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Vintage Sign Tutorial From an Old Dresser Top

By Adrienne Boswell @chiccalifornia1
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Vintage Sign From an Old Dresser Top

Vintage Sign Tutorial from Chic California

A funny thing happens when you move to a place like California. People start to visit. And they don’t just stay for the weekend. A typical stay in our guest room seems to last between 7 and 14 days. I’d like to think that our guests stay because they just miss us so. But in reality the California sunshine and the pool can’t hurt. When I found out we were having another baby I knew that I couldn’t give up our guest room in lieu of an air mattress in the family room. I decided to incorporate my craft room/office into the space and redesign the room. (I don’t actually need much arm twisting to redo a room!)

peeling veneer

Remember this top from the Farmhouse Dresser that I redid in chippy wonderful Milk Paint? Well, the veneer was peeling so badly and I tried everything to remove it neatly but ultimately the whole top had to be removed. Did I throw that dresser top away? Of course not! I kept it knowing that the shape would lend itself to making an awesome vintage sign.

Vintage sign

My husband had other plans for this dresser top. He was working in the side area of the house where I “carefully” had this piece of wood stored. It was in his way so he tossed it next to the trash. Luckily, I saw it there and prevented what could have been a major disaster for our marriage. How could he not realize that I was just about to create a beautiful sign for my guest room makeover from that top!?

Room for rent sign

I painted the top with 2 coats of Sweet Pickins Milk Paint in Window Pane. No extra bond needed on this one since the top was raw wood. Then I printed out my lettering in Word. I could have used my Cricut and made a stencil and probably used a dozen other lettering methods. This just seemed the easiest at the moment. I printed out the words in landscape and taped and pieced them together until I got the right layout for my sign.

Graphite Paper

I used Graphite Paper under the letters and traced around each one. The graphite leaves an erasable tracing mark behind. You can get Graphite Paper at your craft store or online here.

pencil outline

I started to paint in the letters with gold craft paint. Until I grew impatient after about 30 seconds. I remembered that I had both a Gold Sharpie and a Black Sharpie that would work perfectly for this project. I filled in the letters with the Gold Sharpie and used the Black Sharpie to shadow the letters.  I used oil based Sharpies because I knew I wasn’t going to wax this sign or seal it with anything. But if you are going to seal with wax, use water based markers. The oil in the wax will actually remove the marker (Go ahead, ask me how I know. I dare ‘ya!) After I had all the letters painted in with the Sharpie, I distressed everything with some sandpaper to finish it up.

Vintage Room For Rent Sign Tutorial from Chic California

I do provide my guests with a bathroom and breakfast daily (usually). So that seemed appropriate.

Vintage Sign Tutorial from Chic California

I left the rates off the sign just in case I need to raise them. You know…inflation.


Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and end up doing some shopping I may get some monetary compensation from your purchase. Let’s not get crazy, it won’t be much. Why do I do this?  It will help me keep this blog rollin’ (every penny counts!) so I can bring you more Vintage Finds and Inspired Designs, Everyday Whatnots and Tidbits. For my full disclosure policy click here.

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