Ugly signs turned into French signs

This is the first before sign.
It was on clearance at TJ Maxx for $3.00, I guess because it was broken.
I loved the shape so I decided to get it and give it a makeover.
I pulled out the rest of the hooks, filled them in and started started sanding down the bumpy surface.
After all that work I realized the back of the piece was in prefect condition, smooth and no holes.
Ugh, all that work for nothing!

My first attempt at the sign was hideous (sorry no picture). I had to strip off the paint and start over.
But every time I put on a coat of white paint, tannins from the wood bled though and the white paint was pink/orange.
 I didn't know what to do so I turned to my facebook page and asked for help.
Thank you to my dad and to Tammy from Home for 6.
They said I needed to seal it. So I sprayed it with poly.
 After it dried I painted the sign again and no bleed through! Yay!

After the sign was painted white, I used carbon paper to trace an image from The Graphics Fairy.
 I then used a black paint pen to fill it in. Finally I painted a black outline around the edges.

So how do you like this sign???? :)
I found it at the thrift store and loved the shape. I think it was around $1.50.

I made this one the exact same way as the first one.
The only difference was I sanded down a few areas on the sign to age it.
Finally at the end I added a tiny bit of glaze.

It was my first time using a paint pen and I don't think I'll use one again.
 Although it made it easier to trace the letters, I didn't like how shiny the paint was.
 I have decided painting signs is not my gift.

Maybe I'll win a silhouette someday. Then I'll be whipping out signs like nobodies business!

Transformation Thursday


  1. I think your French signs are lovely! I can't even imagine what they'd look like if I tried my hand at it:)

  2. Lisa they're perfect. Personally I think the silhouette vinyl thing is overrated and refuse to buy one. But I do miss that buffalo! Goodwill is on my list tomorrow, now you'll have me looking at signs too.

  3. Lisa, I think your signs are fabulous and you can't beat the price. I really appreciate you linking this to my first party. Thank you!

  4. Found your blog through your comment! Love your ideas that you spit out! I"m so going to come back for more inspiration!

  5. I am most impressed. You can make a sign for me anytime :) Great job!

  6. I love your sign. I think it's great. Lettering is not that easy I don't think. I did some today for a project I will share next week. And I have some door panels I plan to make signs on. Will remember to seal them first if I paint. Thanks for that tip. Hope you are having a fabulous week. ~ Lynn

  7. Your signs are fine! At least you took a chance and tried it! I am now a follower!

  8. These are beautiful!!!! You did a fabulous job!

  9. Those are so cute - and so you! Very pretty! I hadn't honestly thought of using carbon paper. DUH SARAH! How easy would some of my more recent projects have been?! Ugh, oh well, now that your genius brain shared it with me I will make sure to utilize it. I have been thinking about ordering a scripture vinyl for Piper's bedroom wall, but NOW I think I will go the cheaper, elbow grease way. So much better, don't ya think?

  10. The signs are lovely. You've done a beautiful job. I have many failures and do overs. Other times I think I'm just too fussy.

    Lisa x

  11. Your signs are perfect. What a wonderful idea, Char

  12. I don't think I would have taken a 2nd look at that buffalo have a great eye.
    I love them. I have no idea what they say, But I love them.

  13. Your signs are tres magnifique, Lisa! So much better than the befores. I love them both! Great tip about spraying first with a sealer, I never would have thought of that! And I beg to differ, I really DO thinking sign painting is your gift!!

  14. Your signs are just fabulous. Thanks for the idea. I currently have two sign in a closet to remake. No point in not getting it done. You've inspired me. Thanks bunches.

  15. What a great idea, I love both of them. Thanks so much for sharing your idea transformation.

  16. Your signs are great. I can't imagine that you won't be doing lots and lots more!

  17. I think you did a great job on both of them. They look fantastic.

  18. Wow that is quite a transformation! I love their shapes.


  19. Your signs look awesome!! You have great craft to see your work!

  20. I love your signs!!! They don't have to be perfect after all, they are hand-made! And YOU made them. I love that you saw a neat shape of wood and had a vision, from thrift shop and clearance finds. That is true talent! I have no idea what Silhouette machine is but it sounds pretty awesome! ;-)

  21. they are gorgeous, you did a wonderful job on them. i have a party going on if you would like to share this, i would love it if you did.

  22. I never would have given those signs a second look. You really have a talent for looking past what the object is and what it can be. Love the shape of these. Putting graphite paper and old signs on the list for my next project. These would be great for my booth. Thanks for the inspiration! They look beautiful with your wall color and lavender.

  23. Ok, first - your signs are darling. Perfect, even. They have a quaintness that I love. Second - lettering is truly a pain in the you-know-what. No matter how many times I do it, I am always hypercritical of the finished project. I've seen sign painters, cute ones, on Etsy, and wonder how they get past their own critiques. But their signs look great.

    You can tell by all the comments you received, that these really are cute. Dang! Now you'll have me looking at the thrift stores again, and trying to letter again (never with paint pens - ugh!) and trying to quiet me own self-criticism . . . again!

  24. Your signs look fantastic! What a great job! :)

  25. OK Lisa, not sure why I'm not following you but now I am, Love the sign great job. found you over at Gina's


  26. Hi Lisa...

    Ohhh...I think your signs turned out beautifully! And...I love anything french! I especially like the larger sign and lettering...great job, my friend! This is such a pretty vignette your pretty silver candleholders and the fresh lavender! Thank you for sharing your pretties with us for the Open House party!

    Happy Spring!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  27. They're gorgeous! I did that too, with the carbon paper and it was tedious. But they really look great!

  28. Great makeovers Lisa!

  29. you, my friend hold a world of talent in those hands! those signs are amazing!

  30. Your signs look wonderful Lisa. You have such a knack for seeing something and being able to transform it into something else. Great job :)

  31. I think they both look great! Thanks for sharing them with us..

  32. I want to go thrifting with you. You find the worst stuff to turn into the best stuff.

  33. These are so lovely Lisa, I think I may have a go at making some signs for my new craft room!

  34. Your signs are fabulous Lisa! I think you DO have a gift. ;)