How to Make a Ranch Style Wooden Sign

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Old or rustic looking board
Wood stain
Paint brush
Paper and pencil or marker
Picture hanging kit
Wood clamps

An authentic looking ranch-style wooden sign can add a bit of rustic nostalgia to any room. You can create a welcome sign for your porch or doorway, or even make individual signs for the kids' rooms. The possibilities are endless and this simple step by step how-to guide will tell you everything you need to know.

Step 1 - Cut Sign to Size

Determine how large you want the wooden sign to be. For a welcome or family name sign, 8x16 inches is a good size, or 3x6 inches might be more appropriate for a child's bedroom door. Measure and mark the piece of wood, and then cut the wood to the desired size.

Step 2 - Create Stencil

Take a piece of paper and a pencil and create a stencil for the wording of the sign. You can use stencil letters to make the letters or draw them freehand. With a ranch-style wooden sign, it is not so important to make sure that the letters are straight or evenly spaced. In fact, experiment with stencils that use offset spacing or even letters that are of different heights. Cut out the letters on the paper with a pair of scissors.

Step 3 - Draw Stencil on Sign Board

Trace the stencil lettering onto the piece of wood with a pencil.

Step 4 - Route the Sign Wording

Insert a half-inch straight bed into your router. Then, secure the signboard to a work table with the clamps. Slowly route over the pencil marks that you made for the stencil letters. If you stray from the mark slightly, don't worry about it. Mistakes often give more character to rustic ranch style wooden signs.

Step 5 - Route the Edges of the Sign

Change the bit in the router and use a rounded corner bit. Then, route around the edges of the signboard to give it a beveled or curved edge.

Step 6 - Sand the Sign

Sand the entire surface of the signboard. Sand the front and back of the piece of wood. Sand the wood until it is smooth and there are no rough edges.

Step 7 - Stain the Sign

Use the paintbrush and apply stain or varnish to the wooden sign. Apply the stain or varnish in very light coats and keep all of the brushstrokes in the same direction. Allow the stain or varnish to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes in between coats. Apply three to four coats for the best finish. If you will be hanging the sign outside, you may want to consider applying a few coats of polyurethane to provide additional protection for the sign.

Step 8 - Attach Picture Hanging Kit

Use the screws and wire provided in the picture hanging kit and install it on the back of the sign. Now the sign is ready to be installed in the location of your choice.