If you have a passion for antique, vintage or old things, you have probably noticed authentic pieces appreciate with age. The cost of the special finds can put them way out of reach. One such special find is old wood signage, but their popularity has caused their worth to skyrocket. Those special farm signs that hawked the wares of the homesteads they humbly hung in front of, were worth practically nothing when they were handmade by their owners, but over the weathering years of time have become an almost priceless treasure.
Create your own vintage look-alike with paint and distressing techniques that will have people convinced it is the real thing. Paint techniques, stencils and a variety of other easy to come by items can provide you with the perfect-imperfect antique.
Steps to making an old wood sign:
1. Determine the word or words you would like on your vintage wood sign. Select the style and size stencil you will use. Lay the wood you will be using on the back of wrapping paper and trace around it. Arranged and trace the words on the paper to get the best spacing for your sign. This will be your guide to insure you have the correct placement for your words.
2. Distress your board. No, this does not mean that you talk mean to it and call it names. It basically means that you beat it with a variety of items that you have around the house. Beat it with a hammer, hit it with a chain, gouge it with a screwdriver and scrape it with a metal rasp or cheese grater. Use whatever you have that will leave a mark on your wood. After you have distressed your board, use sandpaper to round to the sharp edges of the board and to take away any stark definition from severe distressing marks.
3. Age your wood’s color by mixing a combination of brown acrylic paint, gray acrylic paint and water to an inky consistency. Paint all sides and edges of the wood sign with your homemade stain. Use an old rag to wipe it off while it is still wet.
4. Paint the front of the sign and the edges with a crackle medium. There are many crackle mediums to choose from, or you might also try hide glue or wood glue. Paint over the crackle medium with the paint color of your choice. It will crack as it dries. White, off-white or light colors seem to work the best to give contrast to the crackling and also the lettering you will be adding later. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly.
5. Using your paper pattern as a guide for placement, trace the stenciled words onto the front of your sign. Paint the letters using black or brown acrylic paint or a dark color that will contrast well with the background and stand out.
6. Make sure your painted letters have dried thoroughly. Use sandpaper to sand over the sign in random areas to continue the distressing method on the fresh paint. Apply the homemade stain, used in step three, over the surface of the sign and wipe off with a rag.