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Thread: Old engraved wood sign - how to seal and paint letters

  1. #1

    Question Old engraved wood sign - how to seal and paint letters

    We have an old CNC carved sign that came with our property. It is at least 17 years old and has been out in the weather constantly. I think it is oak.

    I want to paint the lettering white so that you can actually read it.

    I tried painting some of the lettering with a poly oil based white paint and an artist brush. The wood is so porous that it just soaks the paint up and you get almost no color deposit. I'm thinking that I need to seal the wood fairly well with an outdoor varnish like Spar Urethane, and then paint.

    I don't think the technique of spraying the whole thing white and sanding off on the flat surfaces would work at all because of all the deep cracking in the wood.

    Alternatively, maybe there is a very think paint designed for this exact purpose? Maybe sign painters have a special paint?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Lynn Kasdorf; 07-07-2021 at 9:48 AM. Reason: added photo

  2. #2
    I uploaded and attached images, but when I try to view the image in the post, I get a permission error?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynn Kasdorf View Post
    I uploaded and attached images, but when I try to view the image in the post, I get a permission error?
    Lynn, you have to be an SMC Contributor to see pics. $6 per year. Your upload was successful; I can see the pics. Nice looking sign.

  4. #4
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Signmakers typically use waterborne paints both on more typical modern sign materials as well as wood in the rare instance it's used. Good quality standard exterior paint is just fine...you can usually get one of the smaller "sample" sizes to do jobs like this.
    --

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Port au Port, NL, Canada
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    1Shot sign painters paint. https://www.1shot.com/One-Shot/Home.aspx

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Winterville, NC (eastern NC)
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    My opinion only, so take it at that. I would fill those cracks with some 5-minute epoxy, sand level and prime with a good quality exterior-rated primer, 2 coats. Then use a small artists brush to paint the letters.
    I used this painting method for a wooden sign that I recently built. The paint used came from Lowes and is a paint for marine application above water.

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