How I make outdoor porch signs.
I wish so badly that I had a porch. Like a wooden porch with steps, a swing, pretty railings and columns, a fancy front door, tables and chairs, all that stuff.
Why do I wish I had a porch? Aside from the fact that I’d love to spend my mornings on that swing?
Because I could do so. Much. Serious. Decorating. Front porch displays are what I spend hours thinking about. I wish that was a joke.
So many of my front porch fantasies involve rustic elements, like tin and wood, so to bring that to life, I made (well, make) these signs:
All of these signs are made with barn wood and/or ridge row that my dad and I go out and get from my grandpa’s or uncle’s land. My uncle and his friend own a bunch of land in the town over from my hometown, and he let us have at it. There’s on pasture in particular that had some knocked down structures that were perfect. When I saw the torn down house, with that minty-colored paint, I heard angels sing.
To be clear, we don’t go tearing people’s barns and houses down. These are structures that are vacant, aren’t used, or have already been or are about to be torn down. Knocking down those empty, decades-old barns is probably the only good thing Hurricane Harvey did for us. Another great example is the wood I got from my fifth-grade teacher. Harvey knocked her fence down, so she offered me the wood.
So anyway, I have seen similar signs on Pinterest, and I thought they were either crazy expensive (which they can be) or really difficult to make (which they are not).
I will say, these require some bigger equipment, but aside from that, they are a piece of cake. Let’s do this.
Let’s start with the wood, because it is literally the backbone of your project.
If you are using untreated wood, you have to treat it. That’s where your oil, like teak oil, comes in. Make sure you brush both sides and the edges. If you don’t, the wood will crack. If you’re using something like old barn wood, you don’t have to treat it because it should already be treated. I do recommend spraying it down with that clear spray paint or decoupage to help set any paint that’s on it. It’ll help (a little) to keep it from chipping more.
Next, cut it to the length that you need for it to fit your word. If it’s wide enough, you are set; however, if you are having to put two or three boards together to make it wide enough to fit your letters and/or tin, just remember to put a board behind those cross-ways that’s the width of your boards when they’re together. That’s common sense, but I feel like I have to say it anyway as a reminder.
Screw all these pieces together or use the nail gun.
Now that your backboard is made, put your tin over it, if you’re using it. Cut it to size and then screw/nail it on.
Lastly, add the letters! By now, you should have painted the letters whatever color you wanted and spray it with that spray paint or decoupage to protect the paint. I sometimes like to distress the letters by sanding them down in places to make them look old and worn.
Using your measuring tape, center the letters and space them out evenly. When you have them where you want them, screw/nail them down. You must secure them in all the .major places of the letter to keep the wood from curling up.
All that’s left to do is put it on your porch!
Happy arts and crafts-ing!
*When you put something like a nail or screw through that wood, it is going to stick out the other side. That’s not okay. You will have to cut it off. There are a variety of ways that could get that job done. I’m assuming that if you have the means to build this sign, you have the means to cut off those pointy screws. If not, a quick internet search will give you the help you need!