How to Make a Hand Painted Vintage Saw

Hey all you Pinspiration lovers! My name is Jessica and I’m the owner of Happy Heart Design Co where I get to spend my time dreaming up and creating amazing farmhouse and vintage décor for you all. I’m so excited to share what I do to make vintage saws beautiful once again!

I've always had a thing for vintage saws. My grandfather was a logger, so growing up he always had saws around and they always fascinated me - their wooden handles with sometimes intricate designs, the rust showing that they had once been useful but long since forgotten, and the thought that something so rustic, and no longer useful as it was originally intended, could be made beautiful once again {see, aren't vintage saws so romantic?}. So when I started lettering, I knew I'd have to add some of my beautiful letters to these amazing vintage pieces.

Finding vintage saws is easier than you'd think! You can usually find them in standard junkin' places like Offer Up, Thrift Stores, and Vintage/Flea Markets like The Great Junk Hunt. A few weeks ago, I found the motherlode of saws in a thrift store and I was seriously so excited that I'm pretty sure my sister (who was with me) thought I was losing it. But there were 10 of them and in all different sizes AND the entire store was 50% off so they only cost me $2 each! Normally you can find them ranging from $5-$15. You want to make sure they have a wooden handle (newer ones are plastic) and the more rust the better!


Time - This entire process took about 15 minutes. If you have a more complicated design, make sure to add time.

Vintage Saw - Make sure it has a wooden handle - I love to find ones with fun designs in them. The one I have for this project is the smallest one I've ever found and I just love it!

Steel Wool - Get ready for some good old scrubbin'

Gloves - I use latex gloves - that steel wool can give you some nasty slivers!

Paint Pen - For writing on saws I like to use oil based Sharpie Paint Pens. I recommend a medium point  - I feel like it's easiest to manage while writing on metal.

Design - You can always use a stencil - don't feel like you have to be an amazing artist to make beautiful things! My design process includes doing some pencil sketching and then just going for it. On saws I love paying homage to their roots and doing something outdoorsy - mountains, trees, quotes about mountains...or trees.

Let's Get Started!

STEP 1: You want to be sure your saw is clean (or as clean as you'd like it to be). The best way to do this is to don your gloves and scrub away at the gunk and rust with steel wool (and a little water). Wipe it down with a damp paper towel to see your results and decide if you'd like to go at it again, or if you have the right amount of rustic.

STEP 2: It's design time! This is probably my favorite part. Sketch out a quick drawing of your idea so that when you put pen to metal you are ready to go! I like to do 3 sketches and decide which I like best - I feel like it gets the creative juices going to do more than one sketch.

STEP 3: Let's paint! Follow the directions on the paint pen to get it primed and ready - then go to town! I always keep a baby wipe or wet paper towel nearby while I'm painting so that I can quickly "delete" anything that I'm not loving.

STEP 4: Let your paint dry and then go back over your design. Especially if you are using white (which is my color of choice for saws), you'll want to retrace the design so that there are at least 2 layers of paint. I also recommend priming the pen as soon as you notice the paint not coming out as cleanly. I do this on a scratch paper I keep next to me.

And we're done! You can either hang it with a couple of nails (one with the handle and one under the saw tooth part), or just find a place to prop it up (like I did). Either way, you'll have a beautiful rustic addition to your decor that YOU created!


Holy Shiplap! See how how this gal created faux shiplap!


Holy Shiplap! See how how this gal created faux shiplap!

Hey, it's me...Linda! I am one of The Funky Junk Sisters. Y'all know I have been designing and creating spaces for along time now. I have worked on some HUGE projects like Desert Trip and Stagecoach Music Festival BUT this gal came up with something I didn't think of...faux shiplap.


I have always tried to find a way to use these leftover blind slats but couldn't ever figure it out. 


BillSam3 you are AWESOME!!! You are so PINTEREST worthy! Great job. Check out the full story here...





I will never forget for my 9th birthday I was given a purple Schwinn Sting Ray with a sparkly silver banana seat and a basket with flowers on the front. I was thrilled but as you can see my brother wasn't. My parents captured the moment in a snapshot. I love this photo.

Shortly after I received my gift, my parents gave in to my brother and got him this humongous cruiser bike. He could barely reach the peddles. But from his expression you can tell he doesn't give a darn. He is so proud of this bike.

I picked up an old cruiser the other day and it made me think of this old photo. Not sure what we will do with the bike yet, but somehow we will have to make it a tribute to our brother!



A Pleasant Surprise!

A few years ago I went out gathering and hunting. We answered a craigslist ad for old barn doors and this is what we found! Heather and Steve's house and it was full of all sorts of charming ideas. We just had to share them with you. They created this display above their front door for all to see when they enter. Can you tell the shelves are old ladders? Below is another shot with more of the door showing so you can get a feel for the height they have in their foyer.

This the living room. Darling, isn't it? The barn door hung on the wall is similar to the 3 we bought from them. Great idea. Notice the coffee table, it's an old door with legs, they kept the door knob on!

Heather makes these cute little primitive dolls. This one is sitting in a dry sink in her family room. She is so sweet. I think I'll call her Sally


Steve is quite the idea guy. You can tell he loves old things. His eyes light up when he tells the stories about all of his finds. This is clever, he used old windows to hide the television set.

See I told you! Thanks to Heather and Steve for being such good sports about allowing us to take pictures and post them for all of you.

We've got more to tell you about our adventures this past weekend....(we wound up with 2 trailers full) so check back.

Til next time!




Vintage Refridgerators

Remember the post we did on the vintage fridge we found? After a little research we think we have it pegged for a 1949 Philco. As we researched we were also looking for inspiration on what to do with it. Here are a few pics we would like to share.

Robins Egg Blue

Cotton Candy Pink

Sweet, simple two tone versions.

This is a little wild, but very creative.

Two Tone Pink (one of our favs).

Polka dots are so popular. Very retro!

This one is for the MAN CAVE!

Should we leave it white?

This could possibly be the winner!

Every kitchen needs a little whimsey... we think a vintage fridge will give it that perfect touch.

Don't you agree?

Racheal does!!

All Funky Junk Sisters voted that this is the best idea of all!

Retro Refridgerator doors used as bathroom stall doors.