Recreating the Look of Vintage Metal Signs / Garage Signs with a Cabinet Door

Recreating the Look of Vintage Metal Signs / Garage Signs with a Cabinet Door

Every year, I always try and come up with one good patriotic project to post around July 4th. Sometimes the ideas come easily, but this year I struggled to think up even one upcycling idea in red, white, and blue! That is, until I found a bright red cabinet door at Habitat ReStore. I decided that it would be perfect for recreating the look of vintage metal signs / garage signs of days gone by. All it needed was a little touching up and a patriotic slogan!

Cabinet door at Habitat ReStore for upcycling into vintage metal signs with a patriotic slogan by Sadie Seasongoods

Here’s where I’m going with this – reach back a few decades to World War II. To a time when American patriotism was high, and the USA had a common enemy (well, a few enemies) overseas- and it wasn’t each other here at home. When Pin-ups sold war bonds and Uncle Sam’s face was everywhere on signs and posters.

Vintage metal signs or garage signs are amazing treasures, for sure, but they are PRICEY. That’s what I decided to recreate that look by touching up a cabinet door and adding a patriotic slogan. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience.

Transforming a cabinet door into garage signs or vintage metal signs with patriotic slogan by Sadie Seasongoods

Recreating the Look of Garage Signs / Vintage Metal Signs

To get started, I first needed to remove all the hardware, which included soft-close cabinet hinges and a heavy black metal knob.

Removing hardware from a cabinet door for upcycling into garage signs using a vinyl stencil by Sadie Seasongoods

Now- I promise you I’m not crazy, but I decided that the cabinet door was the wrong red.

In my mind, I wanted the red to be more of a warm, tomato red- and not the blue-toned cherry red that was already on the door. So, I lugged it back into the garage for a quick sanding, just to rough up the surface a bit so that fresh paint could adhere better.

Once I wiped off all the post-sanding dust, I painted the outside rectangle with a deeper, warmer red (Farmhouse Red by Behr). This shade resembled the garage signs / vintage metal signs that I had in my head.

Painting a cabinet door to resemble the vintage metal signs or tin signs with patriotic slogan by Sadie Seasongoods

Next, I painted the interior rectangle a creamy off-white color. This is where my patriotic slogan will go and white will set it off nicely.

Recreating the garage signs with a cabinet door that will be vintage Americana for Independence Day decor by Sadie Seasongoods

When the paint had dried, I lightly distressed the entire thing with my favorite flexible sand paper. Then, I gathered a specialty stencil with a patriotic slogan, my favorite stencil brushes (from this online store), and a blue paint that reminded me of vintage denim.

After centering the slogan, I stippled blue paint across the stencil. I loved that it was going to say “Buy American” – the perfect patriotic slogan for the vintage Americana look that I was going for.

Stenciling on a patriotic slogan - Buy American - to a cabinet door for garage signs and patriotic decor by Sadie Seasongoods

I decided that I needed something else besides the patriotic slogan, so I added four stars, one to each corner, using this handy multi-size star stencil. And that was it!

Get the look of garage signs or vintage metal signs by upcycling a cabinet door with a patriotic slogan by Sadie Seasongoods

Now it was really looking like the vintage metal signs / tin signs of days gone by!

Upcycling Cabinet Doors into Garage Signs for Patriotic Decor

I still felt that it needed one more finishing touch – I mean, I loved how it looked just like that. But, I went on Etsy to find a fun knob to cover up and fill in the hole left from the original knob!

And I found the perfect one in this amazing Etsy shop, which is filled will all sorts of goodies for projects. 

NOW it was complete, and I couldn’t be happier. Just looking at it makes me start humming “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

And upcycling a cabinet door is SO MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE than the vintage metal signs or garage signs that inspired me.

And let’s face it – “Buy American” is the perfect patriotic slogan. Can’t you just see this hung up in an old garage? Vintage Americana decor at its finest!

Recreating the look of vintage metal signs or garage signs by stenciling on a patriotic slogan to a cabinet door by Sadie Seasongoods

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for patriotic decor, then you may also be interested in this July 4th wreath made from thrift store neckties, too!

Independence Day decorations and patriotic wreath made with cheap neckties from the thrift store by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. Amanda Lake says

    Another beautiful and easy project. I love it.

  2. Mary Kemler says

    Wow! Looks great but that knob really elevates it!

  3. I love it!!! Very nice project and it looks great with the flags. Well done!

  4. JM Taylor says

    We absolutely love this project and will now be on the hunt for some cabinet doors to repurpose! Thank you so much for the shout out for our Etsy shop! We were thrilled to see what you came up with for the eagle knob…it does add the perfect finishing touch ? Your creativity is amazing!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I will definitely let y’all know in advance when I plan a trip to The Depot! I’m in Greenville, SC so it’s an easy day trip. 🙂

  5. I really like the idea of upcycling rather than buying new lumber or other new materials. It also could be cute in a kitchen or garden shed!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Totally! And yes, my entire blog is dedicated to buying secondhand to avoid buying new whenever possible. Upcycling is my middle name- maybe first name some days! 😉

  6. Adding the knob is why your repurposings are so nice…attention to detail makes all the difference.

  7. Love This! Very creative! I appreciate you sharing the link for the stencil – I’m going to put this on my list – Now I must keep an eye out for a unique piece of wood like you found. Thank you for sharing and this is an excellent idea.

  8. Wendy Oyler says

    This turned out so wonderful! And I definitely agree with your choice to re-paint the red. Beautiful as always!

  9. Kathy A. says

    Another great project! I Love red, white, and blue! I succumbed to AC Moore’s 80% off sale and bot a garden stake–Land of the Free because of the Brave sign and stuck it in an urn of flowers. And a rustic, small scale pallett looking flag which I stuck up with Command hangers (1st time using these) on the side of the house next to the front door. I’m ready for the fireworks!

  10. You are so fantastic. Well said & well done! ❤️

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, thank you- I sincerely appreciate that. I got an ugly remark about my post, but I knew there’d be at least one. So I especially appreciate your kindness!

  11. Hello from sunny England, UK! This is lovely and the colours and slogan could just as easily be used over here … with just a slight change. Lol “Buy British” ?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Haha, definitely!! Someone in Canada had mentioned the same thing- they plan to make a “Buy Canadian” version. 😀

  12. You have such a great eye for project design. I totally love what you did with the cabinet door and yes, that color has to be just right…you nailed it!

  13. Thanks again {!} for sharing a great project. Now I’m on my way over to check your previous patriotic posts.


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