How to Make a Hand Painted Sign~Step By Step Guide using the Silhouette


This tutorial has been revised from the original so please 
excuse the mismatched photos but you will get the idea.

This tutorial is picture heavy but I really want you to
grasp the step by step concept.

Let’s make a hand painted sign!
I bought a pre-cut 12x24 pine board from a home improvement store and painted a couple coats of white primer. Whatever paint you use make sure it’s flat paint and NEVER gloss!
(a high gloss paint will peel right up with your stencil)
I used my Silhouette Cameo to design and cut a stencil.
This baby cuts 12 inches by 10 feet!
I was making a 12x24 sign so I set my width and height to 12x24 and got started on my design.
hand painted sign
The software that comes with the Silhouette is crazy awesome!
ANY font I have on my computer, my Silhouette will cut!
So, no need for expensive cartridges!
I like to use and for free fonts.
Another awesome feature is the Silhouette's tracing tool…so if I find an awesome image online like one of Graphic Fairy’s, I just save it as a picture, open in my silhouette and trace it!
(Tracing will be a whole other tutorial)
Once my layout was designed, it was time to cut it out. I use contact paper to cut my stencil. When making a stencil , it's a lot cheaper to use contact paper instead of vinyl. 

I cut the contact paper 12x24 and feed it into my Silhouette. No mat needed…I set the blade to a 1, speed to a 5 and thickness to a 5.
Once the design is cut…it’s time to weed out the letters with the aid of an exacto knife.
A perfect stencil!
Now you will need to transfer it to your board with
the use of transfer paper.
Silhouette has awesome transfer paper. 12x10ft rolls.
Plain and grid to help you line up your image.
As a business owner I go through a ton of transfer paper so I buy 100ft rolls from H&H Sign Supply.
Roll out the transfer paper over the stencil.
Smooth it out with a spreader or credit card and give it a good rubbing so the transfer paper sticks to the stencil.
Next, flip over the paper and peel off the backing of the contact paper.
Now you can stick the stencil onto your pre-painted 12x24 board.
I usually just eye ball to make sure my stencil is straight on the board. You can also use a tape measure to make sure the letters from the end of the board on one side, match the letters on the other
When you are satisfied with the placement of your stencil, give it a good rubbing so that your stencil sticks to the board. This will prevent any bleeding from the paint.
Now you’re ready to remove the transfer paper. I like to peel it off in strips with a sign this size.
Now your stencil is in place and you are ready to paint your sign!
Picking paint colors is the hardest part!
Should every letter be a different color? or every line?
Once you find the perfect colors ..remember a little goes a long waySmile
Just like stenciling anything you want to use a sponge and off load most of the paint and dab dab dab dab to prevent any bleeding of the paint.
Dab Dab Dab Dab!
All dabbed and Almost done!
When you are done dabbing, peel the stencil off. No need to wait for the paint to dry…it’s best to peel off while wet.
You will need the aid of the exacto knife again to pull up any stencil left behind.
Now if you like a nice clean look you can seal with some poly and be done………BUT for me I love a distressed look.
So I bust out my palm sander and give it a once over…
and use some distress ink on all the edges. You can find this at Hobby Lobby in many colors.
Isn't it Pretty!
Seal it with a coat of poly and it’s all done!
A little time consuming but such a beautiful hand painted sign!
Here’s a few more I’ve made using the same technique:
I hope you feel inspired!
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Please check out all the places I party!


Heather Mullin said...

Love love love your site! You make everything look so easy. Is it really this easy with the silhouette machine? And you can do even vital sayings for your wall as well as a lot more? I really want to do signs so I will be saving up for this! So excited! Thanks for sharing!

Lucia said...

Me encanta¡¡

Brenda Plotkin said...

Thank you for the great tutorial on hand painted signs with the Silhouette. I have the machine but was struggling with the vinyl--cutting/tearing, whether or not to use a mat, how to transfer, etc. You make your instructions so clear. I wish I lived closer (but your winters are too brutal).
Brenda in San Antonio

Louie Donovan said...

Wow, you did a good job in this instance, thanks for showing the tutorial.

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