Thursday, October 26, 2017

How I made this French vintage-looking sign

Hello friends.

A few of you asked me about the vintage-looking sign I made for my recent guest post and since I took a few pictures along the way I thought I'd do a quick post on it.

I realize the blog world is full of great tutorials on home-made signs but maybe there's something I did that might be helpful to you.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this picture of my front door already.

This was the first sign I've ever made but I began this project with a clear idea of what I wanted my sign to look like and where I planned on placing it: over the front door.

I found this piece of dried plywood on the side of our house--in a pile meant for the garbage-- and I pulled it out, wiped off the cobwebs and after I measured the space over the door I realized this piece of wood would be perfect.

I know. It's hard to imagine seeing it "before."

I sanded it lightly, then used my table saw to cut the length. I planned on fitting it between my door trim (ceiling and door) but at the last minute I couldn't find my jigsaw so it ended up being wider than originally planned.

The good news is that I liked it better that way.

For the purposes of my guest post I decided to add a Parisian touch to my door by writing out the words "Welcome Friends" in French. 

Here's my inspiration picture from my IPhone showing the color and font that I wanted to emulate. It's hard to tell in this photo but the background is a soft gray.

Once my wood was the right size the painting was next.

I basically used some leftover white chalk paint as a base and layered white with light and dark gray shades combining these until I got a weathered look.

I bought some wood trim similar to the one in my photo and painted it....

...and cut 45 degree angles with my table saw. 

The ONE problem I had was when I tried to use my nail gun to attach the trim. I'm not sure why, but it ripped the trim piece on my first try and after calling my Dad for help, I decided to use Elmer's wood glue instead of nails.

After it was glued, I taped the trim to hold it firm and since I didn't have clamps, I turned it upside down (Dad you-are-so-smart!) and put stacks of books on top until it could dry.

Next comes the most time-consuming part of the sign. I had bought some large stencils thinking I would simply trace them, but when I laid them out the letters were too large and thick for the look I wanted.

So this is how I got the perfect size letters for this sign.

I cut out each stencil letter that I would be using, then I pulled off the black adhesive part, discarded it, and worked with the white portion only. Using scissors I trimmed each white letter (I wanted a thinner letter like my inspiration photo), then set it down on the wood and traced it. I use 'my eye' to determine the right distance between the letters.

Once the letters were all out-lined, I just painted inside the lines.

Here's a shot of the sign before I sanded it down in parts to age it. 

I actually love how it turned out --in fact-- this sign inspired me to give my dining room a new look for the holidays. 

See this dark wood table? It's actually one of the most expensive pieces of furniture we own. We bought it after we got married and paid a ridiculous amount for it... but guess what?

Today it looks totally different.

I sent my mom a photo of it after I took the sander to it and she texted back,

 "Cool! But only you would sand your beautiful dinner table."

I had to laugh. But I loooove all the gorgeous wood grain that I can see now, and I can't wait to show you.

Stay tuned for my dining room refresh. New rug. Light rustic table. Bye-bye mirror and hello simpler look. Oh, and the sign is going in here too.

Thank  you friends for visiting me, I sure hope you enjoyed my little tutorial.

I'm sharing this post here:
Feathered Nest Friday


Pamela said...

Your sign turned out perfect!

Debra@CommonGround said...

I really love the sign, it looks "real" to me. can't wait to see your DR table in the raw!

Holly @ Down to Earth Style said...

I have made many wood signs before but every time I read a tutorial post about how other people make them I learn something new. I used to use my Cricut but now I only have stencils. I love the way your sign turned out because it looks professional and I love a block-like font.

Hope you are glad you are still blogging.

NanaDiana said...

You did a great job. It just makes me remember that where there's a will-there's a way! I turned out fantastic even with the few glitches you encountered along the way.

Can't wait to see your table. xo Diana

Stacey said...

Your sign looks fantastic! I recently made my first sign too but I like yours much better. :) Once you realize how easy it is you just want to make more...right?

I'm smiling about your dinner table and can't wait to see it. We have furniture pieces that cost a silly amount too that we scrimped and saved for years ago. Problem is that our taste changes but if you are brave enough to go for it - it stays just perfect for you.

Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left about my Fabulous Fifties post. Seems that many of us have similar feelings.

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

This makes me want to go to the barn and pull out some barn wood! Nicely done. :-) The favorite sign I’ve ever made was one I used for a display when I sold some of my heirloom ornament wreaths: That was as fun project!

Sandra Sallin said...

OMG, I am so impressed! How fabulous! Gorgeous also. Bravo to you.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love how your sign turned out, Leslie...such a great idea to trim the letters to just what you wanted. I love the gray background, too. Looking forward to seeing your table!

Calypso In The Country said...

I am so impressed! Love the sign and I cannot wait to see the table! Have a great weekend!

Art and Sand said...

It's beautiful!

And now you have inspired me to paint a sign today. I have had one in mind for awhile and I'm going to just do it.

michele said...

Thank you for sharing all these steps! I have never made such a grand sign, and I love the frame around it which makes it seem so much more important and authentic. You could fool anyone into thinking it's vintage! Bravo, Leslie. xox

Unknown said...

Wow ! Very nice,,,i really like it.. bloom tattoos

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