I've never painted signs before until a year and a half ago a gal came in absolutely frustrated. She'd been all over town looking for someone to paint something specific as a gift. By this time she was just meandering shops, basically giving up. It was partially the quoted price but mostly that no one was listening to what she was describing, that she was feeling dejected. I knew what she wanted - a crappy board and a crappy paint job. Easy, huh? I thought so, so I told her I would try it. Long story short, it was a hit and the price was very affordable. Thus began a new side-line. (Her home is going to be featured in a magazine this spring and they took pictures of the sign so I will keep you posted.)
Now, every board is a potential sign. Unfortunately, sometimes my partner and I are fighting over the same piece of wood. My favorite is old bread boards, but I've used weathered barn boards, dilapidated shutters, a fish scaling surface, picket fencing, paddles, and warped table tops. After finding the inspiring surface, I find a font that looks compatible to what I want to say and draw it in free hand, then, paint. Luckily, I've got a very steady hand as long as I stay away from too much coffee.