There are plenty of methods to make wooden signs but let’s discuss the most interesting and commonly used one! Stencils are the patterns that are cut in some material.
If you want to design something using a stencil, you can either use a built-in pattern stencil or can make one for yourself, and trust me; it is not that hard.
So, if you want to learn how to make wooden signs with stencils, then you are in the right spot. In this article, I will take you on tour to equip you with the best possible ways to make wooden signs with stencils. Below is the step-by-step guide to making wooden signs with stencils.
First things first, let’s discuss the prerequisites!
What are stencils?
Let’s quickly revise what stencils really are!
These are the tools to produce fine images and patterns on some other surface by using a paint/pigment.
The patterns are pre-cut in the material of stencil, which can be plastic, wood, metal, vinyl, or any other. Once the cut has been made, the stencil is ready to give a fine impression on the surface.
But, in our case, the surface will be wood. So, a well-patterned stencil will help in making a great design/sign on your wooden board.
The stencils that we will use in our methods are:
- Reusable (Dural art)
- One-time use (vinyl)
- One-time use (Stencil film)
Another methods of making homemade wooden signs or DIY wooden signs available here.
What do you need to make wooden designs with stencils?
Let me tell you about the things and stuff that are required to do this job! So, you must have the following equipment to start designing.
A wooden board is required for this job. If you do not have a pre-cut board, you will need a wood cutting machine for this purpose. So, have a fine wooden piece of your desired shape.
Make sure that the wooden piece is properly cleaned and dry. If not, first dry it properly and for smoothing it, use appropriate methods.
You can either use a planer or sandpaper for smoothing purposes.
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What kind of wood goes well?
The best wood for wood signs is pine. You can also use plywood for this purpose. The benefit of these woods is that they are flexible, fine, and come at a good price. In other options, there is a chipboard and a Maple.
Stencil & stuff
Depending on the method you use, you would need the proper equipment for that. But, as I am going to explain more than one method, let me tell you about the whole stuff, then you can opt for your need.
First, you need Dural art if you want to create a reusable stencil. You can use Dural art to cut the sign/pattern according to your need.
Alternatives to Dural art are vinyl sheets. But for these, you would need contact papers for transfer purposes and a silhouette tool. You would also need a trim tool and tweezers.
Another alternative is stencil film, which is also a one-time use like vinyl. But these are thinner and less expensive than vinyl. A silhouette tool is also required here.
In other requisitions, there are adhesive sprays, acrylic paint (spray or tube), acrylic brush (makeup sponge can also be used), and cutting tools.
Now that I have well-explained the requisitions let’s get to the actual procedures!
How to Make Wooden Signs with Stencils – Most commonly used & easy methods
Below are three to four most efficient methods to make you learn about the methods to make wooden signs using stencils. So, without any more ado, let’s get to it!
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1. Using Reusable Stencils
In this process, the stencil you use can be used for more jobs.
- First, you have to cut the pattern using Dural art; you can use a built-in pattern available in the market.
- The wooden board should be utterly dry and smooth on the surface. If not, do something about it to make it ready, as I mentioned above.
- Once your board and stencil are ready, the next job is to find a well-suited spray for adhesion. You can use stencil spray, adhesive spray, or basting spray. The preferred one is basting spray.
- Now, spray it at the back of your ready stencil properly. Place it over the board at the right place where you want your pattern to be.
- Now comes the more critical part. If you are using acrylic spray paint, you have to spray it properly on the pattern.
- But if you are using an acrylic paste, using a small brush, first dip it into the paint and then gently apply it to the pattern.
- To make sure that the paint doesn’t spread wrong on the pattern or get enter below the stencils in undesired spots, then keep the brush vertical and gently apply the paint.
- If you are using more than one stencil on a single board, then make sure to let the previous impression dry before applying the new one.
- The reusable stencil should be rinsed in cold water after use.
Follow the steps rightly to achieve good results.
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2. Using Vinyl Sheet (one-time use)
This is another technique to make wooden signs. Vinyl is easily available in the market but prefers to use the scrapped vinyl as it is cheap and pieces of different sizes can be found.
- The first job is to cut the pattern. Use cutting tools and make sure accurate cutting of the pattern or sign that you want on your wooden board.
- To transfer the pattern from the cutting mat to the wooden sign, you can use contact papers. They are very helpful in finding accuracy and convenience.
- Weeding vinyl is an important step; make sure that you weed it where you want the paint to go.
- To properly transfer the impression, a silhouette tool is used. It smooths the vinyl, pattern, and contact paper.
5.Now cut the excessive parts of the prepared vinyl.
- The final step is to peel off the paper and place the vinyl over the board. Now, apply the desired colored paint over the pattern and once it settles, remove the pattern, and it is done.
- You get a very fine impression over your wooden board. But the only thing that goes against the process is its reusability. You can not use this type of stencil more than once.
With fine hands, you will get fine results.
3. Using Stencil Film (one-time use)
It is also a one-time usable technique of stencils, but the pros of it include that it is lesser expensive and thinner than the vinyl process.
These films are transparent, and you can see through them to observe if the paint is properly getting applied.
You would also need contact paper in this and to smooth the pattern, a silhouette as well. Other stuff is almost the same as vinyl.
- Once you achieve the desired patterned stencil film, the next job is to properly apply it over the board.
- You can either use spray or brush for building the sign over the surface of your wooden board.
- But, as I have seen, a brush gives better results than a spray if you correctly use it.
- Make sure that the pattern is correctly transferred. The helpful tools for it are the contact paper and silhouette tool.
- Thus, you get a great impression (if you followed the steps rightly) at a low price and a more convenient method.
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If you do not want to use a brush, you can use makeup wedges (sponges) that can actually be used in all the methods and give very good results.
Instead of paint-tapes, try using repositionable adhesives. This helps in sticking the stencil properly, and the paint doesn’t go astray.
If you want your pattern to seem more natural and hand-written, you should remove the intra-letter small gaps. For this, you can use either a very small brush or a toothpick.
For placing acrylic paste, use a paper plate or any suitable object.
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Advice from my side
I would recommend you go for the reusable method. The reason for that is to make sure less waste and more outcome. We should always go for planet-friendly ways.
Basting spray is great for temporary adhesion; it is usually available in the quilting section. It also gives very good results, so go for it.
While using spray paints or other toxic sprays, make sure to cover your face to not inhale the toxic fumes.
While working with the paint, try using gloves on your hands.
Find a stable place to work with stencils, where there are fewer vibrations, to not waste your work.
Fine hands produce fine art, remember!
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Thus, the above article picturizes all that one should know before making wooden signs using stencils. If you are a beginner, I would recommend you try all the ways for the sake of practice.
Stencils are great tools to create great impressions. You can use clever approaches and designs to come up with something great.
The good thing is that it is always an accurate and fine pattern that we get in the end if rightly done. Hence, you get the ultimate satisfaction and aesthetics.
After all, satisfaction is all that we live for, agree?