Make Your Front Porch Say Welcome – DIY Rustic Fall Sign with Chalky Finish paint

31 days to Love the Home You Have

This post is part of a 31 day series – 31 days to Love the Home You Have.  I am blogging through the 31 day challenge in the back of the book “Love the Home You Have” by Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room.  You can read all the posts in the series so far here.  And to make sure you don’t miss a post you can sign up to have every post delivered to your inbox , or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram to get even more home decorating ideas and inspiration to help you fall in love with your home.

This post sponsored by DecoArt.  But all opinions and decor choices are all mine.  

I am so excited to share my fall front porch and a fun DIY sign I made to complete it today.  What can make your love your home (and say welcome to guests) than a pretty front porch and some kind of wreath or décor hanging on your front door?  I have to admit my front door is NEVER without some kind of wreath on it.  Smile  Again embracing the seasons in your home is an easy way to update and keep your home fresh and I try to have some kind of seasonal wreath or décor on my front door and on my porch too.    I don’t have a huge front porch but I try to make use of the space I have.


And I made the Pumpkins, Apples, Hayrides sign to add to my décor this year and I just LOVE it!  I will show you how and even link to the exact template for the lettering so you can make one too.

First I started with a basic board – just something I pulled out of the wood pile in the garage.  You could use planks of wood and screw them together in the back to make more like a pallet sign if you wish too.  I just had this on hand already.  My board is about 24×36 inches.


Then I used DecoArt Chalky Finish paint to paint it.  I love this paint because it dries very quickly since I was going to be doing several layers, and it distresses easily and perfectly!  I covered the entire board in a coat of white (Everlasting) chalky finish paint.


I let it dry and then brushed on a few random brushes several neutral colors to give it an aged/distressed look.   Then use a sanding block to distress the entire board.  You can even sand down to the board in some spots as you wish – you are just trying to create a rustic background for your lettering to go on.


I used Primitive (tan), Yesteryear (light blue), and Enchanted (a mossy green).


Then it was time to paint on the lettering.  Now this part is not near as scary as you think.  The original person who created this Apples, Pumpkins, Hayrides sign that you have probably seen pinned all over Pinterest is Kristen from Ella Claire Inspired.  She was so gracious to provide a free printout template of the wording – you can find it in this post.  Copy or save that image to your computer, then paste it into a word document and stretch it to fit your board.  I had to stretch mine so it would print across 9 pages.  Print out, tape together the words, and I cut mine apart so I could space out the words a bit more. 

An easy way to do the transfer is to flip the paper template over to the back and rub colored chalk all over the back.


Then tape in place on your board.  Use a ball point pen to trace along the outline of the letters – which will transfer a chalk line onto your board.


See?  It makes a faint outline perfect for you to use to paint your letters.


Then choose your paint colors and start painting!  I find that a small to medium artist style brush is perfect for doing lettering.

I did not have any brown paint but the other great thing about Chalky Finish paint is you can easily create your own colors by just mixing several colors together.  I wanted a nice chocolate brown so I mixed a bit of Relic (dark gray), with Romance (red), Heritage (a rusty yellow color), and Enchanted (a mossy green).  And I also mixed a bit of the leftover brown paint in with the Romance (bright red) paint to tone it down to be more of a rustic red.  But you can completely customize the colors for what you desire.

Here’s my sign after I finished painting.  As you can see the letters are not perfect, but that’s ok because you are going to distress the entire sign and over the letters with sandpaper.  You can do this as little or as much as you wish.  I distressed mine pretty heavily.


I finished my sign with some dark wax to help protect it outside.  I just love it! 


I just love this fall display this year! 


This definitely makes me smile when I come home and says welcome!


I can use this sign on my mantel or inside in future years too if I wish. 


I added the bench (from Home Depot) several years ago and that has really helped give my front porch a lot of life and made it so much more cozy.  I usually have ferns hanging from the chains during the spring and summer and then switch them out for lanterns through the fall and Christmas season with battery operated candles on timer.  And then I add a bit of seasonal décor whether that is pots of flowers through the spring/summer or a bit of fall/Christmas décor through the holidays.  The red stool came from Lowe’s, the chalkboard easel from Kirklands, and pretty much everything else (white bench, white stool, pillows, blankets, lanterns, and mum basket all are thrifted or from yard sales).


What do you have on your front door?  How could you help your front door or front porch say welcome?


Challenge for today: Sweep, clean off all the spider webs, and wash off dirt to clean your front door and front porch. Then add a wreath to your front door or some seasonal décor to your front porch to help your front entrance say welcome to you and to guests!


  1. Hey Christina,
    Love your fall front porch! I, too, always have a seasonal wreath on my front door – right now it’s one with green apples, pinecones, fall leaves, etc and looks so pretty! In the fall, I like to also add mums and a pumpkin or two. I don’t really have a front porch, more like a stoop….but still like to add seasonal decor. Love how your sign turned out, too! Thanks for sharing – I’m so enjoying this series.
    Happy Weekend,

  2. Heather B says:

    Well done! love it!
    I live up north and the weather turns cold quickly. So the porch is stripped of everything but an old-fashioned painted high chair with some fall mums on it. Pretty soon it will snow…and that will have to go too.
    Love your posts this month!

  3. I love your front porch every Fall. It always looks so warm and welcoming! Your new sign is so sweet too.

    Have a great week, Christina…

  4. I love it, but how did you hang the sign? Did you put nails through your siding?

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