Reclaimed Wood Sign with Krista from The Happy Housie {guest post}

Hello readers of twelveOeight! My name is Krista and I am so excited to be here today sharing my simple reclaimed wood sign with you.

As you may know I am a new contributor here and I am beyond excited to be a part of Tanya’s fabulous little slice of blog land! I spend most of my bloggy time over at The Happy Housie and love all kinds of decorating, crafting, and DIY projects like this one I am here to share with you today.

We recently undertook some changes to our living room to lighten and brighten it up. Part of that involved switching out our large red TV armoire for a DIY chalk painted dresser turned media console. We loved how much brighter and more open the room felt with this change… but it needed something of interest to hang above it. So along came this little (or actually quite large…) sign! It was quick and easy and is a super effective way to make a bold statement in any room. 

super simple reclaimed wood sign tutorial from thehappyhousie

Want to try it? You will need:


  • reclaimed wood boards… you can also use new boards but we had several pieces of old wood lying around and I wanted the sign to have a rustic, uneven look and old wood works well for this
  • wood screws and an electric drill
  • smaller pieces of wood to join the boards together from behind (we used some leftover trim)
  • some paint for your base coats (and possibly primer). I used DIY chalk paint in two colours… made from (Benjamin Moore’s) Cloud White and Colorado Gray
  • Craft paint and a craft paint brushes for the lettering
  • a computer printer and printer paper to print off your lettering
  • a pencil to help you transfer and then outline your lettering

Start by deciding on a size for your sign and cutting your wood to the appropriate length. Then join the pieces together by screwing smaller pieces of wood to the back of the boards, like this:

attaching boards from behind for reclaimed wood sign at thehappyhousie 
We wanted our sign to be fairly long and three boards high, so we attached our three boards together using wood screws from behind. The finished product looked like this:
three boards attached from behind for reclaimed wood sign at thehappyhousie 
Once the boards are attached, give it a coat of paint in your base colour. If you aren’t using chalk paint you will likely want to prime your wood first, followed by 1-2 coats of paint. I chose to use some DIY Chalk Paint that I had made from Cloud White because I knew that I wanted to sand my sign down afterwards. I wanted the paint to wear off more easily and to show some wood colour and base coat colour through the top coat. I just used a regular brush with my chalk paint… 
here is how it looked mid-base coat: 
reclaimed wood sign white diy chalk paint base coat at thehappyhousie 
After the white base coat I followed it with a top coat using DIY Chalk Paint in Colorado Gray. I chose this colour as it is the colour on the walls in our hallway and I wanted to tie the two rooms together. 
reclaimed wood sign with colorado blue DIY chalk paint at thehappyhousie 
While your paint is drying you can go to the computer and choose some lettering for your sign. 
Decide what you want it to say, choose a font you like, and then print off the appropriate sized lettering for your sign size. Next, I laid out all my lettering to get the right placement and fit. In order to transfer the letters onto the sign itself I turned each letter over, traced over the lines with a pencil (scribbling back and forth), and then flipped the lettering back over and traced over it from the front with the pencil – transferring my scribbled pencil onto the sign itself. This outline of each letter I then used to guide my painting (in effect, this method works in the same way that transfer paper does). 
reclaimed wood sign pencil in back of lettering to transfer at thehappyhousie 
Once the letters were all transferred using my faux transfer paper method, I was ready to fill them in with paint. I used regular old craft paint and two brushes… a smaller one for neat edging and a larger one to fill the letters in with.   Once I had all my traced lettering on the sign, I realized I wanted to add some more wording but I decided just to free-hand the bottom line with my own handwriting. You could certainly use the transfer method for all of your lettering if you are not comfortable with free-handing it! I am a bit of an impatient crafter that way sometimes:) I only did one coat of craft paint on my letters but you may need to do two depending on how well your paint covers. Let the lettering dry thoroughly and then give the whole sign a light sanding with high grit sandpaper. I chose to sand a little more ‘forcefully’ around the edges and corners to wear off the paint a little more. I wanted to give it a slightly aged look.
I love how it turned out… the lettering looks slightly worn in spots and I think the whole thing has a vintage feel to it. I love how it perfectly fills up the spot above our new TV console and adds a dramatic hit to that area.

living room with diy chalk paint media console reclaimed wood diy sign at thehappyhousie 
I have two other tutorials using this same pencil-letter-transfer method. Check them out at The Happy Housie (the pictures are the link):
 simple diy reclaimed wood sign at thehappyhousiereverse lettered ombre pallet wood sign thumbnail at thehappyhousie

 Ok, this is a great DIY sign!
Thank you SO much Krista for visiting with us today!

Don’t forget to visit Krista at The Happy Housie
 she is SUPER talented and I love her style…
Follow Krista here on facebook, pinterest,
 twitter, and instagram!

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  1. Love this!!!

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  3. This was a great tutorial. I want to see if Home Depot has scrap wood for sale. I just need to decide what it will say. Any ideas? I am thinking something in the dining room perhaps… Thanks so much! JM

  4. Oh MY Goodness!!! I LOVE this. You know I am going to make one…

  5. This is SO cute!! Pinning now:):) Great job Krista and thanks for sharing Tanya!

  6. Great job Krista!! Can you give me more info on your chalk-paint? Did you use a recipe to make it?

  7. Adorable! I needed some tips for how to hold the wood together, too, so thanks for showing us your method, Krista!

  8. omg, this looks awesome Tanya….ready for summer….we're in AZ right hot hot

  9. Hi Christine,
    I did use a recipe… If you check out my post about my mellow yellow DIY chalk painted side table, the recipe I use is shared. I thought I had put a link to that but maybe I forgot to… I would love to see what you plan to chalk paint!!

  10. Gorgeous as everything Krista creates!!! 🙂 I love her beautiful reclaimed wood sign and her tutorial too! 🙂 You did a great job Krista and really love where you decided to hung it now!
    Congrats Krista on being one of the new contributors to twelveoeight!!!

  11. I am so loving the colors in your room, besides the sign and the tv stand. On my monitor the color of your sign almost looks like a light aqua. Then with the gorgeous yellow on your media stand, wow, so striking, clean and happy looking in part of room I can see.
    I have a really hard time doing lettering so will try your method. Will most likely take me forever to get done but will try it

  12. I love you sign! Great tutorial Tanya!

  13. Thanks for sharing such kind of crafting its look great.

    DIN 7
    DIN 6325

  14. Great article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  15. zD0i2J I truly enjoy looking through on this web site, it has got superb posts. аЂа‹One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.аЂа› by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: