Use any choice of stencil fonts. I use 3" numbers. I hand paint the lines and numbers with craft acrylic paint. Don't worry if your lines are a little shaky. This is handmade and you are not a factory machine. That's what makes these so special! After you have painted, it is ready to seal! I seal the front with 6 coats of polyurethane. I soft sand between each coat. allowing each coat to dry for 8-12 hrs in between. The last coat, I allow to dry for 72 hours before use. Both sides should be very smooth!! You can now use a sharpie marker to write all your memories!