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Wood Projects: DIY Hand Painted Sign

how to stencil on wood

Wood Projects: DIY Hand Painted Sign

As you all know based on last week's post, I'm working on redecorating my (used to be) crusty and dusty entryway. I started with the DIY Stairs makeover and now I'm creating some decor for the walls.

I wanted to make something that's encouraging to my family as we come and go as well as others as they enter our home. When I stumbled upon this scripture in Romans I immediately knew this needed to be a piece of art.

The entryway is mainly neutral so I knew I wanted to bring in a subtle pop of color to the space so I decided on watercolor since 1. it's soft and 2. it feels like worn paper (besides the color), which plays off of the scriptures (they were originally letters written before being printed!). I also chose this "hard to read" type of font to capture the "original" writings. I know scripture was not originally written in English but let's just imagine it did for a second lol.

Materials Needed for this Project:
3/4 inch Plywood cut to your desired size
1x2x8 pine wood (amount will depend on the size of your board)
White Primer & Sealer Paint
Paint Brush
Paint of your choice
Polyurethane Sealer
Paper Towels
Wood Glue

Additional Tools Needed:
Brad Nailer
1.5" Nails


wood projects

To begin with this piece, I took a 3/4 in plywood cut down to the size I wanted and painted it white. I actually painted it with a protective sealer - since I’ll be pouring water over it. I added 2 coats of white primer and set it aside to dry.

simple wood projects

While the plywood was drying, I painted 1x2s I cut down to size to fit around the frame with this gray milk paint. I also did two layers of milk paint and set them aside to dry, and once dried, I painted 2 layers of polyurethane sealer.

Once the plywood was dry, I decided to do a watercolor effect and thought I could just spray the wood down with some water, and add some paint I diluted and move it around with a straw.

This was an epic fail.

I hated the way it looked so I wiped everything off and just winged it honestly.

beginner woodworking projects

I put the lightest diluted paint on the dry plywood and swished it around with a large brush. I added some more colors and brushed them together until I got the color variation I liked.

To make sure the paint didn’t dry with the streaks like you see here I stippled off the excess with a paper towel to give it the loose watercolor look then sprayed the water on so the paint can melt together.

I also added some paint with a sponge, stippled and moved it around with my finger and a straw and sprayed the board for the colors to melt together. I notice the paint was moving toward one side so I picked up the entire piece and moved it around to evenly distribute the paint.

Because I sprayed so much, there was water pooling in the corners so I stippled off the excess with a clean paper towel and let it sit to dry.

how to paint letters on wood

Once the piece was dry I traced my letters on the wood and lightly traced the letters off camera.

diy art

I then took the same milk paint I used for the frame and painted the words.

I let the milk paint dry for a few hours then painted a polyurethane coat on top and smudged the letters!

how to paint letters on wood

I figured out that instead of brushing I had to get a clean cloth and stipple the poly on top.

simple wood projects

I placed some wood glue to the 1x2 then added the frame to the wood using a nail gun and that is it!

beginner woodworking projects

This tutorial is super simple and I hope you guys love it as much as I do! I have it hanging in my living room for now but it will actually be a part of the entryway that I’m making over!

simple wood projects
how to stencil on wood

I hope this inspires you to get creative and don't be afraid to tackle a project. I had NO clue how to fix the watercolor issue and the paint smudging issue but thought quick on my feet and this project came out absolutely AMAZING! I love it. I hope you do, too!

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