December 16, 2017

Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Distressed Wooden Sign

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! If you joined us during our last six weeks, your house is sparkling clean and organized! The hard work is behind us; now it’s time to have fun! For the next five weeks, we will meet here every Saturday for tutorials on homemade Christmas gifts, crafts, and decorating! Turn up the Christmas music, and let’s get started!

This week, we are making distressed wooden signs. I’ve been making signs for years, and they are wildly popular! You can make them in any size and color you want, and with any name or quote you’d like! The versatility makes them not only beautiful decor, but wonderful gifts as well… and inexpensive, too!


  • wood (reclaimed wood, pallets, or pre-cut wood from a home improvement store)
  • base color paint (color of your choice) I used a barn red acrylic paint from the craft store. Only $1.19, yay!
  • lettering paint (color of your choice) I used black acrylic paint from the craft store.
  • paint brush
  • stencil sponge (spouncer)
  • paper plates
  • letter stencils
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • sawtooth picture hangers (1 or 2 depending on size of sign. Nails are included.)
  • hammer
  • hair dryer
  • newspaper or paper bags


  1. Put your piece of wood on top of newspaper to protect your table. Make sure it is free of dust and DRY. If it’s too rough, you will need to sand it down a bit, and then wipe away the dust.
  2. Shake your base color paint and squirt a good amount on a paper plate (you may want to double up the plates.)
  3. Using a dry paint brush, paint the top and sides of the sign. The key is thin layers! You don’t want drips or dollops.
  4. Allow to dry. I’m impatient, so I use a hairdryer on low to dry the paint. It only takes a minute or two this way.
  5. Paint a second thin coat on the sign, and dry.
  6. Lay out your stencils… planning is important! You don’t want to run out of room with a letter or two to go! For this reason, it’s good to know what you want your sign to say BEFORE you buy your wood.
  7. Shake your lettering paint and squirt a small amount on a new paper plate.
  8. Press your spouncer in the paint, then press it down on a clean part of the plate. Again, you don’t want to put too much paint on your sign, and you don’t want your paint to seep under the stencil.
  9. Place your stencil on the wood, and holding it perfectly still, in an up and down motion, use your spouncer to paint each letter. You will need to use the hair dryer to dry each letter before moving on to the next one, and when removing your stencil from the wet paint, carefully lift it UP. Do not slide it off.
  10. Continue stenciling your letters until your name or phrase is complete.
  11. When the sign is completely dry, take the fine grit sandpaper to distress the sign, especially the edges and at random spots on the front of the sign. The goal is to make it look aged and the letters somewhat faded.
  12. Using a soft cloth, remove any trace of dust from the sign, then nail the picture hangers onto the back of the sign… either one in the middle, or one on each end. Your sign is now ready to hang, or to give away as a gift!

*Not for outdoor use.

Love and Blessings,


You can visit Shandy’s personal blog at

Like Be the first one who likes this post!
About Shandy Showers

Shandy Showers — Executive Administrative Assistant - Blog Contributor - At Home with GCH.
Shandy lives with her husband, Scott, and daughters, Kaylee & Gabriella, in Kirkland, Illinois. She is a homemaker and strives daily to reflect the image of the Titus 2 / Proverbs 31 Woman. In her spare time, she enjoys genealogy, knitting, decorating, and watching old musicals.


  1. coleen hayden says:

    great idea, shandy! looks beautiful!! <3

  2. Love this!! My house is primitive country and LOVE the distressed signs!! This one is great. Thanks Shandy!

    • Shandy Showers says:

      I *LOVE* primitive country, Laurie! It's the predominant decor in my home too… it's a blend of modern farmhouse & prims! 🙂 Share your pics of you make any signs!

  3. Jennifer M. says:

    This is great, Shandy! And it sounds like something I might be able to do! lol 🙂


  1. work from home…

    Saturdays with Shandy: Christmas Edition! Distressed Wooden Sign…