When we were tearing down the old Cardington Barn – The largest of the big wooden sliding doors had taken quite a beating from years of rain, snow and hot sun. In fact most of the lower half of the door was destroyed from dry rot. Not wanting to give up on the old door – and knowing it still had some life – we cut off the lower rotted portion and saved back a 4′ x 8′ section of the upper door for a future “project to be determined”.
After completing the table project for the barn – we needed some type of vintage sign to spruce up the barn and place on the wall at the head of the table. Mary came up with the “Farmers Market” sign idea to keep in theme with the surroundings – and the old barn door remnant came to life.
To hang the door on the wall – we found a piece of the old barn tracking and cut it in half. We then used old barn brackets to hold it in place and then slid the door up and into the track on each side of the wall.
The rest was fairly easy. We chose a font we liked, and then used a simple graphics program on the computer to lay out the sign in real size (34″ x 84″). A quick trip to our local office store and a cheap $10 full size paper printout – and we were in business. (Just as an FYI – little copy centers are a great resource for inexpensive printouts to make stencils. Our local office store’s print shop can print a black & white print out up to 36″ wide and 8′ long – which is great when your trying to stencil a large sign! It’s much better than paying $30 to $60 for a set of huge individual stencil letters – not to mention trying to keep them straight when you put them up!)
Probably the hardest part of the sign making was taking the time to cut out the letters from the paper. This is once again where those kindergarten skills of cutting we learned way back when come into play! Scissors can be used – but I actually find using an x-acto knife with a sharp blade much quicker.
Once we had cut out all of the letters from the template – it was as simple as taping up the stencil onto the door – and painting the cutout letters. We find that using a primer (we use Kilz2 latex) keeps the Vintage “old weathered” look. Primer tends to be very flat and will sink in much better than a paint – so it dries looking much more aged.
And just like that – our old decrepit barn door becomes our new farmers market sign!
Jim and Mary