DIY Rustic Wooden Sign

I am very excited about this rustic sign my sister and I just finished featuring the verse Philippians 4:8:

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Before I go any further, I must say that the idea for this sign is not my own. I saw one similar to it on an Etsy shop. However, the price tag was a little too steep for me ($40+), especially since I wanted to buy two. Believe it or not, the cost to make two of these signs was only $5!  With a lot of patience, you can make one for the cost of a latte as well.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 2-3 fence boards, depending on the size of your sign
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Orbital sander, coarse grit sand paper
  • Semi-gloss white paint
  • Minwax’s dark Walnut Stain
  • Wood Glue and Clamps
  • Rags (2-3)
  • Polycrylic (optional)

First, I went to the hardware store and bought 3 fence boards. Each board cost about $1.60. It was not kiln dried*. When I got home, my husband cut two of the boards to make a total of 20 smaller boards (I needed 18 (9 boards for each sign) and had 2 leftover). I ended up not needing the extra fence board. Cutting up the boards was probably the most labor intensive part of the project, although my husband seems to like that sort of thing.

Once I had the 18 individual boards, I followed Joanna Gaines’ tutorial from her Magnolia blog to make new wood look old and distressed. It’s super easy. The steps are: paint with semi-gloss white paint (I already had some in the garage–it’s the same paint I use to touch up kitchen cabinets and baseboards). Sand with coarse grit paper. Lastly, wipe on Minwax’s dark walnut stain followed by lightly wiping off the stain with a second rag.

So there you have it. It’s simple! Here are some pictures from the process:


18 boards (to make 2 signs). Each piece of wood is the exactly the same size. You can make your sign any size as long as the boards are the same size.

Painting each board with semi-gloss white paint.

Painting each board with semi-gloss white paint.



The barbecue look. I didn’t like it so I sanded it down to the original wood grain (which only took about a minute per board).

After I gently sanded the white paint, this is what they looked like. I didn’t like the fact that they looked like they had been barbecued. So I flipped the boards over, sanded them down to their original wood grain, and painted them white again. Then I sanded the white paint down to make it look distressed (basically I started from the beginning again–thankfully it didn’t take long at all thanks to my orbital sander.)

Then I wiped on the Dark Walnut stain and gently wiped it off with a different rag.


I had some of this stain leftover from the coffee table I refinished.


The final result. Happy with how the wood grain looks.

The next day, I started the process of gluing each of the pieces together. This required some large clamps that thankfully my hubby already had from building a bench a few months back for my birthday. Because we didn’t have too many clamps though, it took me a few days as I waited for the glue to set and harden. I used Gorilla wood glue, and wiped off the excess with baby wipes (that’s what happens when you don’t have much time and it’s all that happens to be siting nearby).

Once all the pieces were glued, my sister painted the lettering (I took a picture but somehow my phone deleted it-ugh!). Since I never use small paintbrushes, I didn’t even dare try to paint it myself! (There are other alternatives you could try if you’re not inclined to paint letters by hand either — some people print and cut out the lettering, then trace it on the wood and fill it in with paint.)

I then covered the sign with polycrylic (an easy 2 minute step). Lastly, my husband mounted wall hanging hardware on the back.

And now for only $2.50, I have a lovely sign that will remind me of Philippians 4:8 whenever I look at it! (A much-needed reminder while I attempt to cook dinner while also dealing with less-than-happy children).


*If you buy wood that isn’t kiln dried, it may needed several days to dry out prior to painting it.


Filed under Crafts, DIY

3 responses to “DIY Rustic Wooden Sign

  1. Beautiful! And a very lovely verse as well. 🙂

  2. I love it!!! Nice job!

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