DIY Hand-painted Holiday Sign.

It's been a while since I've posted about a DIY project. (And if I'm being honest, a long time since I've done anything that could qualify as a DIY project!) But seeing as I was feeling a little festive last week while decorating for the holidays, I decided it might be fun to make something unique for our front porch. So while burning a "vintage spruce" scented candle and cranking up my *NSync Holiday Pandora station, I got to work.



  • Reclaimed wooden board(s) - I used an old barn board from a teardown in Wisconsin, we had some leftover from a fireplace project done last year.
  • White chalk
  • Paint in whatever colors you want your sign to be. I chose to use leftover interior house paint in BM White Dove and BM Deep Space for my sign.
  • Paint brushes - I used a 1/2" brush
  • Computer & printer (optional) - I printed off letters in the font and size I wanted.
  • Sandpaper (optional)


  1. Clean up your wood a bit. I just wiped ours down with a damp old rag. I liked that it was rough and a little dirty, but I wanted the spiderwebs and other gross stuff off of it.
  2. Choose a font and print out your letters to the size you want them to appear on your board. This is totally optional, you could also just freehand your letters onto the wood!
  3. If you've printed your letters onto paper, line them up on your board to get the spacing who you want it.
  4. Starting with the top/first letter, use your chalk to trace the BACK of your paper with letters. Get a lot of chalk onto the paper since you want it to transfer to the wooden board.
  5. Place that paper right side up with the chalked side down on the board and RUB like crazy to transfer the chalk to the board. You'll have a "ghost" letter outline when you're done. Mine was VERY light, but I could see the edges well enough to trace over it.
  6. Trace over your ghost letter with your chalk to create a nice outline.
  7. Once your outlines are done and you're happy with the layout/placement on the wood board, start to paint your letters. I wasn't into perfection. I started with the shadow of the letter first and did only one coat of paint.
  8. One the first color is painted, begin the second color.
  9. Touch up the edges if you'd like them to be more precise.
  10. After the paint has completely dried, lightly wipe the letter edges with a damp rag to blend/remove the remaining chalk outline.
  11. If you want a more "weathered" look, lightly sand over your painted letters. (I didn't do this because I actually liked the crispness and figured it would weather naturally in the Minnesota winter.)

Et voila! A warm, welcoming, rustic-feeling sign that will only get better with time.

I'd try to estimate how long it took me to do the project, but it was sort of an all-day affair since I was working on it with both the boys around. Without kids "helping," I'm sure it would take about 6 or 7 minutes, tops (hehe).

Wouldn't you know, Hugo couldn't be left out of the painting fun, so he made his own rustic wood sign from a smaller piece of barn board. I chalked out the letters for him and he painted everything himself. (I was really impressed with how he understood the shadows of the letters!)

I'd love to see your versions of these wooden signs if you follow the tutorial! I will update this post with your pics & links if you email me with the info.