Easy 5 step DIY sign from a cabinet door.
Find a cabinet door
I got this one from our local salvage place for $2. This one is aproximately 21" X 14" but they can be any size you wish. I try to find doors with nice raised panels and as much detail as possible. I don't care for oak doors as they have too much open grain, so I stick to smooth wood or painted doors.
Prep and paint
Clean the surface of the door (use windex or mild soap and water) to remove any grime. Lightly sand the surface so paint will stick. Paint the front and sides of the door with water based paint, I used an ivory color here. Let dry and apply a second coat of paint.
Distress/Sand - Optional
Once your second coat of paint is completely dry (overnight to be safe), sand all the edges to distress them. Sand down to the wood surface if possible. Don't be afraid to really go at it with the sandpaper. I think the more distressing the better because it really shows off all the detailing on the panel. Note: I am showing a black door here, but will continue with my ivory door example.
I use a Gel Stain from MinWax. Brush the gel stain all over the face and sides of the door. Then use a paper towel to remove most of the stain. You have to work quickly on this step because the stain will start to dry and it will be difficult to remove.
Depending on how much antique look you want will determine how much stain you want to remove at this stage. I like to leave more stain in the crevises to show the detail in the door. Let dry completely before next step.
Here is an example of a very light stain applicatiaon -
Here is an example of heavy stain application
Print and apply your message
I print my message on Scrapbooking paper becasue it is thicker than normal paper and I can choose a complimentary print. Measure the area you are covering with the message. Then print a practice sheet or two until you get the spacing just right. You may have to butt two printed pieces of paper together to accomodate a longer panel.
I use Modge podge to apply my paper to the door panel. The ink is water soluable - so be very careful not to get any glue on the front of the paper near the printed message or it will smear.
Seal and embellish
Spray a couple coats of sealer on top of the paper to help protect the print. I prefer Krylon clear matt finish. Spray it all over the sign so the finish is consistent. It cuts down on the gloss of the stain. Don't worry if your paper looks "wet" in some spots after you spray the sealer on. It will dry just fine.
I embellished this sign with a burlap hanging strap adorned with a burlap rosette with a jewel center.
A few other examples for inspiration