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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How-to DIY a Farmhouse Sign with a Vinyl Stencil


Liz here sharing my step-by-step tutorial on how I used our NEW Wall Quotes™ Stencil option to create this D.I.Y. Farmhouse sign! Grab a cup of coffee and get ready for lots of photos!

So first, head over to the store, find a decal you love (so many to choose from right?), pick a size, and make sure to order it as a stencil.

I ordered our Strong Coffee Long Books Wall Quotes™ Decal in a custom size. My decal is 6.5" tall x 22" wide. The color doesn't matter as you will be painting the decal on your surface and removing the vinyl.

To get started, I joined two scrap pieces of wood I had from another project with my Kreg Jig tool. I am working on 2 signs here. The coffee sign is the one on the left. I made the base an inch larger than my decal in both directions. So the wood base is 7.5" tall x 23" wide. Remember to measure the space you have available and account for any frame or border you will add.

I used my orbital hand sander and make sure the top of the boards were nice a smooth. The smoother this surface, the easier it will be to get a nice crisp edge when painting later. I used three different grades of sandpaper. I started with 60, moved to 120, and finished it up with 360. 
It was super smooth when I was done.

I cleaned up the surface of any dust from sanding using mineral spirits on a lint free rag.

PS - does anyone else use their table saw as a table when you are out of room in your workshop? haha!

Then the painting begins. I did three coats with Semi-Gloss interior paint in White. Use light coats - they will dry quickly and will be smoother in the end.

Once the white was nice and dry, it was time to add vinyl! The installation for a stencil is exactly the same for a wall installation so the instructions that are included are super helpful! I trimmed the excess off the decal, centered it on the board, and attached it with painters tape. Whenever we can, your stencil will have an inch of extra vinyl all around it so you don't get paint onto your background.

Then, flip up the decal and peel off the backing paper. This is the thicker paper on the back that has a grid on it. Make sure to pull it away at 180°.

Carefully flip the decal back onto your surface and smooth it down with the squeegee that is included with every order. If you misplaced your squeegee, you can use any hard plastic card you may have - that old gift card, the frequent shopper card gathering dust in your junk drawer, anything that is hard plastic.

Peel off the transfer tape, also at a 180° angle. This layer is what was holding all the little bits and pieces in place for you.

Here is my sign with the vinyl all installed and ready to paint!

Now comes the fun part! Whatever color you used for the background of the sign, you will paint a light coat over top of all the openings in the vinyl. Your surface should be pretty smooth, but if there are any areas that may bleed underneath, this will seal them up in the same color as the background so you won't have any touch-ups! Woot!

Here is my sign all painted over in the White. Then, I wanted my letters to be Black on the White background - classic! I used Valspar "Dark Kettle Black" for the letters. I got a sample size for under $4.00 at Lowes. Win! I used a small brush and did two coats of the black.

Make sure to let this top coat dry! I've seen tutorials where they peel it off while wet, and I did not have a good time doing that. I got paint everywhere and ended up with many more spots to touch up later.

And I got so excited to take off the vinyl and see how it turned out, that I forgot a photo with all the black painted on. But you can see here that I made sure to overlap all the openings really well.

When you are taking off the vinyl, it will probably rip, tear and stretch. That is totally fine since we are not saving that part. You should just be able to use your fingernails to get up all the outside sections of the vinyl.

The inside sections are a bit trickier. Hubby has this pick is his stash of tools-that-I-have-no-idea-what-they-are-truly-for and it worked wonders. Or, you can get a set of picks at Harbor Freight for under $10. Or, if you also happen to sew, I believe a T-pin would also work.  

You want to grab the edge of the vinyl and release it from the back enough so you can grab it and peel it off. It take a bit of practice but isn't too difficult. If you do happen to scratch the background just a tad, you can always use a small watercolor brush to touch that up.

Once all the vinyl was removed, I got really excited! I was so happy with how it looked already!

I did decide to add a frame around the sign. I used 1x2 furring strips from Lowes. An 8 foot 1x2 was under $2.00! If you are keeping track, I've spent under $6.00 so far other than the cost of the decal. I just used some wood glue and a brad nailer to attach the frame.

And here is my finished $6 farmhouse sign!

It looks great next to my coffee maker surrounded by some of my favorite mugs!

I love how the letters are just a bit raised from the thickness of the paint but it is completely permanent!

Thanks for following along! If you have any questions, comment below or email us 

Check out my other DIY Sign Tutorials:

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