Wednesday, 14 November 2012

How to Make a Distressed Timber Sign

I've been slowly working on our outdoor kitchen area.  Getting it prettied up for summer BBQ season.  Here's the latest addition - a distressed sign.

How I Did It

The Background for the Sign
I found a left over timber plank in the garage and cut it to size.  My plank was 9cm wide and I cut it to a length of 70cm.  I painted the sign with a coat of burnt umber (I use Jo Sonjas).  I didn't bother to undercoat it first.

Then I mixed some white paint (Dulux aqua-enamel in Whisper White) with some water to thin it down a little.  I brushed it on quickly and carelessly.  I used a clean rag to gently wipe some of the paint off (while it was still wet) so the brown layer underneath would be visible through the white paint.

To allow more of the brown paint to come through I used sandpaper to remove some of the white layer from all over the sign, but particularly the edges and corners.  

The Wording for the Sign
My husband and I talked about what the sign should say, as it was going to hang over the bar fridge in our outdoor kitchen.  His suggestion was 'Drink More Pi*s'.... we settled on Maison des Vins, which means House of Wines.  On our honeymoon, we went to the most amazing restaurant called Maison des Vins in Les Arcs, Provence.  If you are ever in Provence, go there (website here).

I printed the words onto an inkjet water-slide decal paper.  The font is Copperplate Gothic Light, font size 180.  Once the ink has dried, spray the words with a couple of coats of clear acrylic sealer in a matte finish.

Cut around each word as close to the letters as possible.  Soak the decal paper in water until the backing paper slides away, line the words up on the sign and slide them off the backing paper.  Smooth out and blot dry with paper towel.  This is the same method I used to make the decal number bottle vase.

The Finished Sign
I hung the sign above our outdoor kitchen sink.

I bought this clock recently from Pillow Talk.  It has a great rusty brown frame.

and I'm still loving the vintage style medicine bottles I made (see here)

So this side of the outdoor kitchen is taking shape.

Need to fill up that fridge before the Christmas party season don't I?


  1. Haha, as much as I like your hub's suggestion I think yours is better ;) Love that sign!
    Cas x

  2. Love your husbands suggestion, however yours may be more appropriate. Looks great…now go and fill that fridge! xT

  3. very clever! it looks great. i used to spend ages hand painting signs, thanks for showing me an easier way :)

  4. Well done, you're really creating a lovely BBQ area for summer! I'm pretty sure your husband's suggestion for the wording is what 99% of men would suggest (at least the ones I know!).

  5. it doesn't look distressed at looks quite happy and beautiful ;O)
    T xx

  6. Well done Kylie! It all looks beautiful.

  7. Kylie, The words on your sign are lovely & I think your outdoor area is taking lots of shape. Looking so very stylish indeed xx

  8. Wow this BBQ area is really looking impressive. You have done a wonderful job of renovating this space:)

  9. fantastic...I am going to try this lettering stuff...looks great, nice job!
    Bec x

  10. You do make things look so easy Kylie. I'm quite sure I would have sticky letters all over the show, probably on me! Your outside area is really coming together and the new french clock really finishes that wall. It's hard to imagine what it looked like when you started....B:)

  11. your outdoor area is looking lovely, decal paper is so cool i love it too!

  12. This area looks fantastic and I love the sign! (Maybe have his wording - in french, on the flip side as a personal joke!)The whole area is really comming together! Well done!
    x kl


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