DIY Modern Address Plate

When I replaced the “builder grade” mirror in our bathroom and saw what a difference that simple update made, I instantly felt more motivated to look for other small changes around our house. That’s when our current address sign caught my attention and jumped to the top of my DIY to-do list.
This address block is ready for an update

DIY Modern Address Plate

Much like the mirror, our existing address sign isn’t necessarily ugly. It just wasn’t my style. After a little browsing on Pinterest, I was at the hardware store the next morning shopping for supplies to make our current address plate a little bit more “me”.

Because of dry time, this project took me two days but only about 2 hours of total work to complete. After spending a few hours in the garage jamming out to Pandora, check out what this sign looks like now…

How to make an affordable modern address plateI’m in l-o-v-e and just like the mirror, I can’t believe it’s taken me over 3 years to make this simple upgrade!! Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how I DIY-ed a new address sign that’s A LOT more me.

Supplies for DIY Modern Address Plate

Step 1- remove the old signStep One: Remove Old Sign

I removed the old address sign with my drill and if you look carefully, you’ll see that two anchors were still left in the concrete after I took down the sign. I’m not a fan of drilling into concrete (as evidenced by this post!), so I did everything in my power to make sure the new sign could be hung using those existing anchors. To do that, I made sure to save the screws from this sign and drill them in the exact same spot on the next sign.

Save the old sign to ensure the holes are in the right place

What you need- the sign backing and paint sticksStep Two: Lay out Paint Sticks

At this point, I set up my miter saw and started laying out the paint sticks and cutting them to size. I wanted the paint sticks to be laid randomly on the block of wood so that none of the seams lined up. Honestly, I didn’t use any particular method, instead I just eyeballed it and cut the paint sticks to fit the length of this board.
Place the paint sticks on the board

You want to decide pretty early on if you want your paint sticks to be placed super tightly next to each other, or if you would rather have a bit of space at each seam. I ended up choosing a bit of space in between the seams and each row of paint sticks because I liked the way it looked.

I also liked that the rows of paint sticks would fit perfectly on the board if I used that method. However, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend keeping space in between either the seams or the rows because it made drilling into these areas a tad difficult later on in the process. Not impossible, just difficult.
I love how the paint sticks laid out perfectly

Rookie Tip: Once I had the layout all set, I got out my nail gun and started nailing these paint sticks into place. I would HIGHLY recommend NOT doing it this way. I should have stained the board and all of the sticks before I did any cutting/nailing. Having the board + sticks prepped prior to cutting would have made the staining process A LOT easier. <— you wouldn’t have to use 25 Q-tips to try to stain in between the seams. #oopsOnce they're laid out, nail them to your board

Step Three: Nail in Place

I used the nail gun to carefully nail each paint stick in place… trying to keep the board’s original “layout” in place as much as possible so I knew where to nail each piece.
Detail of the finished paint sticks

Step Four: Stain & Seal

I stained the board and sticks using Minwax’s dark walnut stain color because I wanted the sign to be dark brown but not SUPER dark brown (like Jacobean, which I typically love). After that, I wiped the stain on the sticks (and in between the seams with a q-tip) and then wiped off the excess. This process did the trick, but like I said, I would recommend completing all staining before cutting and nailing.

Let your sign dry overnight

I allowed the sign to dry overnight (with a fan). Then I used this water seal spray to waterproof the sign. Honestly, this address sign is located under our home’s soffit so it doesn’t experience a whole lot of water exposure, BUT I thought sealing it couldn’t hurt for the few times it may get wet. (note: the color of the wood changed after I sprayed the waterproof seal but once it dried, the color was back to normal).

I did two coats of this spray and let it dry overnight before attaching the numbers (see directions on the bottle for more specific instructions).

Step Five: Attaching the Numbers
Time to add the numbers- these were perfect

I bought these address numbers because they were modern looking and had the option to lay flat or appear “floating” on the address sign. I opted for the floating look and although I’m really happy with the look of my new sign, I wasn’t a huge fan of working with these numbers.
While I loved the look of these numbers, they were difficult to work withI read the box, read a few tutorials online, and even searched YouTube for some clarification of how to install these numbers because the directions on the box left me a bit lost. If you’re looking to recreate this look, allow me to explain this process in more detail, so hopefully, you don’t find yourself as confused as I was.

The first thing you need to do if you’re looking to install these FLOATING numbers is screw in the small part of these screws into the back of each letter (see above photo). Installing the numbers, carefully

The box came with a template that you could cut out and place on your surface but the tutorials I read all noted that these templates were a “smidge” off. I tested that theory and they were right; the template didn’t line up perfectly. =(
Carefully check how the numbers line upInstead, I placed the number on the wood plate, eyeballed it, and lightly marked where to drill. Up close of drilling the holes for the numbers

Then I used these pencil marks to identify exactly where I should drill the pilot holes. New holes, ready to add the numberSee the three pilot holes for the 8?

Fill the old holes with siliconeOnce you have confirmed that the number will indeed fit into these holes, you fill each hole with a generous amount of clear silicone. The silicone will act as glue so all you have to do is place the number back into these holes to dry.

Numbers aligned and added to the backingA few rookie tips:

  • Be as precise as possible when marking where to drill the holes
  • Use a drill bit that is the perfect size so your hole isn’t too small or too large (size details on the package)
  • Be generous filling each hole with clear silicone
  • Eventually, you will have to go back to add a little stain touch-up around these holes, which was super easy with a Q-tip.

Step Six: Hanging Equipment

Once the stain “touch-ups” were done and the numbers were dry, I added two picture hangers to the back of this sign. This is another step that should have probably been done before the number installation but ya live and ya learn, right?! (obviously, there was lots of learning happening on this project!!)

Door hangersI made sure to install these picture hangers at the exact location of the existing anchors in the wall. Then all I had to do was drill the original screws back into the anchors and hang this puppy up. And that’s exactly what I did…

All complete- we love how this turned out!This project costs me about $30 (most of the budget was spent on the metal numbers) and I think the investment was WELL, WELL worth it. PLUS, this project has me even more motivated to tackle mini-projects that make a big impact on our space.Check out the change this made to the front of the house

Modern and updated, and affordableCompleted look

For other AMAZING and super trendy numbers/letters, check out this collection! We’re obsessed with just about every option!How to make a modern address sign out of paint sticks



The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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