How to Paint Perfect Lettering

Pinning this for sign projects! How To Paint Perfect Lettering
Share it!

20140129-223757.jpgEver try to create a painted sign, only to end up with squiggly, ugly lettering? Sign artists use rulers and lines to create cool lettering, but use this trick, and your handpainted letters and signs will look professional every time!

What you’ll need:
Saral Transfer Paper
A sharp pencil
Something to layout and print text

How to hand paint lettering:
First, layout and print the text you want to use in a font you like.


Next, place a small sheet of Saral transfer paper under the paper design, over what you will be painting your letters on. Tape it to keep it in one place.

Next, using a very sharp pencil and firm pressure, trace around the lettering. Make sure to get every line including the inside and outside.

Once you have traced everything, remove one side of tape to check on the transfer. If you have missed any lines, just replace the paper design and transfer paper to fill in parts you skipped.
When you are done, it will look like this. Now just paint in the lines…perfect!


8 Replies to “How to Paint Perfect Lettering

  1. My husband had a sign company for 25 years. His specialty was hand lettering. There is one very important trick you left off. Put Scotch tape on top and bottom. Be sure the tape is pressed down very well. Paint the letters then pull off the tape. You will have very crisp lines top and bottom. That is an old sign painter’s trick from way back. My husband was a master sign painter. He always used this little trick even though he could have done it in his sleep.

  2. Could you explain what you mean when you say tape top and bottom, then paint then take tape off?? Sorry that I don’t understand. Do you mean leave the template on while you paint then take off? That seams like it would smear the paint… I can’t get my brain to understand lololollol Thank you so much for this tutorial, I want to try this!

    1. Hi Penny! Ok so if you are painting a sign, you would first transfer the text as described above. You will have text printed on paper, that goes on top and is taped to the board below. Between the board and the paper with the text or design on it, you put the Saral paper – it is essentially graphite or duplicate paper. When you trace the design on top, it writes the outline to the board below. (You do this so it will not move as you are tracing.)
      The next step is painting.
      Vicki also added that when you are ready to paint the letters, professionals tape off a line at the top and bottom all the way across each line of text. Imagine if you were writing on lined paper – the tape would be at the top line and bottom line with the text in between. This gives an even cleaner result.
      This video from our friends at may give you a good visual of the painting part!
      Hope this helped! – Molly 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.