How to Build a Sign Post

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to Build a Sign Post
Make a wooden sign post. (abstract, sign. no parking sign image by L. Shat from

Whether you are having a garage sale or throwing an open house, a good way to attract people is by building a sign post. Making sign posts does not have to be a difficult or expensive task. In fact, use scrap wood and planks in your own home, or purchase cheap lumber from a home improvement store. Many of these stores will cut the wood to size for a small fee, or sometimes for free. Once you have the timber, use basic tools to create your own sign post.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sign post stake
  • 1/2-inch plywood sheet
  • Saw (optional)
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Clamps
  • Wood filler
  • Putty knife
  • Spray paint
  • Level
  • Painter masking tape
  • Vinyl letter stickers

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    Making the Sign Post

  1. 1

    Purchase a 2-by-4-inch sign post stake between 4 and 5 feet long from a home improvement store.

  2. 2

    Cut or have a 1/2-inch plywood sheet cut into the size and shape desired. Keep the sign between 2 and 3 feet square or rectangular.

  3. 3

    Sand the surface of the plywood using an electric sander or sandpaper. Sand with the direction of the grain until the surface is smooth. Sand around the edges of the plywood until smooth. Wipe the sanding dust away with a tack cloth.

  4. 4

    Lay the 2-by-4-inch post on a flat surface. Place the plywood sheet smooth-side up so that the top of the plywood is flush with the top of the stake. Center the plywood over the post.

  5. 5

    Clamp the plywood to the post at the top and the bottom so that it is secure. Nail the plywood to the post, driving a nail in every 6 inches. Make sure the nail heads are slightly below the surface of the plywood.

  6. 6

    Spread wood filler over the nail heads with a putty knife to create a flat surface. Let the wood filler dry, then sand until flat. Wipe away sanding dust with a tack cloth.

  7. 7

    Position the spray paint nozzle about 12 inches from the sign post. Spray on the first coat using long, even strokes. Spray a second and third coat in the same manner. Let dry.


  1. 1

    Write out on a piece of paper how the lines of text will look on the sign post. Keep in mind that lettering should be somewhat large and not cluttered, as a sign post is meant to be seen from long distances.

  2. 2

    Position the level on the sign where the bottoms of the first line of letters will appear. Mark the area with a piece of masking tape that stretches across the entire sign board. Do this for the second and third line of letters, if necessary.

  3. 3

    Lay the vinyl letter stickers on the board so that they sit on the line created by the masking tape. Do not stick the letters to the board yet. Position them in the centre, then mark either side of the word or phrase with a small piece of masking tape. Do this for each line.

  4. 4

    Peel the backing off the letters and stick them to the board, keeping within the constraints created by the masking tape. Remove the masking tape.

Tips and warnings

  • For a longer plywood sign, nail one 2-by-4-inch post to one end of the plywood and a second 2-by-4-inch post to the other end. Keep the top and side end of the plywood flush with the posts.

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