Design a Sign

Design a Sign in 6 Easy Steps!

Here at Paint Nite, we’re passionate about combining creative expression with a fun nite out. We’re always looking for the next big thing so we can bring it YOU! Well in case you haven’t heard, the next big thing is here. It’s Paint Nite’s new experience: Design a Sign.

It’s a lot like Paint Nite—you go to a nearby bar or restaurant, a local host guides you through your project, you drink, laugh, make something unique, you know the drill—but instead of a painting on canvas, you create custom wood wall art using a stencil we print just for you. Wondering exactly what an event is like? We’d love to show you!

You can find all our Design a Sign events on your local event calendar, just like you would a regular Paint Nite event:

Design a Sign Paint Nite event calendar

Before you buy a ticket, you can follow a link to a page that’ll show you all the stencil options for that event. The best part about these events is that you have the option to stencil ANYTHING in our library, even though we highlight a specific theme. And we’ve got so many original stencils you won’t find anywhere else—check out some of our favorites:

Custom lake oars stencil


Custom kitchen stencil

Stencil bull's head Fox stencil baby room

Don’t  you love these? We’ve got so many more, and they’re all completely customizable. After you purchase a ticket to the event of your choice, you’ll choose the stencil you want to create and, if applicable, you’ll tell us your custom text. Lots of our stencils have words you can personalize, like the kitchen, lake, and fox ones shown here. Some stencils don’t have customizable words, but you can still choose the colors you want to use. No two designs ever turn out the same!

Okay, so you’ve bought your ticket and you’re ready to get creative. Time for the event!

As usual, you’ll want to arrive to the event venue early. While not included in the ticket price, lots of our guests love to grab dinner and drinks first. Then, of course, the drinks can continue as you create. Okay, let’s do it!

Step 1: Select the wood for your sign and put it together

You’ll choose two pieces of wood, already stained a light brown, and put them together using the most adorable mini drill and hammer. And don’t worry if you’ve never used a power tool—it’s so easy (and fun!)

Drilling at Design a Sign Putting Design a Sign board together

Step 2: Choose a background color and color-wash your board

You can make the background of your board any color you want. Popular choices include a light wood stain, dark wood stain, or whitewash, but we love seeing colored boards as well. Think about where you’re planning to hang your sign when you choose colors. Your host can help you blend the shade you want, then you’ll just slap it on there (it’s almost impossible to mess up!).

Washing your board      Painting your Design a Sign board

Step 3: Place your stencil and have a drink (you deserve it)!

Your practically halfway done (and the best is yet to come)! Your host will give you the stencil you selected before the event, and you’ll place it on your board. Just pull the back off and you’re ready to start painting.

Place your stencil Cheers at Design a Sign!

Step 4: Paint your stencil

Here’s where you can really get creative. Choose and mix colors for your design and start painting. Your host will tell you everything you need to know so your board turns out amazing, but here’s a mantra to repeat to yourself as you go: NEVER SWIPE, NEVER WIPE! Use your spongey paintbrush to DAB paint on your stencil, otherwise you’ll see some bleeding along the lines. If you can remember that, you’re good to go. Use your imagination and make your stencil pop!

Painting at Design a Sign Painting at Design a Sign

Step 5: The big reveal

This is possibly the most fun part of your whole night. Suddenly, everything comes together—the board, the stencil, the colors. This is where you peel up your stencil and reveal the final sign! There are a lot of gasps and “Oh, wow!” exclamations when the stencils are revealed. It’s a little bit magical to see what you created.Design a Sign reveal your stencil Design a Sign reveal your stencil

Step 6: Finishing touches and show it off!

All that’s left now is to make it shine. You might have to pull off some smaller pieces of the stencil, and you’ll clean up the edges of any paint that may have smudged (we told you not to swipe!). Once you’ve polished up your piece, it’s time to show it off—and that part is so easy.

Finishing touches at Design a Sign Finished custom wall art at Design a Sign

Wasn’t that fun? Imagine going to an event yourself! Check your local Paint Nite event calendar to see if there’s a Design a Sign event near you. (And if you don’t see one, don’t worry—we’ll be in your area soon so keep checking back!

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  • CSNationStaff says:

    Thanks Rachel! Isn’t it adorable?!

  • Kathy Schiro says:

    interested in seeing Signs or Paintings of ELEPHANTS and LIONS. Been to 3 Paint Nights and had tickets for 3 fund raisers and all 3 were called off for one reason or another.

    What designs are available for wine glasses?

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