Viewing entries tagged
How To


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!