How to Make Letters When Painting a Primitive Sign

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When painting a primitive wood or metal sign to add to your country decor, you can use stencils to add letters and words. Stencils come in a variety of sizes and font styles, giving you many options for creating short words as well as longer sayings. You can create words such as "Home," "Primitive" or "Believe" on your sign. Hang your primitive signs to decorate for a country or Americana folk art scheme.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter'S Tape
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paper Towels
  • Stencil
  • Stencil Paintbrush

Purchase a stencil with lettering in the appropriate size to fit your sign. Decide on the words or phrases you would like to write, and then measure the height and width of the sign. Divide the width of the sign by the number of letters you need to spell out your word, leaving a small space between each letter, for the correct size of letter stencils you need. You can purchase stencils with letters covering an entire sheet, or individual letters.

Finish your sign by painting or staining the sign before adding the lettering, and allow the paint or stain to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Place the stencil onto the sign and attach using painter's tape. If you are using individual stencil letters, line up the stencils next to each other to form the word. If you are using a full sheet of letters, you will paint one letter at a time. Place a piece of painter's tape on each edge of the stencil to hold it in place while you paint.

Pour a small amount of acrylic paint onto a paper plate, then place the flat edge of your stencil paintbrush into the paint. Dab excess paint off the brush onto a paper towel. Then dab the paint through the stencil onto the sign. Keep your stencil brush upright to avoid pushing paint underneath the stencil.


  • Paint your letters in a variety of colors, allowing each color to dry before painting another letter in a different color.