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Primitive Country Signs

Primitive signs are all the rage right now, no matter what your decorating style is. They fit in any room of your house, are available in many styles and colors and show off your personality.

  • Are you a folk-art vintage collector?
  • Is lemonade your favorite beverage?
  • Would you just die if flowers didn’t exist?

welcome to the campfire sign

Discover your passion in life, and hang a primitive sign on your walls!

Painting country signs is really a fun project that just about anyone can do with some scrap wood left over from a room renovation. If you’re not into painting wood signs there are a number of hand-painted primitive signs ready to buy.

Add Primitive Wood Signs to Your Country Decor!

For dining or living rooms we suggest inspirational sayings – whether scripture based or a lifestyle sentiment.

Anything food or garden related works nice in the kitchen. Think back to the days of the General Store and signs along country roads that say "Fresh Cut Flowers" or "Eggs for Sale".

One word standards work wonders in the bathroom. Why? It’s the first room you visit in the morning and the last stop on the way to bed. Remind yourself to slow down with simple signs of "Serenity" or "Harmony" or "Simplify".

Techniques for Painting Primitive Country Signs

You’ll want wood that is less than 1" thick. Choose a board that is definitely  rectangular – square or anything close to square always looks odd when it’s painted in primitive style.

With your message in mind, and the board dry-brush painted (dry brush simply means a sloppy painting style where not all of the board is covered in paint), free hand the words onto your sign board with a pencil. You are not striving for perfection in a primitive message sign – a relatively fair rendition suits the desired outcome.

In a contrasting color, apply your letter paint with a fine brush. Outline each letter first, then fill in your outlines. Again, as you are shooting for a primitive, worn, antique style you are not looking for absolute perfection.

Now you can distress your primitive sign…

This will make them look as though they’ve been kicking around in the hay loft for decades or found in some corner of a forgotten farmhouse. Scratch your sign up, throw rocks at it, take some sand paper and smooth out the sharp edges, to really make your country primitive sign look authentic!

If your sign still looks too bright and new, you might take a little furniture stain and rub it into the edges of your sign board with a few smudges across the top for good measure.

I also like to use crackle finish on my signs. My style differs somewhat from the way most people use crackle. Instead of crackling layers of paint color it looks much more realistic to crackle the top finish. Here’s how you do it – after your primitive sign has been painted (including the lettering) apply a haphazard layer of crackle paint (haphazard by not a perfectly applied even coat, some areas will be a little thicker, some areas will have no coverage at all). Let dry and then apply a thin coat of varnish or sealant. This is a really nice subtle effect as the varnish crackles (much like what would actually happen to an antique sign found in the shed).

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era. Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.