It’s getting warmer outside and that makes me want to get out and do all the projects to spruce up around the house that I’ve been planning all winter. In case you all forgot, I am a huge planner. There may not always be much execution of said plans but the plans are made. This year I really wanted to hold myself accountable and get some of those projects knocked off my list so I thought that doing a month of blog and social media posts dedicated to curb appeal upgrades would light a fire under me. Over the course of this month, I’ll be sharing with you some easy DIY projects to improve the outward appearance of your home. My hope is that it will both inspire and motivate you to get out and get some projects knocked off your own list. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I’ll be sharing tips, tricks, and projects from other bloggers in addition to my own projects.
The first project I’m sharing with you is super easy – an address sign! What is an address sign? It’s a fun and unique way to display your house numbers. You could choose a style to accent your home or to show off your personality. Another option is to simply upgrade the numbers on your home. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination (or by what you can find on Pinterest).
Before we move on to what I created, I wanted to share with you why an address sign is more than just decorations for your house. Having your house numbers displayed is very important for reasons you may not even consider. The number one reason is for emergency service providers. If the unfortunate happens and you need assistance from the police, fire department, or medical personnel, they need to be able to find your house quickly. By having your house number displayed clearly and in a place that someone would expect to find it (by your door, above your garage, on your mailbox), then they can provide aid to you much faster. It can also help them find your neighbors in case it is your neighbor needing help. This is because they can use your address as a gauge. You’ll want to choose numbers that are easy to read at a glance. While choosing numbers that are spelled out may look fancy, it takes too long to try to read in a hurry. Having your house numbers in a plainly visible place also helps the pizza guy or Amazon delivery person find your house. That’s important, too.
Now that I’m off my soapbox, let’s get to the fun stuff! I didn’t need an address sign for my house so I put out an ad of sorts to my friends on Facebook. Luckily, I had several responses. I documented the process of one but I’ll show you pictures of the others I made to show you a sample of the many different options. One of my friends sent me a picture of her newly painted front door (a gorgeous bright blue) and said she would like to incorporate that color in her design. Her door hardware has black accents and the house is dark red brick with white paneling around the door. I based my designs on the features of her home and sent her what I came up with. She chose an option that had a shiplap appearance (similar to the paneling) with a black frame and the numbers painted to match her door.
She was kind enough to share her can of paint with me. And it’s possible that I may have written down the name of it so I could get my own for a project down the road…
First things first, I picked up the numbers I would need from Lowe’s.
When I got home, I started the painting process. Anytime I paint anything metal, I use a three step process – bonding primer, paint color, and sealer. I’ve found this allows the paint to stick better than just painting them alone. I laid out the numbers on a piece of cardboard and stuck the screws in the cardboard so they were standing up.
I used Rustoleum Universal Bonding Primer but any spray primer will work.
Using light, even coats, spray your numbers and screws until you get them covered (it doesn’t have to be perfect).
When the primer is dry, it’s time to move on to the fun color! This was some trial and error. Some time ago, I found a paint sprayer system that you could use for any type of paint and it was on a small scale. The whole system only costs $5!
I’ve used it once before and it didn’t perform well but I thought that might have been due to the cold weather. I tried it again for this project and it failed. What I used is the Preval Spray System and I’ve found it at Home Depot and Walmart. This was about as much paint as I could get out when it would actually spray the paint. I kept trying but I’d have to let it sit for several minutes just to get about half a second worth of spray.
Give it a try if you wish. You may find success with it. I’m going to do some research on it to see if I can figure it out because it could be very useful on smaller projects.
Anyway, after the spray system failure, I decided to try to just paint them with a foam brush. This was not something I wanted to do but I didn’t really have another option. That didn’t turn out well either. It would have taken several coats to get good coverage and I’m not sure I could have done it without brush marks.
In a last ditch effort, I painted a small piece of cardboard with the paint color and took it to Walmart so I could look through the spray paint options. Luckily, I found one that was very close. You have no idea how relieved I was. After a couple quick coats, I was ready to move on.
While I waited for the paint to dry on the numbers, I started working on the actual sign. I used a scrap piece of ¾ plywood and cut it to an appropriate size to fit the numbers. It ended up being 15 inches by 7 inches for the four numbers I chose. Once cut and sanded, I did a quick spray over the top with white paint. This is so that the natural wood tone doesn’t show through in case the “shiplap” pieces don’t line up perfectly.
I love to use wood lath (also called lattice wood) for different sign projects. They are only a quarter inch thick and an inch and a half wide. They are rough textured and require some sanding but there are so many uses for them (side note, I have a pretty fun one coming up that I can’t wait to get started on and share with you). Five strips fit perfectly on the seven inch sign (yes, it was planned that way). I cut them down to size and glued them to my plywood.
Once I had them in place with glue, I picked up all the full stain cans I could fit and used them as weights until the glue dried. Use what you can reach, folks. Ha!
I next sanded and painted the sign with white acrylic paint.
In all honesty, the “shiplap” look didn’t quite come out how I had planned it. I wanted a bit more definition between the wood lath. For your own project, I would recommend rounding over the edges of the wood lath before gluing them down.
The paint was dry on the numbers so I did the final step in my metal painting process – the sealer. Any kind of clear coat spray will work. I did a few quick, light coats to get everything covered and let it dry.
Acrylic paint dries really fast so I was able to quickly move on to getting the frame cut for the sign. I double checked my measurements and cut four pieces of 1×2 for a butt joint frame.
I sanded them down and painted them with black acrylic paint. When they were dry, it was time to attach them. I wanted the frame to sit hack farther than the sign backer to conceal the hanging hardware. Once the sign was hung, it would sit flush against the house. Using a couple pieces of scrap wood lath under the backer, it was super easy to accomplish this look.
I put wood glue on one of the shorter edges of the backer and nailed the frame piece in place using 1 ¼ inch nails. After the second shorter frame piece was attached, I could remove the wood lath pieces and attach the other two frame pieces in the same manner.
Fill the nail holes and joints with wood filler then paint over them again once the filler is dried and sanded.
Before I attached the numbers, I sprayed the sign with a water based spray poly. Putting on a quick coat or two of poly helps protect the paint through the rest of the assembly process. Acrylic paint is prone to wanting to mar with scratches or dusty prints that are somewhat difficult to do away with unless you repaint them. You’ll need to use a water based poly over white paint because an oil based poly can cause it to yellow.
When everything is dry, it’s time to attach the numbers! There’s still creativity to be had on this sign. You can choose to attach your numbers in any manner of ways. You can center them or offset them to a side or corner. I love offset numbers on the more modern looking signs. On this sign, however, I opted to center the numbers.
Once I had them laid out evenly, I drilled shallow pilot holes for the screws.
Since the screws have been painted to match the numbers, you’ll want to use a lighter touch so as not to mess up the paint.
There are numerous different types of hangers you can use for your sign. I chose to use D ring hangers but you can attach keyhole hardware or even use a keyhole router bit to make a hole in the wood, among other methods. Place them on the sign wherever you see fit. I chose to place them almost midway down to hopefully reduce the risk of the wind picking up the sign from the bottom and knocking it off the side of the house. In case you don’t remember the song, Oklahoma is quite windy.
All that’s left to do is hang it up! Depending on your home’s façade and where you’re hanging it, your hanging methods may change. This one will be going into brick so I recommend using a hammer drill with a masonry bit to drill your hole into the mortar. Insert a concrete anchor (concrete screw) in each hole you drill then hang your sign.
If you don’t want to drill into your home, you can turn the sign into a door hanger or attach it to a wreath. A quick Pinterest search will give you more options for this kind of application that may not work as well attached to the house.
Here are a couple of the other signs I made for friends. When I was asking for people to take me up on my offer, I showed a few examples made by others so they would have an idea of what I was talking about. I was asked to recreate a couple of them so here they are.
These are pretty fun and quick upgrades that could be done in just a day or two to bring some added décor and personalization to your home. How would you design your own address sign?