For projects that need to stand up to the elements, an self-priming exterior stain is a time-saving choice. This pigmented-yet-transparent stain provides color while still showcasing the wood grain. WoodScapes Exterior Polyurethane House Stain, $56/gallon; sherwinwilliams.com
ADDRESS BOARD A white pine board serves as a bold backdrop for an address, above. Choose a board width and length to suit your chosen house numbers and available space, and sand. (Our 1×8 measures 47 inches to accommodate four 8-inch-tall house numbers from modernhousenumbers.com.) Using a cloth, apply stain in a circular motion. Wipe away the excess stain after a couple of minutes; let dry. Spray three coats of spar urethane to protect the wood for exterior use. After the top coat dries, drill holes for house numbers as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions and supplied templates. Apply epoxy to the numbers’ posts and insert into the drilled holes (A). Hang plaque with a French cleat.