How to Make Wooden Signs With Vinyl Lettering

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Turn a wooden board into a decorative sign with paint and vinyl lettering.
Turn a wooden board into a decorative sign with paint and vinyl lettering. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Create your own professional looking decorative sign for your home or office using vinyl lettering. Vinyl lettering is adhesive backed and will easily stick to most surfaces. There are multiple colors and fonts to choose from when designing a vinyl sign. This allows you to personalize your word, phrase or quote to match your home decor and personal tastes. Use a wooden board as a background for your sign to create a sturdy, long-lasting piece of art.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinyl lettering
  • Wooden board
  • Sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Matte finish spray
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Transfer tape
  • Craft stick
  • Tape

Decide on the word, phrase or quote that you want to put on your sign.

Rub over the front, sides and edges of your wooden board with sandpaper to smooth. Wipe the board down with a damp cloth to remove dust from the sanding process. Let the surface of the board dry.

Apply a coat of primer to your board with a paintbrush. Let the board sit until the primer is completely dry. Paint over the primer with the desired color of paint. Let the board sit until the paint is completely dry.

Apply a coat of matte finish spray to the surface of the painted wood. Hold the can 10 to 12 inches from the surface of the board as you spray. Move the can slowly as you spray on the finish to ensure an even coat. Let the board sit until the finish dries completely.

Use a ruler and pencil to create a straight dashed line across the top of the board. Position the line one to two inches above where you want the top of the words to be. Make a vertical dash along the line to mark the center of the board.

Place the vinyl lettering on a flat surface with the side to go on the board facing down. Cut a piece of transfer tape long enough to hold all the vinyl lettering. Lay the transfer tape on top of the vinyl lettering. Rub a craft stick firmly over the top of the transfer tape covering the vinyl lettering. Make a mark at the center of the phrase on the transfer tape.

Place the vinyl lettering covered by the transfer tape on top of the wooden sign. Line up the top edge of the transfer tape with the dashed guide line. Match up the center mark on the transfer tape with the center mark on the board. Tape the top edge of the transfer tape to the wooden board.

Flip the bottom edge of the transfer tape and lettering upwards. Rub over the back of the vinyl letters firmly with your craft stick. Peel the paper backing off the letters to expose the adhesive.

Fold the transfer tape and letters back down onto the sign. Smooth over the transfer tape with your hands to press the letters to the wood's surface. Rub your craft stick firmly over the top of the transfer tape. Peel the transfer tape from off the top of the vinyl lettering. Use your craft stick to smooth out any air bubbles from under the letters.

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