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Custom Framed Pallet Sign with Distressed Wood

October 20, 2016 3 min read

 I had a custom order request on very short notice from our local Ford dealer, Roblin Ford. They were looking for a special retirement gift for a long term employee who was actually the former owner. 

I agreed to take on the challenge. :)

I took notes as to what the final project was supposed to look like.

  • a pallet sign with the boards running horizontal
  • barn wood boards if possible...maybe whitewashed but definitely distressed.
  • a framed sign
  • two logos at the bottom. The current logo and the logo from when this retiree owned the business.

I started by assembling the boards. I didn't have any actual old barn boards so I started off with some new 1x6 rough lumber. I cut them to length and attached them from the back. This is the photo which I sent to my customer to give him an idea of the size of the sign. It was a large sign. It ended up being about 24" x 38.75" without the frame.

Once this pallet was assembled I got my hammer, chisel, large metal scissors and a few other sharp pointed tools and took to beating up the wood.

I honestly wasn't sure on the technique I would use to get the old barn wood look. I had created a gray whitewash mixture but that was too dark of a look. I first of all stained the front of the sign. I figured that was a safe step to take.

I wasn't sure what to do next so I painted over it with white paint. I had some leftover coffee which had turned cold on me...so instead of getting water to create a white wash I just went over the white paint with coffee. 

I still wasn't impressed so I sanded over the entire sign. It didn't remove the paint and stain but it softened it all a bit.

Next I figured I would brush on my gray whitewash mixture. It created a fairly nice look which I might use on some of my signs. But this wasn't the look which was requested. It was too dark. Once again I did a light sanding.

I painted over it with the whitewash method. It did't cover it enough so I did another light sanding and then painted over the whole sign with white paint and then it was too thick. I decided to do a bit of a heavier sanding this time and that is when the sign started to get the desired result. 

This picture below shows a closer view of the finished wood. I was very excited with how it turned out.

You can expect to see some signs with this distressed wood look coming out at Christmas.

Here is the sign after it was painted and framed. Now it's ready for the lettering.

And here the sign is while it's drying. I did a final sanding after the paint was dry and then sealed the front and back side of the sign. The second bottom line is in navy blue and the rest of the lettering is black.

Here's a close up of the finished sign to let you see the distressing of the wood.

And here's one last picture of the finished sign.

I would love to know what you think. Would you like to see this style of sign more? A framed pallet sign...or just the distressed wood look?...or both?

My customer(s) were happy with the order which is always such a huge relief to me. :) I really wasn't worried. But it's sure lovely to hear that the end result is how they envisioned it.

Here's a picture from Roblin Ford when they presented this gift. Thank you so much for supporting my little business and for being so easy to work with! :)

Thank you for dropping by!

Have a lovely day.


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