Turn an Old Fence into a Vintage Sign

I am so excited to share today’s project! If you follow me on Instagram (Really you should!), then you already got a tiny sneak peak of today’s project. This month’s GYDO theme is DIY Signs and I have been wanting to DIY a sign for above our TV for forever. Well what better time than now?  I wanted something that looked vintage, like maybe it had been hand painted years ago.

Here is what I found in my stash make my sign:


I have been dipping into this curbside haul for months now making all kinds of good stuff! Here is said curbside pile I refer to so often in case you missed it:


That makes my DIY-lovin heart go pitter patter! If only I had room to take the whole pile…seriously I think I would have!

Ok back to the reason you’re really here, my sign! I was thinking maybe something that had been painted for a store years ago would be very cool.

Because we are only a mile from the beach and I have a lot of coastal inspired décor, I came up with this:

This beachy sign was made from old fence pickets. Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

I love the impact that it adds to that side of the room! And that would be our TV. I never share this view of that side because the TV on top of our very dark console is like a big black hole over there. It’s not so bad now that my sectional is slipcovered white though.

This beachy sign was made from old fence pickets. Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

To make this sign, first I figured out the size I wanted, then cut the pickets with my cordless Ryobi circular saw that was gifted to me recently. I really love not having to worry about dragging out the extension cord! Plus it’s smaller blade size makes it so much easier for me to handle.

The Ryobi cordless circular saw is awesome!

Then I painted the pickets with flat latex paint in cottage white that I already had. I created what I wanted the sign to say in Photoshop Elements. You could use any photo editor, like Paint.NET, which I used in this post to share how to enlarge letters for sign making.

Then I printed the graphic I created on Blockposters.com. You just upload your image and tell them how many sheets of paper wide you want your sign to be. That’s my kind of math! Anything wider than six pages will cost you $5 though. I have never made anything wider than that until now, and it was worth the $5 to me.

I used this method to transfer the letters to my sign:

Transferring graphics to wood is simple

Then I painted them in using Delta brand black acrylic paint that I purchased at Michaels.

Create a sign with these simple instrucitons!

I used a larger brush for the larger letters and my trusty liner brush for the smaller letters across the bottom.

After the paint had dried for a few hours, I sanded the entire surface to reveal the wood beneath and give it a weathered feel:


I hand sanded with 150 grit over the letters and used my rotary sander around the edges. I did not bother to seal it with anything since it will be staying indoors.

I love how it turned out.

This beachy sign was made from old fence pickets. Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

This is my TV console that I was considering painting this color blue. What do you think?

See how to make this beachy sign here. Confessions of a Serial Do-it Yourselfer



I love the character my new sign adds to that blank space. My hubby even liked it, and he doesn’t usually get too excited about what I do around here.

Create a sign with these simple instrucitons!




Create a sign with these simple instrucitons! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

The best part about this project? It was FREE! Can I get a woohoo?? Ok well except I did have to pay $5 to print the graphics, but other than that, it was free! 🙂

Don't take that old fenicng to the dump! Make a cool vintage sign out of it! This tutorial shows you how! Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourslelfer

Here are a few more projects I’ve created recently from that scrap wood pile:

Reclaimed Wood Projects Confessionsof a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer

DIY Reclaimed Wood Crate    Beach-Inspired Bathroom Cabinet    Window Shelf

A New Sign from a Curbside Find    Reclaimed Wood Organizer    DIY Halloween Sign

My beautiful GYDO cohosts have also created a bunch of signs of their own:

DIY signs


Five DIY Signs by April at House by Hoff

Three DIY Holiday Signs by Krista at The Happy Housie

Two Ways to Make DIY Signs with a Silhouette by Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog

Thanksgiving Sign by Mandy at The Hankful House




I am so excited to see everyone’s signs this Sunday! And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram so you can see behind he scenes and get first peeks on what I’m working on!





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  1. It’s AWESOME! I wish I could figure out how to print graphics. I love the size, what a great wall filler. By the way, what is your texture? Is it a wallpaper?

  2. Sorry, I was asking what the texture of your wall was that the sign is on. Thanks again for the inspiration.

  3. Hi Christy- I always enjoy reading your posts as you do such fantastic makeovers and repurpose projects! Thank you for sharing your sign tutorial. As for the tv console, yes paint that baby! I love the color blue you are considering.

  4. Hi Christy¡¡¡ I love how you ‘ve improved step by step your living room’s look , now is gorgeus after making slipcovers…. and this sign is DEFINITIVE¡¡¡
    Regarding painting TV cabinet in TUrquoise… upsssss is so risky, I could visualice it , and should be very very nice ( you can always repaint it in white if you don’t like…).
    PD… I’ve seen your BEAUTIFUL MIRROR ( left in the pic), why didnt you say nothing about it?, is so beautiful¡¡,is it also from a thrift store ?( say no , say no , i will hate you ?…
    Big hug from a Sunny Madrid¡¡ XO

    • Thanks, Victoria! That mirror is so pretty, right? Not from a thrift store though ha ha! At our blogging conference this past Summer, I won a gift certificate from Kirklands. That’s a home décor store here, not sure if they have them in Madrid, but I used my gift certificate to buy this beautiful mirror. It’s in a corner that I don’t photograph often so you never see it. XOXO 🙂

  5. Laura Lane says

    Wow, I wish I could stumble upon a pile of wood like that. Lucky Girl!! Love the sign! The wall you put the sign on…is it tile Christy?? Plus, you beat me to my other question, I was going to mention that I am surprised that your TV console wasn’t painted. hahaha

    • Thanks, Laura! Yes, loved coming across that great pile of treasure, and the super nice people who were having the yard sale there even helped me load it. That wall is tumbled marble. We just have one accent wall in our living room with it. And not to worry…I think painting that cabinet just moved up the to-do list! 🙂

  6. Great post Christy, pinned!
    I totally agree its definately worth the 5$ for creating the graphic on blockposters, it would cost more than that for vinyl to create your own on the silhouette! Love your sign too by the way, nice beach decor!

  7. Christina in FL says

    Christy, I adore your new sign and drool over your pile of wood. 🙂 I have to get space to do these! :)))
    FYI I do love that blue color for the TV console. 🙂 Okay, I LOVE that color blue for the console. lol
    Happy Friday my friend!

  8. The sign turned out very nice. It gives the room personality.

  9. Therese Wescott says

    Do it!!

  10. Sheila Moore says

    WooHoo! Love the sign, especially the wording. My opinion your consol table would be faculous in that blue. Make the whole wall pop.

  11. Tina Matteson says

    The sign is beautiful. I LOVE your projects. Also, I think your ‘black hole’ would be transformed if you painted the TV table white! And… can you please share about that awesome wall behind the TV? I am intriqued by it.

  12. Really neat! Hope you got those rocks too!

  13. I wish that I had enough space above our tv to do this….I was just browsing tv cover-ups this morning!
    Beautiful job, as always!!!

  14. This turned out beautifully, Christy! What a find with that big scrap pile! The sign looks perfect above your TV. Happy weekend!

    ~Abby =)

  15. I LOVE IT!! Christy- such a great sign and the perfect dramatic accent above your TV. Simple yet it fills the space perfectly without being overbearing, right?!

  16. Your sign looks great – just the right amount of distressing! It looks perfect above your tv. I think your tv console would add a nice pop of color and lighten that part of the room painted the coastal blue color you have in mind. My vote is DO IT!

  17. Yes! Paint the console blue, it will be beautiful in your room. Love all the things you do!

  18. Oh, I LOVE it Christy!!! It’s perfect….and that pile of wood is awesome too!! Lucky!

  19. WOOHOO!! and go for the blue… 🙂

  20. Jolinda lampo says

    I love it and wish it was at my house in California. The pile of wood makes me dizzy just thinking what I could do with it.

  21. Woohoo!

  22. Christy, love your sign! As for the color of the console, I like the blue and I think painting it lighter would blend in more with your other furnishings, but I think the way you painted the “James Dead and Breakfast Inn” sign would look great. It would blend with your white pieces, but at the same time add some contrast with the blue color. That’s just my opinion, I’m sure it will look great anyway that you paint it. You have great foresight and your pieces always turn out terrific!

  23. HI, Christy! Looovvvve the sign! It’s perfect for that wall! It gives focus, balance, and impact to the wall. Personally, I love high contrast, so the I like the tv console just the way it is. The unit enhances the depth of color in the wall, unifying the tv and the console. If you paint the console blue, the tv will stand out from everything else. I think the combination of the tv and console are rich and sophisticated in lovely contrast to the beautiful white slipcovers and will look especially beautiful for the holidays! You can always add and takeaway blue accents in smaller pieces, trays and frames. I’d keep the brown, honestly. The sign really balances everything beautifully!

    • Thank you, Robin! I never thought about the TV sticking out more if I painted the cabinet, definitely something to consider. Thanks so much for weighing in and pointing that out! XO

  24. Oh wow, your sign is gorgeous! So perfect for your space. The sanding is just the right amount too.

    Black doesn’t seem like you, and the blue looks just right – go for it! : )

  25. Christy, inspired by your beautiful sign I am going to make one with ski theme and slope names ( for my attic)…I have commented to my hubby and he likes¡¡¡ thank you so much for sharing ….

  26. I just love your sign, especially since I live on the Maine coast. My friend recently did a similar project using old siding from her house when it was repainted. She gave me some of the siding and now you’ve inspired me to make my own “Beachy” sign. First time here and ove your blog!

  27. It is absolutely amazing how many different things you can use fences for!! They definitely are good for more than just keeping pets in your yard!!! I would love to try doing something like this one day!

  28. Candy Walsh says

    I love what that sign does for that whole wall~it looks great! I prefer transferring graphics the old fashioned way too or using carbon paper. All the new ways just confuse me, lol.
    How in the world do you get so lucky coming across fence boards and stuff the way you do? I promise every time I get in the car to go somewhere, I’m always on the lookout and have never seen anything. I pick up pieces at yard sales every now and then just to keep some on hand. I’ve been wanting to make your picture frame tray for the longest and now I think I have everything I need. (Except for one of those cordless Ryobi handsaws~I would kill for one of those babies!)
    Thanks for all the inspiration, I just love your style!

    • Thank you, Candy!! That sign is one of my favorite projects! I usually have the best luck coming across discarded fencing when I’m yard saling. I guess because I am driving deep into all different neighborhoods so I am more likely to come across them, and it is the weekend when people decide to tackle such projects like removing/replacing old fencing. Good luck in your search! 🙂

  29. Hi! I just came upon your blog through a Pinterest search. I recently BOUGHT 40ish 36″ old worn fence slats. Then I searched for PInspiration. Some of mine are just kind of weathered and dirty, but others are warped or green with moss???? Did you clean your wood slats first? I hosed them off. But wonder if you need to do more if you are painting anyway. If I don’t want to paint them, I’m not sure what to do to clean them. Any advice?

    • Hi Dana! I just wiped them down enough to be free of dirt. Some of them I sanded just a bit, but not enough to remove the natural aged look of them completely. I usually white-wash them. Here is a recent round up I did of several projects using my fence pickets: https://www.confessionsofaserialdiyer.com/10-thrifty-reclaimed-wood-projects/ As for the moss? Hmmm not sure, maybe scrape it away with a putty knife? Then scrub any left over with an old washcloth and some warm water and dish soap. Good luck!


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