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DIY Buffalo Check Sign

How to paint a buffalo check sign

buffalo check sign

To know me is to know my obsession with buffalo check. Today I am going to show you how to paint buffalo check using painters tape. Now I made this sign with Fall in mind but I kept it transitional so it can work for every season. 

Like buffalo check? Learn how to paint a buffalo check mason jar here. If you have a Cricut you can see how I made a buffalo check stencil here

This week I am teaming up with a group of my favorite bloggers for a Fall Ideas Tour. We have 29 bloggers sharing ideas for mantels, tables, and porches, as well as some wreath and DIY/craft ideas. A big thank you to Angie from Postcards from the Ridge for putting this together. Be sure to stay until the end of this post to see a sneak peek of their Fall projects. 

Buffalo check seems to be everywhere this fall so why not create it ourselves with some paint and Frog tape. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Here’s what you’ll need

buffalo check sign

Prep Your sign

Let’s start by prepping our sign. Now I want a two tone farmhouse look for this sign. In order to accomplish that we need to stain the frame. Let’s tape off the inside of the sign and use a rag or foam brush to apply stain to the frame. I used a Minwax dark walnut stain. Let it dry completely and seal it with a coat or two of polyacrylic. 

Once the frame is dry paint the inside base of the sign with white chalk paint. Let dry completely. 

Buffalo Check Sign

Mix Paint colors

Now you are going to need 3 colors to make this black and white buffalo check. A light grey, darker grey and black. Now you can do this by purchasing all the colors or mixing your own with white and black paint.

Tape off Horizontal Stripes

Starting at the top of your sign tape horizontal stripes. Pressing them down smoothly on the wood to create a seal. Use a piece of tape as a spacer in between stripes. This is more efficient than measuring and marking spaces with a pencil. 

Buffalo Check Sign

Paint horizontal Stripes

Using your lightest grey paint the horizontal stripes. Be sure not to over saturate your paint brush. A few light coats can help with bleeding. Also check out this technique for painting crisp lines

Buffalo Check Sign

remove tape

Remove painters tape while it’s still a bit wet. Let the paint dry completely. 

buffalo check sign

Tape off vertical Stripes

Starting at the far side use your space tape flush against the side. Then start to tape your vertical stripes.

buffalo check sign

Paint Vertical Stripes

Using the darker grey start to paint your vertical stripes. DO NOT remove the painters tape. Let paint dry completely. 

buffalo check sign

Tape horizontal stripes.

Starting at the top of the sign start to tape your horizontal stripes. 

buffalo check sign

Paint the check

With a thin amount of black paint on your brush start painting the open squares on your sign. Apply two thin coats of the black paint. 

buffalo check sign

Now here is to see if we did it correctly. Peel back all of your painters tape. And just like that you have created your own buffalo check sign. 

Buffalo check sign

Now theres a few options for embellishments for your sign. If you have a Cricut you could vinyl it or cut bass wood or chip board. Or if your like me you can use lettering that you found in the Target dollar spot from a few years back.

buffalo check sign

Don’t have either of those or want to use this for Christmas or everyday? Grab a wreath. This eucalyptus wreath gives it an everyday farmhouse feel.


Monday – Mantels

Tuesday – Tablescapes

 Sand Dollar Lane / Aratari at Home / Nourish and Nestle
JenRon Designs / Salvaged Living / Our Southern Home

Wednesday – Wreaths


Petticoat Junktion / Lora Bloomquist / Exquisitely Unremarkable
Bliss Ranch / The Interior Frugalista / Chatfield Court

Thursday – Crafts & DIY


Domestically SpeakingDIY Beautify
HomeroadChristina Faye Repurposed
not pictured Weekend Craft

Friday – Porches


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  1. Thank you for teaching me how to paint a buffalo check pattern. I’ve always wondered how to do that. Your sign is going to be great to use in any season for decor!

  2. Michelle,
    Buffallo check is so fun and looks great everywhere in the house. Love that you chose green for your accent color. And, the wreath tips for later is perfect.

    1. It was hard to wrap my head around but once I did a light bulb went off. Working on editing a video for this post so it’s even easier!

  3. Your “how-to paint buffalo check” tutorial makes you the reigning crafty hero. It’s so easy to do….once it’s step-by-step in you post! LOL…. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely Fall project. It’s fabulous. Happy Fall.

  4. Beautiful! I just picked up a few trays at Goodwill and was wondering what to do with them. Now I am thinking buffalo check!! Thanks for the great tutorial. Happy Fall!

  5. What what, you mean I don’t need a stencil for that? Michelle, you just rocked my DIY world and now I want to buffalo check all the things 😉 Love your sign – thanks for the tip!

  6. I have tried — and failed spectacularly — to paint buffalo check. Thanks for showing us how to do it the right way! Love your project and your buffalo check obsession!

  7. You make it seem so easy! Thanks for the tutorial! And you like Buffalo Check? Hmmm…who knew? 😱

  8. Michelle, this sign is adorable. I love the fact that you can change what you have on the front and use it year round. And thank you for your excellent tutorial for painting buffalo check. I’ve never tried it but you make it look like something I can do without going crazy! Happy to have you on the tour with us!

  9. Hey there !
    What did you do to keep the wreath in place? Nail? Glue?
    Thank you for the demonstration, this is such a cute idea!

  10. Would you mind linking the exact colors you used? I love the look you have and would like to replicate it! Thanks!

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