To spray or not to spray

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 04-07-2019 08:24 PM 502 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View becikeja's profile


1028 posts in 3371 days

04-07-2019 08:24 PM

My son was married about a month ago. At my new daughter-in-laws request I created a board with their names and wedding date inlaid into cherry with maple. I finished the piece with Arm-R-Seal. During the wedding each guest signed the board with black sharpie. Should I spray a finish of some type over the black sharpie to lock it in or just leave it alone? I’m pretty sure the sharpie will be permanent, but just wanted a second opinion.

If i should spray something over the type, what would you recommend?


-- Don't outsmart your common sense

9 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2082 posts in 721 days

#1 posted 04-07-2019 08:33 PM

personally, I would leave it alone. (at least for now).
many musicians carry around instruments that were signed
decades ago and the signatures are still there.
if you really want to coat it, apply the same finishes you used
to similar wood, put a bunch of words on it, and spray some
finishes on it in controlled applications to see which one you like the best.
there is no rush to do anything right now – it will last for decades as it is.



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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5832 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 04-07-2019 09:18 PM

Solvents in whatever you choose for a top coat might damage the marker ink, I’d leave it alone.

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

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

522 posts in 1636 days

#3 posted 04-07-2019 10:18 PM

Test the marker ink with a finish you want to use and see if it runs. E.I.. Make a sample.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

View Firewood's profile


1006 posts in 2192 days

#4 posted 04-08-2019 12:44 AM

I think I’d leave it – especially if it is a piece that won’t be handled very much.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


499 posts in 337 days

#5 posted 04-08-2019 01:06 AM

Tell them you will seal it on their 25th.

View bilyo's profile


906 posts in 1660 days

#6 posted 04-08-2019 01:13 AM

I used to sign some of my work with a Sharpie. I quickly found that many spray clear coats would cause the Sharpie to run or creep and look fuzzy. I soon changed to a india ink pen. That doesn’t help you now except to say that you should make some samples using a sharpie and test different finishes before applying anything on the original.

View becikeja's profile


1028 posts in 3371 days

#7 posted 04-08-2019 11:33 AM

Thanks for the input. I think I will leave it alone. Not worth the risk to try to seal it…...

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2583 days

#8 posted 04-09-2019 04:31 AM

A sprayed water based acrylic or poly might work. I’d certainly try samples first to reveal any problems.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Walker's profile


160 posts in 1030 days

#9 posted 04-09-2019 05:26 AM

Sharpie comes off pretty easily. With a little IPA you can take it off almost any smooth surface. Thinking along the lines of signed memorabilia, how about encasing it in some plexiglass? Or making them a nice display case.

-- ~Walker

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