DIY “Welcome” Rustic Sign for Front Porch

I’m not sure what’s gotten into me, but suddenly I am ALL about the DIY projects! I keep seeing all these super cute porch signs and couldn’t wait to get one for our house! When I finally got around to searching for one, I couldn’t believe how expensive they were! I mean, I’m all about a welcoming porch… but the prices were bonkers!

So… instead, I asked my hubs to bring home a slab of wood so I could make the sign myself! Here’s some step by step instructions so you can make one too! In the case you’d rather buy one… I’ve also linked some perfect ones for you!

If you’re looking to make the welcome sign yourself… its super easy if you follow the steps below! I did it over a weekend, but could’ve finished sooner if #momlife didn’t take over 🙂

Step One: Gather your materials

  • Wood slab – I used a 2×12 from Home Depot, about 5 feet tall
  • Electric sander
  • Sand paper
  • Stain – I picked up 1 quart of Black Classic Wood Interior Stain for a rustic look
  • Paint brush – Large and medium sizes
  • Towel – one you don’t care to use on stain
  • White spray paint
  • Stencils – I preferred the bulky look, but elegant is also super cute

That’s it!


Step Two: Find an open space to start sandingimg_0422

I took over the garage for the weekend and propped the wood piece up on a storage bin and got to work. Sanding was actually way easier than I expected! (Strongly recommend an electric sander) I spent a few minutes to sand down the wood, just to make sure the wood would better absorb the stain.

It’s super simple… just run the sander along the grain a few times. Make sure to go along the edges if you’re looking for a more rustic feel. Flip the wood over and do the same to the other side. Brush off the dust and you’re ready for the next step!




Step Three: Start the staining process

Of all the steps, this one was the trickiest… but really not that bad. Gently apply stain with the large paint brush to a small area of the wood. Instead of using the paint brush over the entire slab, use a towel to rub in the stain. This helps ensure it gets deep within the grain.

Do this same step in small sections over the whole piece of wood. Start with the side you prefer as the back first… just for a trial run before staining the front. If you’re not super happy with how it looks… you can always re-sand and start again.




Once you’ve stained the entire surface, it should look something like this… —>

Make sure the edges have been stained as well, then let dry. It should take a couple hours.

Once completely dry, flip over and stain the other side… same exact process using the towel vs paint brush. Let dry.

At this point, I let it dry overnight and got back to being Mom for a bit… but you should be able to move on to Step 4 in a couple hours if totally dry 🙂



Step Four: Adding the letters!

Because I knew I wanted a super rustic sign to go along with the farmhouse vibes, I knew  I was going to sand down the letters again and was okay with using spray paint. It is SO MUCH FASTER than painting by hand. However… if you don’t want to sand again, I’d recommend painting by hand because the spray paint will leave residue outside the lines of your stencil. Again, if you’re sanding, this isn’t a problem. The residue will come right off. If you want perfect lines… you should trace the stencils and paint by hand. Totally up to you depending on the look!

Evenly space out your stencils and mark where they should go. They will be different than mind depending on the length of your board and size of stencils you get. I wanted big, bold letters, so I used 8″ large stencils.

Tape down the stencils where you want them and start spraying! Make sure you allow each letter to dry before you tape down the next stencil. I’m all about efficiency… so I taped down every other letter and sprayed at the same time. I let those dry… then applied the next batch of stencils to spray. Once you have sprayed all the letters… wait a couple hours to ensure they are no longer wet. Then you’re ready for the final step!

Step Five: Final sanding!

You’re almost done! The last step, if you’re going for the true rustic vibe, is the final sanding. This will take away any excess residue from the spray paint and add a ton of character to your sign.

Get the sander ready and lightly sand over the entire plank of wood. You should see the letters become more defined. You’ll also see some of the stained wood pop through the white area, which is personally my favorite part! For reference, you can see the two versions below. The left is where we started from, notice the letters are a bit blurry. The right is the final sign with defined letters and a vintage look with the original wood grain showing through. So good!


Time to decorate your porch!

It’s as easy as that! Once you’re done.. you can add any decor you want to bring your front porch to life! Here are a couple examples I used from Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. If you’re interested in any of the other decor items, click on the pictures to find the links 🙂

Super easy right!?! Can’t wait to see your signs! Please send pics! I’ll add them here!


Thanks for reading along! Shout with any questions!

– Mama of Roses –


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