LumberJocks

Material choice for outdoor sign

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by TimInIndiana posted 05-29-2018 03:33 PM 472 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 562 days


05-29-2018 03:33 PM

What material would be most appropriate for an outdoor painted sign measuring approximately 3.5’ tall and 4.5’ wide? I’m open to either sheet goods or a panel glue up. Would like it to hold up as long as possible without needing to refinish.

I am planning to prime the panel with a good exterior primer, and I assume my wife will want to paint it with acrylic paints. What would be a good clear coat over the acrylic paints to help protect the sign from the elements? I expect she’ll want to stick with acrylic paint as she already has a generous supply in several colors.


10 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12845 posts in 2802 days


#1 posted 05-29-2018 03:48 PM

MDO, it’s made for that.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1889 posts in 585 days


#2 posted 05-29-2018 04:32 PM

Tim – will this be a one or two sided sign ? how will it be mounted ?
I have been admonished here in the past that I am “just a sign maker”,
and not a true woodworker….....
but, I can lead you through the process of fabricating and installing your sign
if you would like. (I’ve been doing it since 1980).

and, all acrylics are not the same !!! using the wrong one could lead to premature failure.

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 562 days


#3 posted 05-29-2018 06:24 PM



Tim – will this be a one or two sided sign ? how will it be mounted ?
I have been admonished here in the past that I am “just a sign maker”,
and not a true woodworker….....
but, I can lead you through the process of fabricating and installing your sign
if you would like. (I ve been doing it since 1980).

and, all acrylics are not the same !!! using the wrong one could lead to premature failure.

.

.

- John Smith

The sign will have one “show” side and will be mounted with screws onto two 4×4 posts. I’m actually making two identical signs, one for each side of the posts (replacing the signs that were already there).

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1889 posts in 585 days


#4 posted 05-29-2018 06:27 PM

do you have a photo of what you are replacing ? (just out of curiosity).
and a sketch or design of your new sign yet ?

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5595 posts in 2916 days


#5 posted 05-29-2018 06:31 PM



MDO, it s made for that.

- Woodknack

What he said: MDO is made for outdoor painted signs, holds up well. Can be a little hard to find, if you have Menards in your area, they carry it. Other possibilities (besides lumber yards) would be sign shops; a few around me sell it, and the stuff they have is pre-primed.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 562 days


#6 posted 05-29-2018 06:41 PM

I do have Menards, and I think I have seen MDO there. Sounds promising.

Here’s a picture of the sign I’m doing. Last time I looked at the sign, I thought there were a few more colors. Since there’s only blue and white, I’m open to something other than acrylic. What do you suggest?

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1889 posts in 585 days


#7 posted 05-29-2018 06:51 PM

hmmmmm – can’t say too much about the design.
your requirements are “to hold up as long as possible”. with that in mind, this is what I would do.
go 48” wide if you can – and get two signs out of one panel. the MDO comes in a 4×8’ sheet.

3/4” Medium Density Overlay plywood (MDO) is the sign makers choice for a painted sign.
(not to be confused with MDF or Particle Board).
Start with cutting the panels to size.
Use a 45 degree router bit to remove 1/8” from the sharp edge of all sides of the panels ~
(paint will not stick to a sharp edge). Sand with a sanding block to smooth out the sharp edge surfaces.
Vacuum all edges. apply oil based exterior grade primer (thinned 25% with mineral spirits) to entire sign.
Let sit for 24 hours.
Use DAP Alex siliconized latex painters caulk to fill the entire edge by forcing the caulk into the fibers
of the plywood, sealing the entire edge with your finger, smoothing it out as you go. Let sit 24 hours.
Prime again with the same oil base primer. Let sit 24 hours.
Apply two coats of the base color coat to entire sign panel covering all edges, front and back.
All surfaces of the panels must have the same number of coats to minimize warping.
Let paint dry according to the directions on the can and your climate conditions at time of painting.
When the panel is ready for the graphics, obtain the proper brushes and paint your sign as desired.
The graphics should also receive two coats of paint.

Sherwin-Williams gloss acrylic enamel is starting to be the most popular sign paint these days because
it can be mixed to any color in small quantities. Two base coats would be preferred.
There is no need for a clear coat as the Sherwin-Williams acrylic paints have a pretty long time
before repainting is required.
If you think you need a clear coat, the popular choice is a high grade marine spar varnish
such as Pettitt #2067 Captain’s Ultra-Clear Varnish. A minimum of 5 coats is required for maximum UV protection. (follow the directions on the can for application in your area).

this is my version of a painted wood sign. of course you can use any paint or materias you prefer.
you can wait 2 hours instead of 24 between coats if you like, that is totally up to you.
no offense to the original artist that designed the existing sign, but, I would put some thought
into a new design and lettering.
looking forward to your project photos !!

.

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View pontic's profile

pontic

694 posts in 1031 days


#8 posted 05-29-2018 06:52 PM

#3 for MDO and John will lead you thru the process of having a sign that will last.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View TimInIndiana's profile

TimInIndiana

145 posts in 562 days


#9 posted 05-29-2018 06:57 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback and detailed instructions! It’s very much appreciated.

As for the sign design and lettering, we’re planning to leave that the same. The original sign was made a couple of generations before me and has been replaced once before. Keeping it the same will help to preserve some sentimental value.

View jonah's profile

jonah

2075 posts in 3721 days


#10 posted 05-29-2018 08:15 PM

You can take this advice for what it’s worth, but personally I do not like cursive for signage. It’s difficult to read quickly (and just about everyone reads signs quickly).

If you are absolutely resolved to leave the cursive alone, you might consider a slightly more readable cursive font. The existing sign would not be that legible from farther away and while moving.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com