DIY Vintage Sign

My DIY vintage sign is complete. It just needs to go on the wall with a plant hanging from it.

Making a vintage sign is pretty easy

  • Step 1 – find an old board
  • Step 2 – sand it down and paint it in a bright colour
  • Step 3 – give it a light sand and paint in a less invasive colour
  • Step 3 – sand to show some base colour and some wood
  • Step 4 – paint on your chosen word
  • Step 5 – sand/distress some more

I’ve added an old hanging basket hanger too.

base coat

base coat

DIY vintage sign

DIY vintage sign

authentic old nail

authentic old nail

sanded down

sanded down

base colour showing through

base colour showing through


How to Remove Bitumen from Wooden Floorboards

So I had what seemed like an impossible task. Stripping the bitumen from the original Victorian floorboards.

Back in the Victorian era people used to put a large rug / carpet in the middle of the room and paint around the edges with a bitumen / tar type substance. This is a massive challenge to strip back.

Sanding doesn’t work

Sanding it doesn’t work. The tar melts and smudges and clogs up the sanding belts. I searched Google for days looking for some help, but there wasn’t a lot of info. People ask the question, but don’t really get a real answer.

White spirit doesn’t work. Nitromors strips a tiny bit off but not a lot, plus it’s pretty darn expensive.

Tonight I’ve found something that works.

TAR REMOVER is the answer. It cost me £1.99 for 375ml from B&Q. The Nitromors was about £12 for the same amount.

How to remove the horrible black stuff

Tar remover is your friend (test an inconspicuous area first jut to be sure!)

tar remover

Step 1: Pour some tar remover onto the abrasive side of a kitchen scourer

pour tar remover onto scourer

Step 2: Rub it into the floorboards vigorously

rub into floorboards

Step 3: Scrub the floorboards vigorously with a wire brush

scrub floor with wire brush

Step 4: Use a shave hook on worse areas

scrape with shave hook

Step 5: Brush the wood shavings away

brush the evil stuff away

Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5

Step 7: Wipe with white spirit



It takes a LOT of elbow grease. I probably did the equivalent to one whole floorboard in 2 hours. You have to scrub like crazy, but it actually works.

This should now be good enough to sand. If not, repeat it all again.


  • Ventilate the room as much as possible
  • Wear a face mask
  • Take a break to get some air

Because after working for a couple of hours my eyes, nose and throat are burning.