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Thread: Exterior Wooden Sign in a Beach Environment

  1. #1

    Exterior Wooden Sign in a Beach Environment

    Hey all,

    I'd like to make a wooden sign that will include some marquetry inlay. The sign will hang on the exterior of a house located in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

    My first notion was to coat the sign in multiple coats of epoxy. The question I'd like to put out there is whether this idea makes sense and then if so, what would be the best epoxy for outdoors in a beach environment.

    Also, if anyone has advice on pre-treating the wood before applying the epoxy that would be welcome as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,191
    You will find that the majority of signmakers no longer use wood for the majority of their outdoor work, choosing more modern and weather resistant materials instead. They will go so far as to create wood grain and carefully paint to give the wood look without the downsides to the wood. In your case, you also have salt air/moisture to contend with.

    While you can certainly coat the sign with a quality resin produce, it only takes a pin-hole through it to start things going in the wrong direction. UV also factors in...wood turns grey in the sunlight. If your sign will be in a relatively protected area, you'll have better results for both moisture and fade, but it's important to embrace the reality if you choose to proceed as you describe and that's why I'm saying all this in my response...to be sure you understand the ramifications of using wood for an exterior sign, especially in the harsher conditions that the sea shore brings.
    --

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

  3. #3
    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the reply. I researched a bit and know somewhat how the wood weathers over time. This sign won't be in direct sunlight, so that is good. I know that some epoxies will yellow when exposed to UV rays. I wanted to know if anyone uses an epoxy that is resistant to this? I know of a few but wanted to see if anyone has any experience/preference. I figured that if I can coat this sign in enough layers of epoxy that it will hold up longer than would be typical. One thing that is good is that the client understands that it will eventually degrade over time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,191
    Talk to the folks at Total Boat...good products and they do know that environment!
    --

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,884
    When the big winds blow down at the Outer Banks signs get sand blasted. Sign makers in that area do a healthy business when the hurricanes and Nor-easters leave the area.

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