2 Simple Ways to Paint Useful Wood Signs

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We have all seen those cute, wood signs either in hobby stores, on Pinterest, or on some other social media site. Maybe you are that person who says, “Well I don’t need to buy that, I can make it!”, but then you get home and wonder how they painted those signs? I am here to tell you, it’s easier then it looks! Here are two techniques I learned for creating totally awesome wood signs to decorate your home with!

The Pioneer Chicks

Supplies for technique #1:

  • board
  • sandpaper
  • chalk
  • printer (if you are not free-hand drawing your design)
  • ball point pen
  • paintbrush
  • paint

Step #1: Using the sandpaper, sand the board’s front, back, edges, and ends. Spend extra time on the edges to make sure they are smooth. If you want your board to be a different color, now would be the time to paint the board the color you want. Let the paint dry completely before proceeding.

Step #2: Print off your design. You will want to make sure the design will fit proportionately on your board before printing.

Step #3: Chalk the back side of your paper with the design on it, making sure the chalk covers the design’s outline. Make sure you use a color of chalk that will show up on your board. Shake the paper over a trash bag to remove any extra chalk pieces that might smudge your design.

Step #4: Position the design right side up, chalk side down, on your board. Trace the outline of your design with the ball point pen. After you have traced all the way around your design, remove the paper. You should see a chalk outline on your board.

Step #5: Using the paintbrush, paint the design and add any details or accessories you want added to your board. And you are finished!!


How easy was that?

Supplies for technique #2:

Step #1: Follow steps 1-4 in the first technique to get your design copied on to your board.

Step #2: Prime the Sharpie paint pen by first depressing the tip while holding the pen pointed upwards. Put the cap on and shake vigorously. Remove the cap and depress the tip on a piece of paper for several second to get the paint flowing.

the pioneer chicks sign

Step #3: Now you can color in your design with the paint pen. I found with the paint pen that it takes two coats of paint to get the design to really ‘pop’.

I like using the first technique for bigger, thicker designs and the second technique for wording or small designs. To embellish my signs I sometimes tie twine or raffia around a portion of the board. Ribbon and bows give the boards a nice touch as well.

Family photo board

You can also make a photo display board using one of the techniques mentioned above too. One of my favorite ways to make a photo board is to glue clothes pins to the board. Then the clothes pins can hold the photos! Another way to make a photo board is to spring pieces of string or ribbon across the board and hang photos from the string/ribbon.


Wood signs can also make neat memory boards for loved ones or friends. Here are some neat ideas for gifts or décor pieces:

  • ‘In memory of” board
  • grandchildren board (use one of the photo board ideas above)
  • ‘Things To Do’ board (use chalkboard paint to create a cute, mini chalkboard on the wood)
  • Holiday décor signs (e.g. Merry Christmas, Let It Snow, Happy Easter, God Bless America)
  • Sale signs (e.g. Fresh Eggs for Sale)
  • Welcome signs
  • Sayings

You can’t just stop with making one of these signs! They are so much fun to make and you will find yourself creating one sign after another! Have fun!

by Alexa

wood signs