DIY Reclaimed Wood Last Name Sign

by | Jan 10, 2019 | Crafts, Decorations | 0 comments

As you all know, I am frequently visiting my local thrift store to find gems that will fit into my next DIY project. I recently found a 13 x 15 picture frame that I thought would make a perfect last name sign for my sister. My sister loves gray tones, so that will be the foundation for the design of the sign.


Supplies Needed

  • Pliers
  • Paint brushes
  • Measuring tape
  • Electric saw
  • Reclaimed wood stakes/boards
  • Pewter gray paint
  • Black paint
  • White paint
  • Chalk paint additive
  • Finishing nails
  • Drill
  • 7/64 drill bit
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer
  • Printer
  • Printer paper
  • Pen
  • Clear sealant spray


Step 1. Remove the back and picture of the frame

The idea here is that you are going to add multiple pieces of painted wood within this frame, so you need to remove the back of the frame and the picture inside the frame. Remove the glass inside of the frame as well.

A picture and frame from a thrift store

The backside of a picture frame

The back and picture of a picture frame removed


Step 2. Paint the frame

Mix your pewter gray paint with your chalk paint additive at a 50/50 ratio. Using the mixture, paint the entire frame, front and back. It may take more than one coat of paint to completely cover the frame. Allow to dry completely.

A picture frame, paint brush and a mixing bowl on a table


Step 3. Cut reclaimed wood to size and sand it down

First, measure the height and width of the frame. These dimensions will be used to cut your reclaimed wood to size. Using the height measurement, cut your pieces of reclaimed wood to size. Sand down the wood to get rid of any splinters or loose pieces of wood.

A skilsaw cutting wood on a work bench


Step 4. Paint your reclaimed wood

For this project, I chose to use gray tones because my sister loves gray. I use pewter gray as the base of all the paints stop. I added black to make darker tones and white to make lighter tones. I also added some variety by painting pewter gray as the undercoat and dry brushing on either white or the darker gray as a top coat. Mix and match to fit your style. Allow to dry completely.

A mixture of black and gray paint

A mixture of white and gray paint

A paint brush painting gray paint on reclaimed wood boards

A paint brush painting dark gray on reclaimed wood boards

A paintbrush painting black on reclaimed wood boards


Step 5. Attach the reclaimed wood to the frame

This frame happened to not be deep enough for the reclaimed wood to fit snugly in with just wood glue, so I decided to secure the wood with some finishing  nails. I pre-drilled holes into the frame and placed the finishing nail head first into the hole. Spread on some wood glue and then gently hammered in the reclaimed wood on to the nail securing it to the frame. I repeated this from both sides until the center piece could be put into the frame to secure all the wood pieces together.

Using a drill to drill pilot holes for nails in the wood frame

Using a drill to put holes into the wood frame

Hammering a reclaimed wood board into the side of the wood frame

Hammering the center piece into the wood frame


Step 6. Print and trace the last name for the sign

Using a very large font (it might take multiple sheets of paper) print off your last name in the style that you desire. Once you have it printed, center it on the reclaimed wood sign. Using a pen, trace over the letters, using enough pressure to leave an indentation in the wood. Because I used gray tones for the sign, it was hard to see the indentations from the pen, so I traced over the indentations with a pencil to make it more visible.

Centering the printed letters on the sign

Tracing the letters with a pen

Tracing the letters on the sign with a pencil


Step 7. Paint the letters

Using a smaller paintbrush, paint over the letters you previously traced. For this sign, I used two coats of paint. This will give the letters a bolder look. Allow the paint to dry completely.

A small paintbrush painting white letters on the reclaimed wood sign

The finished sign with the letters "Beckstrand"


Step 8. Spray with clear sealant spray

I usually finish my reclaimed wood projects by using a clear sealant spray to protect and increase the longevity of the sign. Allow the sealant to dry.

Krylon triple-thick crystal clear glaze spray A reclaimed wood last name sign with gray tones containing the word "Beckstrand"


There you go! Signs like these make great gifts and usually end up being great home decor. Feel free to browse around the site to check out other great DIY projects.