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Where to Start When You are New to Painting Door Hangers

by | Feb 9, 2021

Hey ya’ll, if you’re a beginner learning to make wooden door hangers then this blog post is a great one to get started with! I’m going to break down some basics for you when it comes to making a wooden door hanger for yourself. I’m also going to share some great resources to reference if you’re a beginner. 

Before we go any further, I just want you to know that this post includes some of my affiliate links for your shopping convenience. If you make a purchase from this page, I may receive a small portion for sharing them with you. Also, please note that all prices are approximate as of publication. Enough about what we’re going to do, let’s dive right in because I am so excited to share this with you! 

What You’ll Learn:

1. What Kind of Wood Should I Use?

2. What if I Would Rather Not Cut My Own Door Hanger?

3. Using a Template to Cut Your Door Hanger

4. What Should I Use to Cut My Door Hanger?

5. What Paint Should I Use to Paint my Door Hanger?

6. What Paint Brushes Should I Use?

7. When Do You Add Your Guidelines for Painting?

8. What Do I Use to Seal my Painted Door Hanger?

9. How Do I Hang My Door Hanger?

10. Should I Add a Bow When I Make a Wooden Door Hanger?

Note: Affiliate links included within this post for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

how to start painting wooden door hangers

What Kind of Wood Should I Use?

Choosing the right wood when you are making a wooden door hanger is so important. You want to select something that is lightweight so it isn’t heavy on the door. You’ll also want to be sure that it is smooth, and that it won’t splinter badly when it’s cut. 

Are you ready for a little secret? I’m gonna let you in on what type of wood I use. I personally recommend using 5 mm (¼”) RevolutionPly from Lowe’s, it’s my absolute favorite! The RevolutionPly is a form of underlayment. However, it’s important to note that not all underlayment is created equal. I have tried other brands and some splinter or the layers of wood separate or have markings and words stamped on the back.From my experience, RevolutionPly has none of these problems. At just under $20 for a 4’x8’ sheet, it’s also very affordable. I can usually get at least twelve door hangers out of one sheet. 

If RevolutionPly isn’t available to you, 1/4″ MDF is another great option. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find in some stores, so I would recommend seeing if you could special order it.

What if I Would Rather Not Cut My Own Door Hanger?

If cutting your own door hanger seems like a scary task, or you don’t have the tools to do it yourself, then don’t count yourself out of making a door hanger yet. I have tons of blanks that come ready to paint and will ship right to your door. You can find blank door hangers in my shop.

Using a Template to Cut Your Door Hanger

If you want a variety of options when making a wooden door hanger, I highly suggest you check out my shop. The templates in my shop are easy to download and print right at home. If you’re in need of some guidance be sure to check out my blog post on how to download and use printable templates. Once printed, you will just assemble them and then be able to cut your door hanger.  

If you find yourself needing to enlarge your template prior to printing it, I highly recommend using www.blockposters.com. This free site will enlarge any image so that it can print on multiple pages and seamlessly be taped together. 

What Should I Use to Cut Out my Door Hanger?

Once you have your template and wood, you’re ready to cut out your wooden door hanger! Personally, I love using a jigsaw, but I’ve heard of many people preferring a scroll saw as well.

Getting Jiggy With it shirt, Tamara holding Jigsaw

What Paint Should I Use to Paint my Door Hanger?

I know what you’re thinking, are my paint choices really that important? When it comes to making a wooden door hanger, the paint that you use is one of the most important decisions. I absolutely love DecoArt Americana Matte Acrylic paints. You can find them at your local craft store like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I also have linked a 12 pack of paints here if you’re a beginner wanting to stock up. 

Tip: Work backwards when painting, start with your background and end with your lettering. 

If you want to learn more about painting and lettering a door hanger, I have a free ebook linked at the end of this blog post that breaks down a lot of information for you. My ebook is a great tool for beginners learning to paint a door hanger. 

Tamara with DecoArt Americana Paints

What Paint Brushes Should I Use?

Tamara with Paint Brushes

Ya’ll there are so many paint brushes to choose from when making a door hanger.

Each paintbrush has a different reason that you would use it. For example: 

  • Wash – laying down background colors 
  • Angular- decorative shapes like petals 
  • Detail- intricate details 
  • Round- creating lines/accents 
  • Shader- blending colors/filing small area 
  • Filbert- lettering, small dots, precision 
  • Oval wash- apply smooth background 
  • Liner- tiny details 
  • Flat- precision color in small areas 
  • Fan- trees/foliage

I hope that this list gives you a better idea of the variety of brushes that are available to you! While it’s not necessary to paint using each type of brush, the variety adds different textures and prints to your board as well.

When do you add your guidelines for painting?

If you’re using a template from my shop, then drawing out guidelines is a piece of cake! You will want to add the guidelines before you start painting or after you have added primer. If you’re painting with bright colors like orange or yellow, I recommend adding guide lines after the primer. 

What do I use to seal my painted door hanger?

I would hate to see you go through all this work and not apply this last, very important step. Whatever you do, do not skip the protective finish! If you want to keep your door hanger looking new, apply a good coat of a glossy protective spray. My personal favorite is Rustoleum Lacquer. This protective spray will help your door hanger last for many seasons!

How do I hang my door hanger?

Now it’s time to show off your skills by hanging up your new door hanger! You are going to need either jute string or wire. If using wire, drill two tiny holes in the door hanger, then feed the wire through and twist so it doesn’t come off. If you decide to use a jute string, you can cut the string, tie a knot in each end, then staple the string to the back of the door hanger, just above the knots. 

Funky Rainbow Door Hanger by Southern A-Door-nments Decor Finished

Should I add a bow when I make a wooden door hanger?

If your door hanger needs just a little more, then a bow is the perfect finishing touch! Adding a bow can make a huge difference in the final look because you are adding a 3D element to something that up until now has been flat. 

I have had so much fun breaking down where to start when making a wooden door hanger! It’s fun to think about all the work that goes into the final piece. If making a wooden door hanger is new to you, but you definitely want to try it I want to encourage you to sign up for my beginner’s course. In my beginner’s course we’ll learn everything from cutting and painting a door hanger to adding the bow and hanging it on the door. You can find a link to my beginner’s course at the end of this blog post, I hope to see you there!

Related Blog Posts and Resources for You


Door Hangers for Beginners

A 5-part video series that will teach you how to create your own door hangers, step-by-step. Perfect for beginners and newbies alike!


  1. Beth

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and info!

  2. Sheryl Turner

    I’m am definitely excited about getting started!!

  3. Bobbie Jo Sweat

    I am so glad I came across your blog today. This is something I’d like to try while I’m recovering from knee replacement surgery. Thank you for all the details you share, it will be very helpful.

    • aleeah mcginnis

      We have had several who said they learned to paint door hangers while recuperating and loved it.

  4. Patti McNeese

    Looking forward to these.


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