View Full Version : Painting acrylic letters for an exterior sign

Frederic Gagnon
04-24-2007, 11:39 AM
I'm used to painting laser-cut acrylic letters for interior signs, but this time a customer asked me for letters that will go on an exterior sign.

Would a water-based paint on acrylic stand the test of outside weather??

Or maybe acrylic is not a good choice of material... I am actually looking for a material that would have 1/4'' thickness, and be paintable. I ruled out MDF because it absorbs water like a sponge. Sintra would have been nice but it's PVC, therefore not laserable. Signfoam is too thick for my needs.

It seems so basic a task, but I can't seem to get the info I need. When googling for "painting acrylic", I get all the pages about acrylic paint... it's tricky!

Thanks in advance,

Nancy Laird
04-24-2007, 11:50 AM
Why don't you just use a 1/4" solid wood like alder to cut the letters. Then it can be painted with an exterior acrylic paint (like you'd use on a house--and how long does a good paint job last on a house??) and used on the exterior sign.

Just my two-cents worth.


Joe Pelonio
04-24-2007, 12:22 PM
I've used MDF, I primed it first, front and back, then used exterior acrylic latex, again front and back (and edges of course). I'd recommend that only under an overhang though, where the water contact is limited.

I've also used acrylic outdoors, sprayed with Krylon for Plastic, and also have used it sprayed with automotive primer then acrylic exterior latex.

I did a couple of them by painting the back of 1/4" clear, then cutting. It's a different look but they liked it.

The best way is to have them choose a color that's available in 1/4" acrylic.

Larry Bratton
04-24-2007, 1:05 PM
Why not use an outdoor weatherable, laserable, engraving plastic? Rowmark has several choices. I posted a photo of a sign on here a few days ago that had plastic letters mounted on an Extira substrate. I cut all the letters with the laser and they worked perfectly. The customer loved the sign too.

Frederic Gagnon
04-24-2007, 1:33 PM
I was talking with my client again, he said he would be painting the letters in white... Yess... White acrylic, this I have in stock! Problem solved, this time!
I think I'll give a try with MDF+primer if I need other colors in the future.

Thanks to all,