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There is just something about a good and distressed sign that makes me smile. It’s one of my favorite parts of this whole farmhouse decor trend that is having a moment (and hopefully will last for a very, very long time).

I have been seeing these rustic, distressed signs all over Pinterest and at various other home decor shops and thought, “Hey, I’m going to give that one a try.” For a first time, I’d say it turned out pretty alright. Even Brett gave it a, “Ya, that’s pretty cool,” which is five starts in my book! 🙂

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wooden sign saying farmers market

The Supplies

  • White chalk paint (I used DutchBoy Chalk Paint in Antiqued Lace)
  • Charcoal chalk paint (I used DecoArt Chalk Paint in Relic)
  • Printer Paper
  • Printer
  • Sandpaper (120 and 80 grit)
  • Paint brush
  • Plastic gloves
  • Old t-shirt or rag
  • 1×8 pine wood
  • Electric sander (I love our Dewalt)
  • Hand sander
  • Spray paint polyurethane (I used this one)

The Process

Step one. Cut the 1×8 to your desired length. I used a board that was laying around and it was just over 51 inches.

Step two. Sand the board’s surface until it’s smooth(ish). I used a power sander and 80 grit sand paper. I didn’t want it too smooth because I wanted to leave a little roughness to get a more rustic look. Wipe the board clean.

Step three. Stain the board. I used a combo color of dark walnut and aged gray.


Step four. After the stain dries, paint the board with the white paint. I didn’t cover the whole board completely and didn’t entirely saturate the brush with paint because I wanted some of the stain to show through.

Step five. Design and print out the letters. I used InDesign to create the prints. The font I used is Oswald Regular (free on Google Fonts) and the size ended up being about 550 pixels with a few letters at -90% horizontal scale. You may have to play around with this a bit and print out the letters to decide if you need to go larger or smaller.

Step six. Cut around the letters with a small white boarder around each letter.


Step seven. Decide where the letter will be placed on the board and use a level to trace a pencil line on the bottom so the letters go in a straight line.


Step eight. Place the letters on the board with even spaces between each letter and tape them down. I put about one half inch between each letter.


Step nine. Using a pen, trace the letters on the board and press hard enough to create an indentation of the letter.


Step ten. Using a small brush, trace the outside of each letter with charcoal paint.


Step eleven. Fill in the letters with paint using a slightly larger brush.

Step twelve.
Once everything is dried, grab a small hand sander and lightly sand over the entire sign, going with the grain (I used 120 grit paper).

Step thirteen. Wipe clean and apply a clear topcoat. I used a spray paint polyurethane.

Step fourteen.
If you’re planning to hang the sign, attach picture having hooks to the back. I placed ours one in from the top, about five inches from each side.


Step fifteen. Hang your beautiful new farmhouse sign and enjoy!

One final note: We completely understand if you’d rather skip the DIY and head right to finished product. Which is why we started an Etsy shop! It’s a little bare right now, but we’ve got this sign as our first listing – we’re making them as they’re ordered. Check it out here and be sure to visit often because we’ll be adding more items soon!


All our best,



  1. Sabrina

    Aw I love your sign Kelly, it looks so amazing and the steps are all so simple! I will have to try one out myself!

    • Kelly

      Thank you, Sabrina! Yes, you’ll definitely have to try it out and let me know how it goes!!

  2. Sarah

    Love the sign Kelly!!! And so fun that you started an Etsy shop!! I’m sure this sign will be a big seller!

    • Kelly

      Oh thank you, Sarah! I hope so ?

  3. Zan Turner

    I think it turned out great for a first time. Could definitely pass for a store bought!! Congrats on the new shop!!

    • Kelly

      Oh thank you so much! I feel like the shop was a little inpulsive, but that’s the fun part, right?!

  4. Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

    Another wonderful sign! It looks great and will definitely go on my to-do list as well!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Kelly

      Thank you, Vanessa!

  5. Linda Wittman

    You guys have so much patience. Everything has turned out great. Can’t wait to see it all together.
    I am a little torn…Cardinals or Vikings???!!! Love you guys

    • Kelly

      Thank you Grandma Linda! I’m glad it loos like we have patience… some days are a little touch-and-go ? and Vikings, of course!!!

  6. Lora

    I still have not made one of these signs… and I have no idea why, because I love them! Pinned!

    • Kelly

      You definitely need to do it! I’m sure yours is going to turn out lovely!!

  7. Colette @ restyle it wright

    Looks great Kelly! Totally embodies the farm house style! Congrats on the Etsy store! Good luck!!!

    • Kelly

      Thank you Colette!!



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