DIY Hand Painted Wooden Farmhouse Sign

by | Oct 30, 2018 | Crafts, Decorations | 0 comments

I’m excited to share this post on how to make a hand painted wooden farmhouse sign! Wooden signs with painted lettering can give your home a nice facelift and will help create that warm atmosphere that turns a house into a home. I have been searching for a good wooden sign to use for this project and I found the perfect wooden frame at a yard sale.

When you’re searching for a good wooden frame, yard sales, thrift stores and even boutique shops are the best places to go. No need to go buy a brand new frame. Look for frames with deep backs to allow the wooden stakes to fit in. Once you have a good wooden frame, you’re ready to begin your project.


  • Large wood frame
  • Clean rags
  • Wood stain (I use dark walnut)
  • Regular paint brush for staining
  • Small paint brush for painting letters
  • Cream paint
  • Water
  • Brown paint
  • Burnt Umber paint
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Fine point pen
  • Hammer
  • Potato stakes or lath stakes
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Clear sealant spray

Large wooden frame found at a yardsale

Potato stakes, commonly found on a farm

Paint and a small paint brush

Dark walnut wood stain


Step 1. Prep the frame for staining by wiping it down

If you purchased a wood frame from a yard sale or a thrift store, chances are there is some dust that needs cleaning up. Take one of your clean rags and wipe down the frame, removing any dust or any other debris that may be visible. The last thing you want is to paint over a layer of dust, as the paint will eventually come off.

Wipe the wood frame clean of any dust or debris


Step 2. Test out the stain on a section of the frame that will not be seen

Before you stain the entire frame, you want to make sure the wood stain that you purchased is going to be exactly the color you want. Stain a small section on the back of the frame as a test. The test should be on the back of the frame so that if you decide that you don’t like the stain, the front of the frame is still usable.

Stain the backside of the frame.


Step 3. Stain the frame

Using your paint brush, stain the entire front and every side of the frame. You’ll want to make sure to use a clean rag to wipe away the extra stain to prevent uneven staining or drips. I chose to use a dark walnut stain for my frame. The contrast between the dark frame and light cream wood is very appealing.

Staining the wood frame edges

Staining the outside of the wood frame

The entire wood frame is now stained

Using a rag to wipe the excess stain from the frame


Step 4. Allow frame to dry

To make sure that the stain is even across the entire frame, give it time to dry. While it is drying, flip the frame on its face to make the next step easier.


Step 5. Measure the back of the frame

While the frame is drying, measure the height and width of the frame, or the area where the glass inside of the frame would normally go. We will be replacing the glass with wood stakes.

Measure the large wooden frame


Step 6. Make sure your stakes fit together without any gaps

For this craft, I am using potato stakes, which are plentiful on the farm. If you don’t have potato stakes, you can use lath stakes or any other thin wood to fit in your frame. You don’t want any gaps in between the stakes, so lay them down side by side and make sure that they can fit together nicely.

Potato stakes laid side by side to make sure they fit together


Step 7. Mark and cut your stakes. Sand down the stakes

After you’ve made sure that all of the stakes fit together nicely, it’s time to mark your stakes. Using the measurements you got from the large wooden frame, mark where you will be cutting. Be sure to cut each stake exactly the same. After you cut the stakes, you’ll want to sand the stakes down

Measuring the wood stakes

Sanding the wooden stakes


Step 8. Wipe down the stakes to prep for painting

Once you have sanded your stakes nice and smooth, you’ll need to wipe down the stakes with a clean rag. Any leftover sawdust or residue will ruin the paint, so be sure to do a good job wiping them down.

Wipe down the wooden stakes


Step 9. Whitewash the stakes

I chose to do a cream whitewash for my stakes. This method is easy and adds a rustic appeal. To make the white wash, mix 2 parts paint and 1 part water. Once you have mixed the white wash, take a clean rag and paint the stakes in even strokes. Make sure you wipe the stakes clean of any drips. Allow to dry.

A clean rag, wooden stake and white wash paint


Step 10. Fit the stakes into the frame

This next step sometimes requires some patience, as the wood pieces might not fit perfectly initially. Don’t get discouraged! If the stakes dont fit perfectly, then gently cut away the excess wood to make it fit. Using wood glue and a hammer, gently tap the stakes into the back of the frame. The last stake should be nice and snug to hold everything together. Allow the glue to dry.

All of the stakes laid into the frame


Fitting the last stake into the wooden frame

Gently hammering the last wooden stake into the frame


Step 11. Using a word document, prepare your lettering

Open a word document and type out the letters you want. Play around with a few fonts to find the best fit for your sign. For this sign, I used the font “Magnolia Sky” and “Arial Black”. Make the font large enough to be able to cover the majority of your sign, using multiple sheets if necessary. Make sure to check the “outline effect” for your lettering.


Paper containing the words "Farm life is the best life"

Step 12. Center your lettering and tape it down

The worst thing to happen is to have your lettering move while you’re trying to trace the outline of the letters. Center your letters on the sign and tape the edges down so that there is no way that it will shift while you trace.

Taping the edges of the paper down


Step 13. Trace the lettering

Now that you have your paper all situated, use a fine point pen to trace the lettering. Press hard so it makes an indent in the wood. After you trace the lettering, go over the indents of the letters with a brown pencil. Doing this will help you see the letters much easier

Stenciling the letters onto the stakes

Farm life stenciled

Farm life is the best life

Going over the letters with a brown pencil



Step 15. Paint the lettering

You’re almost done with your project! Paint in your lettering using your burnt umber paint and the small paint brush. The small paint brush has a finer tip and allows for more control with the small lettering. If you don’t have a small tip paint brush, you can cut the brush down yourself on your regular paint brush. Allow to dry.

Painting the letters on the sign

"farm life" painted on the sign

"farm life is the best life" painted on the sign


Step 16. Go over the letters once more

After the first coating of the letters has dried, go over it again to give it a second coat. Allow to dry.


Step 17. Distress the sign

After everything is dry, take some sandpaper and gently distress the sign. There isn’t a right or wrong answer when distressing a project. The idea is to give it a more rustic feel.

Distressing the edges of the sign

Using sandpaper to distress the frame


Step 18. Spray with a clear sealant

Spray your sign with a clear sealant and allow to dry. The sealant will give the sign durability and will keep your look that you crafted looking pristine for years to come.


That’s it! You should now have a wonderful, rustic looking, wooden sign. Hopefully you enjoyed this DIY Craft! For more craft ideas around the house, visit our other Daily DIY Page.

DIY Hand Painted Wooden Farmhouse Sign