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DIY - Distressed Wood Name Sign

Time to get crafty again! I have been dying to get more of those really cute distressed beach signs for our beach house, especially now that we can renew our lease and stay here longer - yay! However, I don't love all the quotes on the signs I have found (really, I don't want to have the term "salty kisses" anywhere in my house). 

Instead of searching all over to find something I liked, I took matters into my own hands. I bought a few wooden boards from Michaels and Blick Art Supplies and some art supplies to make my own! 

I decided to have a go at a trial sign before I took on a long, detailed quote with lots of letters. So, I started small and made a personalized name sign for our mantle. 

To start, I stocked up on supplies: wooden boards, gesso for priming (I used clear so the wood grain could show through), paint brushes and two shades of acrylic paint. 

As you can see above, I had already painted the wooden board. I painted a light coat of the clear gesso to prime the wood. Once that was dry (overnight), I painted a light coat of blue and left some areas less saturated so that the wood color could show through. 

Next, I printed out the font I wanted to use and measured it to fit the board (mine was 12x6). Then I taped it onto the already-painted board and traced the letters with a ball point pen. 

Honestly, that part was the worst. It took a little while and my hand HURT from pressing so hard. However, the results were great. I had a perfect outline to use for painting.

Next, I painted the letters. I tried to go for a less perfect look and even make some intentional brush strokes to make it look weathered and old. In retrospect, I would have used a smaller brush to make the strokes a bit neater.

(Like my weird random brush bristles sticking out of the brush??)

I have yet to do the last step which involves sanding the sign down to make it look more weathered - but overall I think it looks pretty good above our fireplace. What do you think?

Was it a success? I think so. There are a few things I would have done differently and it's not as polished as I had hoped. However, I expected that, thus the reason I started with a smaller sign in the first place. I feel like I know what to do next time and am ready to start my next project! Beach quote sign...here I come! Now I just need a really good beach quote...

BTW, I am so happy to be back doing SPD projects again. A big thanks to Stephanie and Katie for bringing it back. It helps keep me creative! :)

What DIY projects have you done lately? Any tips for at home distressed sign making? I would love them if you have them! Beach quotes too! 


  1. This came out so cute! This would be perfect for my apartment by the beach! We have a sign outside our door that says "Beach" with an arrow pointing towards it and a little wooden one that says "beach doggy" inside :)

    The Tiny Heart
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  2. This is great, and I love the color too!

  3. Love this wood sign! Such a great idea!


  4. That is SO cute Jill! Love how it came out :)

    The Other Side of Gray

  5. This is so cute! I tried to make a canvas that said 'have yourself a merry little christmas' and it look liked a 5 year old did it. I am not good at cutesy letters.


    Fashion and Beauty Finds

  6. Looks adorable! I want to make some more signs over the summer, but have no place to put them. Maybe I need a beach house too!


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xo, jill

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