DIY Vintage Pallet Signs

Merci Sign Full Kitchen pixlr

After redoing our kitchen a year ago I decided it was finally time to hang some art (a little late, I know, but it’s hard for me to make holes in freshly painted walls).   But what to hang?  So, in my house we are constantly working on gratitude, being aware and grateful for all the many gifts God has given us every day. I decided “thank you” in French and Italian would be appropriate phrases to hang in the kitchen. So, here is a tutorial on, ” how to make a vintage looking pallet sign”.

First, deconstruct your pallets and arrange them according to the size you are looking to hang.  If you do not know how to deconstruct a pallet you can always go to your Home Depot and have them cut your lumber down to your size.  Our husbands put the pallets together for us so we picked a 12×48 size to hang over my kitchen windows.  Then we lightly sanded the wood, not to smooth perfection, but enough to get rid of major splinters. For this look rough edges are ok.

Light sanding to prep for staining
Light sanding to prep for staining

The next step is to stain the wood. We like Verathane Stain + Poly in Dark Walnut because the color is rich and beautiful, it is a stain and sealer in one, and a little goes a long way.

After sanding time to stain the wood
After sanding the wood is ready to  stain

We applied one coat, brushing in the direction of the grain. In the picture below you can see the stain color on one of the signs.

Dark Walnut Stain
Dark Walnut Stain

Then we printed out the words we wanted on the sign and projected them onto the pallet.  Now I know you are thinking, “great, I will just get out my projector, no problem”. Like we all just have them hanging out in a closet somewhere. If you don’t have a projector we have successfully used a newspaper transfer as well.  Basically print the design you want and place it over the newspaper and secure with painters tape, press firmly as you trace your design and this will cause the newspaper ink to transfer to the wood. (We will do a step-by-step tutorial on that soon.)

Pencil the design onto wood
Pencil the design onto wood

Next we used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (we used Old White) to fill in our design.

Filling in design
Filling in design

After we finished this step and the paint was completely dry, we sanded the words to give it a distressed look.  We then wiped the sign down with a damp cloth, going around each letter to get the white dust off the sign. 

Sand to distress lettering
Sand to distress lettering

Finally, with a damp paint brush and a little stain, go back over the sign to give it a vintage looking finish. Here is our finished product.

Finished sign
Finished sign

Merci Finished Sign

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