created a few weeks ago using only on-hand items. FYI: This fruit sign also serves a very practical purpose - it covers a big hole in the wall. ;) To get the turquoise color, I mixed some of my own acrylic paints. Acrylic paint made the sign look too shiny for my taste, so I bought some fine sandpaper to scruff away some shine. (I had painted the sign a cream color at first, but it didn't look good with my wall color.)

  wood sign

I also made this hanging herb sign with some leftover craft wood pieces I had in my closet. Instead of painting the wood, I stained it. The chalk method of applying letters did NOT work well for some reason. I had to trace the letters with all my might to get an outline worth seeing. Painting the small letters wasn't fun, but I like the way the sign turned out. I hot glued craft twine to the wood, so I could hang it up.

  gallery wall

And here's a photo of the finished kitchen gallery wall. Love that it showcases handwritten recipes from my mom, grandma and aunt. The kitchen prayer plate belonged to my husband's memaw. The colorful mugs are from my mother-in-law, and my friend gave me the bread and fishes plate, which came all the way from Israel. I only had to purchase some sandpaper and hanging supplies. :)

  *If you need supplies for making wood signs, please consider using my amazon affiliate link. Thanks! 

Wood Sign Supplies

How to make wood signs

Have you ever made wood signs? I'd love to know how you made yours! This post may be linked to one or more of the following fabulous link-up parties.

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