Beach Decor – Coastal Sign Before After

Wed 3rd, Oct, 2012

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Well G’day, how are you, a little Beach Cottage coastal makeover before / after for you today lovely ladies.

This all started at one of the local lifesaving clubs at one of the beaches here…propped outside the door to the lifeguards office, has always been, since I have been here, a hand painted sign on a shabby old white-washed board, with a hand painted ‘lifeguard on duty’ message…every single time I have passed this on one of my walks, I have sort of lusted after it and considered stealing it thinking it would add very nicely thank-you-very-much an authentic piece of Australian beachy decor to this old cottage we call home.

But, obviously that was never an option…one woman walking down the beach with the lifeguard’s shabby old sign under her arm probs wouldn’t have been one of the better moves in life.


Together with that lifeguard lusting and interpret that as you will, there started to appear in all the boutiques around here those ‘inspiration’ signs, I am sure you have seen them too..I still feel the jury is out on whether I like these or not, or whether they are, you know, a bit…coochy-coo…I know a lot of people I know and those trendies abhor them…but me, well I dunno if there is a daily reminder to put a smile on one’s face and enjoy the small things, then I’ll take it…so I have kinda looked at them now and then…wondered if I should part with my cash, then looked at the price tag and thought that definitely not will I be dropping nearly $100 on a sign that is printed to look like whitewashed wood and Made in China.

So recently I came across this in Vinnies…it was sitting on one of the sofas as I walked past on my way to the furniture (the day I found the dresser) and right away it reminded me of the lifeguards sign at the beach.






Mr Beach Cottage, you can only imagine, did nothing but life those busy little eyebrows of his when I presented him with this… I will admit that it did take a tad of imagination to see this as something else…

At this price it hardly breaks the bank though girlfriends…

Anyway, it’s been sitting around waiting from the Beach Cottage treatment and with more time and less taxi driving in the school holidays it got some…




Here’s how I did it

Coastal Beach Sign Tutorial


1. paint the board with white paint (I used water based paint aka emulsion this makes it nice and matt, but any will do)

2. stencil on your letters with pencil (I got my stencil from BigW’s)

3. fill in the lettering with paint or a marker pen

4. rub out the pencil

5. distress and sand down the edges with sandpaper

It won’t be staying here, I just stuck it here to show you, it will be somewhere on the wall where it’s not so close up and obviously it is not as good as if I had swiftly nabbed the real one down at the lifeguards office…but for 3 bucks, a bit of crafting and some white paint…well not bad I don’t think…

See you next time

Love from the beaches




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16 Responses to “Beach Decor – Coastal Sign Before After”

  1. Kim says:

    Job well done Sarah! Love the turquoise paint used for the lettering :)

  2. Kim H says:

    Lovely! I’m with you – not sure if I like or loathe those signs but yours is lovely and I think putting our own take on the sign thing is the way to go. x

  3. Nice job! Love that colour. In a moment of I-don’t-know-what-really I purchased one of those message signs which I am now very seriously considering painting over. You may have just made up my mind thanks!…xx

  4. Candy says:

    I don’t care for the message signs that are sold everywhere these days BUT I love this one. Just perfect in every way!! My color, too!! Good eye and good job:)

  5. Emma says:

    Oh that gives me an idea… there is a pile of old wooden, weathered fence bits in our back yard that would be just great for this! Thanks muchly. Just have to then find a free wall ;-)

  6. alison says:

    Yeh, I’m with you with the coochy coo. I went into one of my local plant nurseries the other day which has a homewares section. It was awash with these signs and I had lots of thoughts like you.

    However, I recently msg my friend, St Therese, a photo of one of these sign in the front window of a local homewares shop-don’t know if this is legal or correct etiquette.

    L I F E I S L I K E
    A C A M E R A
    T I M E S
    D E V E L O P FROM


  7. Mia says:

    Lovely! The colour of the letters are the same as your front door, isn’t it? Nice… :D

  8. Katy Potaty says:

    What a gorgeous little craft project!

  9. Shar Y says:

    I like a lot!

  10. merilyn says:

    Thankyou Sarah, I love your ideas, photos, positive drive and energy,
    you inspire this more than middle age girl which is great for everyone!
    It’s all good!
    lol merilyn :)

  11. Melissa says:

    what a great idea, it looks great – thanks again for sharing!