Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Distressed Wood Sign {how to}

Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to make a distressed wood sign like this one I made for my son's bedroom makeover. I love this saying and I thought it would be the perfect reminder for my son to see everyday.
You can go here to checkout the full makeover.
First start off with your wood of choice.
Next, I knew that when I distressed the sign I wanted it to have several colors showing through. So I started with a dark blue base color and started to paint. I love that this method allows for imperfections.

After the blue paint dried, I added a grey coat over top.
 After the grey dried, I added the final color of red. I was a little more careful about my application with this color since this was the "top" coat.
 After the red paint dried, I cut out a stencil of cardstock with my silhouette as I have done with other projects like my gallery wood sign, and my pallet wood sign. A note about cardstock...clearly it is not meant to be the best stencil, it gets wet with paint and starts to lift. I still find it easy to work with and it is what I have so I use it, but I just wanted to warn you to take is not the same as working with plastic stencils at all. When you have your stencil where you like it, gently tape the corners down with a light masking or painting tape so it won't pull up your paint. Then gently dab in paint through stencil. I did about 2 coats of paint in a dabbing motion.
This is how my sign was looking after I finished dabbing the paint on. Notice there are a few uneven edges because of the lifting of the cardstock stencil. This is no problem because when you distress the sign it will take care of all that!
After your stenciled paint dries, you can begin my favorite part...distressing. I just got a fine sandpaper and slowly started to sand over the entire sign. My goal was to distress it and make the other colors show through...but be careful you don't sand your letters completely off! Go slow and make adjustments to get the look you want. I would go in circular and side motions, switching it up for a crosshatch effect.
And that's it! Super easy and you'll have a fun distressed sign you'll love. 
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  1. Newest follower here! I found you through the blog hop, you have a wonderful blog! You can find me at

    -Melanie @

  2. I really like how this turned out! I need to try this sometime. :)

  3. I'm totally new to this so I'm wondering what kind of paint you used. Latex, oil based, stain?

    1. I just used regular craft acrylic paint and the red was just a sample latex paint.


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