Salvaged Newel Post Solar Outdoor Welcome Sign

Are you like me and walk into a store on a mission and walk out with something completely different? Such was the case during a recent trip to my favorite salvage yard in search of an old door. My eyes were diverted by a large bin full of mismatched newel posts. Mr. Frugalista gave me one of those what the heck do we need a post for looks but that didn't stop me because I had a plan. The plan was to turn that salvaged newel post into a solar outdoor welcome sign for our front yard.

Newel Post Repurposed Into Outdoor Welcome Sign

Salvaged Newel Post Solar Outdoor Welcome Sign

I should mention that I did find the perfect door during that trip too and turned it into a gorgeous headboard and you can see it here in my post How to Turn An Old Door Into A Headboard.

These are the supplies used to make the Welcome Sign Post.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Sign Materials

Materials List

Wooden Newel Post (Salvage Yard)
Metal Plant Hanger (Dollar Store)
Solar Light Fence Post Cap (Home Depot)
Scrap Wood for sign
Graphite Chalk Paint
White Exterior Latex Paint (or stain)
Exterior Polyurethane
Self-adhesive letters (Dollar Store)
Plastic Coated Wire 
Router with Cover Router Bit

Painting the post

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Sign Painted

I chose to paint the newel post so it stood out in our large flower bed. You could stain the wood instead if that is your personal preference.

It was painted with white Behr Exterior Latex Paint that we had on hand. The grooves were painted with two coats of chalk paint in the color Graphite, a dark charcoal gray that matches the large flower pots flanking our front door. Two coats of exterior polyurethane were brushed on to protect the finish.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Sign With Solar Light

Attaching the Metal Hanger and Solar Light fence post cap

I didn't notice when taking the photo above that the wire was tangled and therefore the sign is hanging crooked. Talk about asleep at the wheel!

Attach the metal plant hanger onto whichever side of the newel post that works best for where the sign will be situated outside. We attached ours about 6-inches from the top of the post.

Instead of a decorative wooden post cap, we decided to use a solar light cap so the sign would be illuminated at night. Attach it to the top of the post following package directions.

Making the Welcome sign

Lucky for me I had the perfect size piece of wood leftover from another project to use for the sign. While I got busy working on a makeshift reverse stencil, Mr. Frugalista ran the router along the edge with a cove router bit.

When you don't have a Silhouette machine to make custom stencils, you find creative ways to add words or images onto a surface. Now I could have used letter stencils to form the word WELCOME but I didn't have any the size I needed.

I had heard of a reverse stencil technique and I did have the supplies on hand to give it a try.

Reverse stencil technique

You'll need self-adhesive letters, a square, scissors, painter's tape, chalk, and tweezers for this step.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 1

Cut out the individual letters from a sheet of self-adhesive letters. Line the bottom of the letters along a square to keep them straight and run a piece of painters tape across the top to hold them in place.

Paint 1-2 coats of dark paint on both sides of your sign. I used the same Graphite color that I painted the grooves on the post. Once the board is completely dry move on to the next step.

Find the center of your sign both vertically and horizontally and mark it with chalk. Place your strip of taped letters so they are centered with your chalk mark.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 2

One-by-one remove the adhesive backing on the bottom of each letter, rubbing with your fingers for a tight seal. Remove the painter's tape and the rest of the self-adhesive backing on the letters, again rubbing your fingers along each letter for a tight seal.

If your signpost can be seen on both sides, repeat the steps above on the opposite side as well.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 3

Protect the routered sides of the sign with painter's tape. Because my paint was fairly fresh I used yellow Frog Tape for delicate surfaces.

Paint the sign with two coats of white exterior latex paint (as pictured below).

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 4

Before the second coat of paint dries, carefully remove each letter using tweezers. Also while the paint is wet, carefully remove the yellow frog tape from the sides.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 5

Outline the letters with a black fine point permanent marker to make them even more visible. I added a couple of self-adhesive appliques to the corners to dress it up a bit. Once the marker ink is completely dry (I suggest overnight) brush two coats of exterior polyurethane to protect the finish and seal in the appliques.

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Welcome Reverse Stencil 6

Hanging the sign to the newel post

Measure 1-inch from the top and side of the sign and mark with a pencil. With a small bit, drill holes for the wire hanger. Note: You could skip this step and use eye hooks on the top instead.

Hold the sign underneath the metal bracket mounted on the post and line it up so it's centered. Mark where the holes on the sign line up. Using a small spade drill bit, drill holes to accommodate the wire.

Slip the plastic coated wire through the holes on the sign and into the holes on the metal bracket and tighten the wire to secure in place. Cut any excess wire and you're ready to install the Welcome Sign Post outside.

Initially, we placed ours near our front door (as pictured below).

Salvaged Newel Post Outdoor Solar Welcome Sign Post

It has since been moved to our front flower bed so it can be seen from the driveway. If you look at the picture below, you can see our Flower Pot Water Fountain peeking behind the welcome sign. It wasn't running at the time this photo was taken because we had a solar water pump on order.

My goal is to inspire others to look at the potential in found and foraged finds and give them a new purpose. If you were inspired by this project, please share it with a friend or save it on Pinterest.

Salvaged Newel Post to Solar Outdoor Welcome Sign
You never know when inspiration will strike. You may end up walking out the door carrying something totally different than you intended walking in.

You will find this project linked to these fabulous PARTIES.



  1. This is so adorable! I didn’t even notice the sign was crooked 😍

    1. LOL, apparently you did Christina! 😉 Obviously I didn't when I took the photos 😉

  2. I have an old newel post from family I want to put it in the garden. Its heavy -so I am trying to figure a way to "stake it to the ground-how did you secure your post?

    1. We set it inside a plastic pail and filled it with concrete and buried it into the ground. Likewise, you could use a fence post auger and fill it with concrete and set your newel post in the center. I hope this helps!


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