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hand paint

Painted Sign Tutorial ~Easy DIY Technique

Hi. My name is Larissa, and I’m addicted to old signs.  There. I said it. There’s just something about the typography and artistry of old advertisements, name plates, just…whatever. They draw me in, and since it’s hard to find these relics, I like to create my own – especially on cast-off wood. Let me show you how in this simple painted sign tutorial.

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces…especially paired with antique treasures like this single tree!

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Who can resist the time-worn wear and chippy paint, all telling a story of days gone by?

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

I’d like to show you the transfer method I use to create signs and furniture. I have oodles of examples of how I use this method on my furniture makeovers seen HERE like this chest.

Thrifted Acme cedar chest is an industrial work of art with vintage typography by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Only a couple items needed besides your wood (and an antique anything, if you have something!) to do this painted sign tutorial.

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

  • oil pastels – I mainly use kids pastels (cheap & work just as well), but any will do. You can also use chalk, transfer paper, or graphite paper.DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
  • colored pencil – in a bright color
  • acrylic craft paint – in color desired
  • #5 or #6 round paint brush – you could use any one hand, I prefer these.
  • paint tray or plastic lidDIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces
  • Microsoft Word, Photoshop, or similar program
  • printer
  • masking tape, painters’ tape, or similar

First, measure the wood you’re using to get the parameters you need your graphic to fit into.  I typically leave about an inch allowance or greater, depending on the design.

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Next, I lay out my graphic (you can also use a pre-made design or clip art) in a software program.  I used to use Microsoft Word, but now love to use Photoshop.  No need to reverse the image, just print it out as you read it, and tape it together, if needed.

Once your graphic is printed, grab your oil pastel (I like to use the same color as the paint I’m using), and rub the reverse side of the graphic everywhere you want to show up.   To be able to see where to rub, a light box is great (I have a homemade one), but I always use my window since I’m too lazy to drag out my light box. ahem.

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesLast, center and tape in place your graphic with the right side facing you. Then, take your colored pencil and trace firmly all the parts you coated with the pastel.

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesBefore completely removing the paper after you’re done tracing, gently lift up a side to see if you’ve traced every part and make any necessary adjustments.

It should look like this…

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesNow you’re ready to paint!  I think you can figure this part out, so I won’t elaborate on this part.

Seriously, any old wood will do.  See! Here’s part of my stash:

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesHere’s another sign using a vintage Morris rocking chair part and a thrown out Vera Bradley sign made of foam board. (it doesn’t even have to be wood!)

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

DIY: Repurposed & Painted Sign Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesGot questions?  Just let me know! To get these DIY tips and tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop

AND…Don’t forget to stop by my shop to see the latest additions.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comUntil next time!

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More projects for you like my painted sign tutorial:

Antique Stereo Repurposed Into Sewing Cabinet by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpiecesDIY Repurposed Snack & Beverage Stand Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces www.prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

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