Here’s how to build a frame from inexpensive wood and how to paint the wood you’ve framed with a sign. Step-by-step instructions included.
You were right.
Of course you were.
Why didn’t I listen to you earlier? Lark Rise to Candleford is wonderful.
I’m not even through the first season, but I want to live there. Well, I really want to live in Candleford and marry the squire.
I want to be friend with Bates….I mean Robert Timmins…..the intelligent, but somewhat opinionated and difficult stonemason.
I want to walk those back pastures and roads and wander through the English countryside and work at the post office.
Oh….and wear one of those hats.
However, I live in 2015 in the Kentucky countryside where we don’t have squires or thatched roofs or opinionated stonemasons.
But we do paint signs.
Want to make one of your own? Here’s the DIY on how to build a frame and paint the sign.
How to build a frame
Step 1: When learning how to build a sign start with your wood
I bought all this wood at the home improvement store.
I had them cut it there. The piece of plywood came over in the pre-cut section. You can buy plywood like this in 2 feet by 4 feet pre-cut sections. This piece was actually 4 feet by 4 feet that I had them cut down there to 48″ x 30″ because that was the size of my image.
Here’s the exact dimensions of the wood
1 piece 1/2″ plywood 48″ x 30″
2 pieces of 1×2 cut to 48″
2 pieces of 1×2 cut to 32″
2. Design your sign
I just took my logo and added the year the house was built in a separate font.
You could write a quote or a family saying or use a vintage graphic. There are tons of free vintage graphics found here.
I printed it out on my home computer and took it to my local copy center and had it blown up over-sized.
And now it looked like this.
I told the copy center the dimensions (48″ x 30″) and they have a giant printer that prints this out.
I think it was only about $6.00 to have it enlarged like this.
Step 3: Prime and paint your plywood
I primed it first to make sure that none of the knotholes showed through.
Then I painted it with a coat of white paint.
Step 4: Stain the edges of the frame
When learning how to build a sign, this is the wood that makes up your frame.
You’ll want to stain it to match your decor.
I stained the boards with a dark walnut stain.
Let the stain and the paint dry.
Step 5: Nail 1×2 frame to plywood board
This is the simplest step when learning how to build a frame.
No mitered corners.
Just the 1×2 frame nailed to the plywood.
Step 6: Trace image onto plywood
When you are learning to paint a sign, this step can be done a couple of different ways.
I’m old school. I use carbon paper from the craft store and then tracing the image onto wood with a ballpoint pen.
You can also rub pencil on the back of the image and the flipping it over and tracing with a pen. Either way, the concept is the same.
When you are done, you will have something that looks like this.
Step 7: Paint
Have fun. I just used acrylic paints from the craft store and filled in the lines.
Kind of like paint-by-number.
But so much better.
Step 8: Sand
After I finished painting, I let the paint dry and then I lightly sanded the whole piece.
You don’t have to do this if you want a more graphic image.
After I sanded it…I wiped the whole piece down with a mixture of 1 part white paint to 5 parts water just to give it an aged look.
You will also want to seal the piece with an acrylic topcoat for durability.
Here it is in all its glory.
You can do this. You can learn how to build a frame and paint it, too.
(total aside: If this is all a little overwhelming? Why not start with a five-minute art idea like this one?)
Now…I’m off to watch another episode of Lark Rise to Candleford.
Oh….and we do wear hats here in Kentucky….
….they are just camouflaged with a tractor on them. 🙂
PS Now you can start working on your next home project like one of these.