DIY Paint Stick Wood Slat Sign

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I had a picture hanging on the wall in my kitchen. It got knocked off the wall and broken. . . Um, back in December. And I am finally getting around to replacing it. I decided to go with something totally different. I’ve loved the wood slat signs I’ve seen all over the place, so I decided to make my own. I don’t have access to reclaimed wood or palettes, so I used paint sticks instead.


It was a fun project for me, and I love how it turned out. I whipped it up in an afternoon, and I spend half the time just trying to get photos with the sun peeking in and out of the clouds and making me change my camera settings every five minutes. 😉

DIY Paint Stick Wood Sign Tutorial

Supplies (Contains affiliate links)
-Large Paint Sticks
-Paint and paintbrushes
Wood Glue
-Quote for your sign- printed on paper (not cardstock)
Frog Tape
-Pen or stylus
-Small banner (optional)

Get some large paint sticks from the hardware store – the kind that are used to stir the gallon size buckets. I already had a bunch in my stash from when we painted our walls.
Paint-Stick-Wood-SignDetermine the size of your sign, and cut your paint sticks down to size. I was going to use my miter saw, but it was still in storage for the winter, so I used my scroll saw. The sticks are thin enough that you could even use a hand saw. I used 6 sticks for this project.
diy-paint-stick-signPaint your sticks. I know I would be distressing mine, so I only did one coat of white paint, and I just painted the tops. After the paint is dry, sand the edges of the sticks if you want a more distressed look.
diy-paint-stickThen it’s time to glue your paint sticks all together to make your sign. You can use any thin wood scraps, but I used the leftover pieces of paint sticks. Handy. I lined my sticks up, then used wood glue to attach a shorter piece across the top and bottom. Tip: After I put the wood glue down the middle of the scrap strip, I put a little hot glue on each end. Then I pressed the scrap onto the longer pieces. The hot glue holds everything firmly in place while the wood glue is drying. Works like a charm!
diy-wood-signAfter your glue is dry, attach your design to the front of the sign. Tape it in place with Frog Tape.
diy-paint-stick-wood-signTake a pen or stylus and carefully trace the edges of the letters (or shapes if you have those). Press firmly- you want to leave an indentation in the wood. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t use a font any thinner than the one I used to spell “Joy”. Those thin fonts were hard to paint!
rustic-paint-stick-wood-signIt is really hard to see, but if you look close, you can see the little marks that the pen left. In real life it is much easier to see, I promise. Just use fine tipped paintbrushes top paint the words, using the indentations as a guide.
rustic-sign-tutorialAfter my words dried, I sanded my sign to make it look a little more rustic. But with the thin fonts that I used, it looked kinda crappy. So I had to go back and add paint. That was a pain in the bum. So don’t do what I did. Use larger fonts!
It did look good in the end though. And don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect. I think that adds charm, and makes it actually look unique and handmade!
rustic-diy-wood-signI added a little fabric banner to the corner of mine. I followed this no-sew banner tutorial, except I didn’t attach my fabric to canvas, so it was even easier. You can use paper, or pom poms, or flowers instead, whatever you like!
wood-sign-tutorialNow all you have to do is add a picture hanger to the back and hang it on the wall!
paint-stick-diy-signAnd there you have it. A custom wood slat sign that you can proudly display in your home!

Other easy wood decor projects you might enjoy:

DIY White Picket Fence Sign
DIY Interior Wood Shutters
Framed Rustic Wood Sign


  1. Can you tell me what fonts you used? I love yours!

    • The cursive font is called Sacramento, and the block font is called AlwaysHere. Can’t remember exactly where I got them, but both of them are free. I use both of them all the time!

  2. Denyse @ Glitter, Glue & Paint says:

    Kara!! I love this. Thank you for sharing at Project Pin-it. I will be featuring this wonderful idea this week.


  3. I forgot to mention that I featured you on my blog today:

  4. Love this sign! Thanks so much for sharing it on the Creative Exchange!

  5. This looks great! I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams starts on Fridays 😀 Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

  6. This is perfect! I love that you didn’t use a machine to do your words! The banner is the perfect touch. 🙂 I love it! Thanks for linking up!

  7. So pretty. I love how it looks like a miniature fence, and the banner and hand letter are adorable. I also love the saying. Pinning this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I love crafting with paint sticks, especially since they are free! I’ve also made signs out of them but put them horizontally. I like the vertical look, and your quote is awesome!

  9. This project is so cute! The techniques, colors, the no-sew banner! Well done! I’d love for you to share this at our weekly link up, the project stash! You can find it here.

    Happy TGIF Eve! 😀

  10. This is so cute! I love the technique you used to get the words on it. I need something for my laundry room-I’m going to do something like this! 🙂

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