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Thread: Wood for house numbers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Northern Saskatchewan, Canada
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    29

    Wood for house numbers

    I was asked by a coworker to make some house/address numbers. It sounds like she wants them painted. My question is what wood is appropriate for this? I have treated spruce, but have found that paint doesn't want to stick to it very well. My next thought was Baltic birch and treating it with copper naphthenate and topcoating it. My third option is white oak and paint. I also have some PVC trim board kicking around. The paint/topcoat will probably be something like Rustolium alkalyd spray bomb. I was mostly thinking ease of application, but I could get some outdoor paint. Thoughts? It has also occurred to me there is a reason why most people go with metal house numbers.

    *Thank you for your responses and suggestions. PVC it is!
    Last edited by Geoffrey Frey; 05-02-2019 at 11:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Okotoks AB
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    If they are to be painted I would consider the PVC trim stock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    If they are to be painted I would consider the PVC trim stock.
    I agree with Frank that you should use a material that isn't prone to splitting on the grain or physical weakness for the same reason (or that will rot over time) since these numbers will be painted. Use the PVC.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    Jan 2007
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    Northern Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Thank you! I will do that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Western PA
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    Agree with other comments, but if this is under an awning or covered porch, any wood with a proper exterior grade paint is going to weather pretty well. If its exposed to rain and snow 365 then you need to concern yourself with wood species/other materials. My opinion based on things ive made that are painted, exposed to the elements and 4-5 years at this point. None of them are showing much wear at this point, and would look brand new if they werent wet half the year.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,583
    I have never seen any for sale that are not redwood or cedar.
    Bill

  7. #7
    PVC is the best choice for this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona
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    103
    I agree that the PVC would be the best choice for the sake of longevity.
    David

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,105
    PVC is a good choice and I suggest you paint the letters with Fusion plastic paint. The Fusion texture paint has an amazing bond.
    Use keyholes on each letter to hang them.

  10. #10
    I'm not sure how you were planning on cutting the numbers. Maybe a scroll saw or bandsaw?

    Anyway, you might consider buying a Trex gate/fence slat from Home Depot or another home center. It's an extruded composite material with a simulated wood finish. If you like the finish, then just paint the edges. A single slat might give you what you need, for under $10.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Illinois
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    739
    I took a bit of a different approach for my house number when the wood ones rotted. I took a scrap of PVC trim, left white, as the backer board. For the letters and numbers I went to a countertop shop and they gave me sink cut outs of almost black solid surface material that was 3/4 inch thick. I used stainless steel screws from the back to hold it together. It's been about 5 years now, totally exposed to the weather, with no degradation.
    Wood'N'Scout

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kohn View Post
    I took a bit of a different approach for my house number when the wood ones rotted. I took a scrap of PVC trim, left white, as the backer board. For the letters and numbers I went to a countertop shop and they gave me sink cut outs of almost black solid surface material that was 3/4 inch thick. I used stainless steel screws from the back to hold it together. It's been about 5 years now, totally exposed to the weather, with no degradation.
    That sounds about as bulletproof as you can get. I'm curious though, how did you go about cutting the granite pieces into numbers?

  13. #13
    If you go with painted wood letters, as important, or maybe even more important, than the topcoat is the primer. A good oil-based primer will do wonders and will have much better adhesion than water based primer or just paint on the wood.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    1.5 hrs north of San Francisco, CA
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    670
    MDO plywood is designed for signs and is surprisingly good for exterior weather, even unpainted -- assuming plywood edge grain is ok for your application. I had some "temporary" gates made from raw MDO plywood (no paint, no edge treatment, nothing) for about five years and, other than a color change, were as good as new when I finally replaced them.

  15. #15
    In my town, we didn't have house numbers until a few years ago. After a house fire with fatalities, the fire department asked people to put up green and white reflective house numbers, that they sold at cost. It helps first responders from outside of Town that don't know everyone.

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