How to Make a Wood Sign for Any Occasion

Making a wood sign for your front porch or flower beds can be much easier than you think. I love how they spruce up any front porch décor.

First, you need to decide what kind of wood you would like to work with. I love knotty pine. The word is nice to work with, being a softer wood, you can sand it easily and painting on its light surface makes the paint pop without having to put down a white primer coat first. 

You can go to your local hardware store and order a piece of pine. They come in different sizes so you can choose how big of a sign you would like to make. 

Once I have the wood at my house, I cut it down to size. You can decide if you would like one solid piece or a palette look. In the picture I did a palette look. I wanted one piece to be bigger than the other two. I cut them down to 2 pieces at 4×15 and 1 piece at 4×17. 

I cut 2 smaller pieces for back straps. Placed the 3 pieces upside down and glued and nailed the back straps across to hold them into place. 


You want to make sure before you start painting you sand the surface and all edges so they are smooth. 

You can then apply a primer coat if you would like to. I find if the wood has a lot of knots it can tend to yellow your painting after being out in the sun for a few days. Putting a primer will prevent the yellow from coming through your paint.


Now you are ready to start designing your masterpiece!

For my sign, I created my own stencils with Microsoft word. I decided on a quote and created the font and size I wanted and printed it out. I would later transfer this on with carbon paper. 

Now you can go ahead and paint a background colour with acrylics or stain. I use a half inch flat brush to cover the surface quickly. Painting first with white and letting it fully dry. Then dry brushing on the aqua colour over top but leaving space for the white to show through for more of a rustic look. 

After this is fully dry, I hand drew on my cactus and transferred the stencil on with my carbon paper. 

Have fun playing with the colours in your sign and don’t forget to enjoy the process. The more we practice the better we get at finding our style and what we really enjoy creating.


I always suggest taking a small detail brush and adding fun accents and designs to your painting. By outlining your letters or creating little lines and dash marks around your image. Adding some gold highlights and shadowing really makes these paintings pop. 

If you want to see a demonstration, check out my video here.

Don’t forget, once you are all done to put a clear coat over top. I love using the Rustoleum clear coat. It is easy to apply, dries in 8 minutes and prevents yellowing. 

If you are newer to painting, follow me on my Facebook page Artistic Chris and watch for new painting tutorials.