A Harvest sign and how to paint lettering is an easy tutorial on painting DIY signs without using expensive stencils or cutting machines. Create different signs and make them unique.
Are you thinking of Fall yet? I have noticed many are and even on my blog here the most hit on post right now in August is this…A Harvest Sign & How to Paint Lettering without a Stencil. This sign is for Fall but this technique works for any wording.
I include a link to the letters for this Fall Harvest sign so you can download it and DIY hand paint one for yourself.
For one off signs I prefer just hand painting and large lettering is easy to do by hand rather than expensive stencils.
I love the look of old barn wood but those are as rare as hens teeth around here and when you do find some, they are soooo expensive.
So I have to fake it, here is a post on one way I do it How to get a Rustic Finish on New Wood in 4 Steps.
The distressing method is what I use for many of my hand painted signs.
Today I want to focus on the lettering.
Here is a list of my supplies:
5 foot long 1″ x 12″ pine board
DecoArt Chalky Finish paint in Heritage
Donna Dewberry 3/4″ brush and script liner
DecoArt Americana bottled acrylic in Buttermilk (white is fine too)
White Graphite Paper
Loew Cornell White Nylon Brush Set
I printed the lettering out on regular printer paper after creating them in Word.
At the end of this post there is a video of how to paint lettering, sometimes watching it in action is better than just photos.
I stain, crackle and paint the 5 foot long new pine 1″ x 12″ and let it dry, then lay out my lettering. CLICK HERE to learn how to use crackle medium.
Once I have it laid out I slide the white graphite paper under it and start transferring the lines. You can also scrub a piece of chalk all along the backside of the paper to transfer but that is just way too messy for me and it takes up a lot more time. Graphite paper is easy to come by, inexpensive and much tidier to use. You can reuse the same piece numerous time probably making it cheaper than chalk to use.
Now it is time to whip out the brushes and get nitty gritty on how to paint lettering. I am going to start by outlining the letters with a liner brush. Water down your paint slightly so it flows easily from your brush. I don’t always line first but it does make it easier in tight corners to keep the edges crisp.
I had a one inch brush in the video and not the 3/4 inch I had thought. Once I figured it out I switched. Though the 1 inch seemed to work I have more control with a 3/4 inch. Work with what size you are most comfy.
Once the lettering was painted I came back in and added some fly specking. It just gives your sign a bit of distressing and texture for a more rustic appearance.
To do that I basically water down some burnt umber paint and rub an old wet tooth brush in it, then I rub my thumbnail along the bristles while attempting to direct the speckles.
Once the speckling is all dry I lightly sand on the lettering to distress it even more.
Before you know it you have a gorgeous sign. I did not put a varathane on this one but you can, a matte finish I feel would look best.
Looking at it here it does not look distressed enough to me. I will go back and give it a thorough sanding and maybe even add a bit of dark streaking with a bit of watered down burnt umber and a rag.
Another thing I would done differently is I would put more crackle on the lettering area before painting them, then I would’ve had more of the crackle in areas of the lettering.
Sorry my voice is a bit muffled in this video in parts, my mic kept getting covered by my hair. I really need to keep it in a ponytail when I work.
Happy Fall Harvest Sign Painting!
I have a downloadable PDF file of the lettering for this sign so you can easily paint your own, just click the button!
A fun new addition! I have added the letters for AUTUMN to the downloads in case you want to paint that instead. You can enlarge on your printer/copier, I had to slightly shrink the letters so the M would fit on the page or you can just make a smaller sign.
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