black and white framed 'welcome to our patio' wood outdoor sign

Once our new patio was finished, (click here to see!) I knew I wanted a cute little welcome sign! I looked on Etsy, but they were pricey, and your girl kind of has a thing for making signs. So why not just make one and weatherproof it?! Added bonus: Since I already had all the materials, it cost me nothing! (My favorite type of project.) Keep reading to see how I made a DIY outdoor wood sign with my Silhouette! *For those of you who don’t have a cutting machine, I’ll give you some options on how you can make something similar.

patio dining table decorated with a tray of pink flowers, lantern, and candle with diy wood stenciled patio sign in the background

What You’ll Need:

  • Blank sign *I found this one in the Target Bullseye section for $5, but you can find one at your local craft store, build one out of wood, or even use an existing sign you already have! Just sand it, and paint over it!
  • Stenciling vinyl
  • Cutting machine *I have the Silhouette Cameo 3, but here is the newer Cameo 4 if you’re in the market
  • Paint of choice
  • Craft foam brush
  • Weather protectant spray *I used Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover in matte clear
  • Optional (if you decide to paint the frame itself prior): Painters tape
  • Optional (if you have vinyl siding, like me): Vinyl siding hooks

How To:

Step 1: This part is completely optional, but I wanted to add a whitewash to the wood frame itself. Just tape off the inside “face” of the sign, and mix a little water with white acrylic paint. Apply as many coats as you need using a craft foam brush.

black shiplap sign with wooden frame and materials needed to paint diy outdoor wood sign

Step 2: Using a Silhouette machine, or other cutting machine, create a stencil with stenciling vinyl. *If you don’t have a cutting machine, you still have a few options to make an outdoor wood sign! You could, a) buy stencils online – like these – or at your local craft store; b) use a projector and trace your design onto the sign; c) apply paint to rubber stamps to create your script; or d) if you have really nice handwriting, just use a paint pen and free-hand it!

Step 3: Cut out, and place stencil on your sign.

Step 4: Using a foam brush and paint of your choice (I used white acrylic paint), apply a coat and let dry. Repeat 1-2 more times to make sure you have nice, even coverage.

Step 5: Peel your stencil off carefully, and apply any needed touch-ups. I used a black sharpie to touch up a few areas where the paint bled through the stencil. (The sign I used was actually not ideal for this project because of the grooves, but hey; sometimes ya gotta use what you got!)

peeling off stencil from black diy outdoor wood sign

Step 6: Now to protect it! Ideally, an exterior polyurethane spray would work best, but I used what I had on hand (Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover in matte clear) and so far, it has held up great! I should note I also have my sign under a deck so it is a bit protected from the elements. I would recommend doing MULTIPLE coats of your top coat spray! Spray one side, let dry; the other side; let dry; and make sure you get those edges! I did three coats of each to make sure every nook & cranny got covered.

sealing a diy outdoor wood sign with Rustoleum Matte Clear topcoat

Ready to hang!

Ta-da! You now have a DIY outdoor wood sign for your home entry-way, patio, deck, or you could even use this technique for a business sign! I hung ours right outside our finished basement entryway on our new patio and it adds such a nice touch!

black and white framed 'welcome to our patio' diy outdoor wood sign

If you try this project, please tag me or email me your finished signs! I’d love to see! 🙂


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