What kind of paint can I use for hand lettering wooden signs?


I am hand lettering on old barn wood and my dark permanent pen doesn't always show up well. What type of paint should I use for larger letters and also lighter colors that will not bleed after applying polyeurathane or a sealant?

  6 answers
  • Alice Alice on Aug 31, 2018

    I found a video I think might help...


  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on Aug 31, 2018

    any latex craft paint .... spray with a clear flat poly to seal --- and get a brush ( or set of brushes ) made for 'lettering' --- would be in the section of hobby/craft that has 'caligraphy' tools --- pens, inks, etc.

    You may need to thin the paint a wee bit with a dab of water ... but you don't want it 'thin' --- just a smooth 'creamy' texture.... and practice with the brushes --- they are so much better than any ready made pen that I've ever used ...

  • Marie Marie on Aug 31, 2018

    We use Chalk to outline.. especially during settings and spacing. Lot easier to wipe of if you accidentally lose your concentration. Or your kiddo bumps the table or your arm..

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Sep 06, 2018

    Shellac is a positive sealer to prevent bleeding, then use marine varnish for an outdoor finish.

  • Lori Haught Harper Lori Haught Harper on Sep 07, 2018

    There are a lot of paint pens out there now too, which makes lettering way easier than painting with a brush.

    • Jonna Willadsen Jonna Willadsen on Sep 07, 2018

      I just bought some medium and fine oil based pens, but I like to do even smaller print and use some fine brush strokes for highlights. I would love to see a very fine oil based pen! 😊

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 05, 2021

    Hi, I would use Wood Preservative paint used for Fences myself, but you could use Chalk paint if it is for just one season. Alternative would be Gloss paint over a primer and undercoat!