My Favorite Tools for Gorgeous Wood Signs

Lauren Fair Photography

Lauren Fair Photography


I am by no means a woodworker, but I have been able to figure out how create pretty wooden signs with a dash of calligraphy! I could never have figured it out without trial and error, expert advice and wisdom (most from my mom), and probably six different types of stains and sealants. It's taken a few years, but I am happy to say I've finally got the hang of it! I'll preface this post by saying that wood is definitely the most challenging surface I have ever worked on.  It is very unforgiving, in my experience, and there are so many confusing options when you choose your wood. Preparation and planning is EVERYTHING! A little research doesn't hurt, either. There is no returning after you stain, so make sure you're set on the color and you've fully prepped/conditioned/sanded/dusted your wood. There are a lot of steps, but if you can do that well, the end result will be so lovely.


My favorite brand of stain is the Polyshades by Mixwax - it's a stain and polyurethane combo. I have tried countless paints, paint markers, both oil-based and acrylic-based, for white calligraphy on the wood. I'm listing some of the basics I use for wood lettering and prep, with the images linked below. Hope this is helpful for your woodworking endeavors!

My Favorite Supplies

Deco Color Acrylic Paint Pen in White

Great chisel tip for bigger signs that need large lettering!

Elmer's Painters Pen

Love these fine-tip solutions for the hairline strokes and detailed signage! 

Scotch Blue Painter's Tape

I rely on painter's tape for pretty much all of my signage, so it goes a long way! I definitely make sure to measure out my wood before lettering, and this is a great guideline.


Minwax Stain

My favorite is called "Special Walnut" and was used for the wedding sign above.