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How to Make Outdoor Wooden Signs Weatherproof

Outdoor wooden signs are ideal for all homes and business, but they have one drawback. Unless properly protected, they will be ruined by the elements. Sun can damage the wood and color, water can cause wood deterioration and moisture can cause rot. All of this means that if you have or want a wooden sign to be used outside, some prevention techniques are mandatory!

Type of Wood will Determine the Result

Maybe you cannot choose the type of wood a sign is going to be made from, but if you can, make sure you choose it properly. Red cedar, redwood, and oak are the best choices of wood for outdoor signs.  These are all hardwood and have a greater ability to protect from water intrusion and from deterioration from the elements.  If you choose them and you pay attention to the thickness of a sign, you will get a high-quality sign with a perfect capability to be used outdoors. These types of wood are the most resistant and they are even immune to rot.

If you already have a wooden sign that is made from another type of wood, don’t lose hope. There are a lot of additional things you can do.

The Steps You Should Take in Making a Wooden Sign Weatherproof

The first thing you will have to do if you want to protect a sign from the elements is to sand it. By doing this, you will remove all the impurities and the damages that can cause further issues. Use wood putty if you think it is needed. Holes, bigger damages, and even scratches must be treated and resolved. Outdoor wooden signs cannot have a single damage or a hole, due to the fact rotting will start there as it is an entry point for moisture or insects.

The water-repellent preservative is the next step you should take. Keep in mind that you need the one that is specially made for wood and it can guarantee the best water repelling. Another thing to remember is that you must choose the one that will allow for you to paint it (if desired).

Now, the paint comes into action. Here, two things are mandatory as well. The first one is the type of paint. It must be for outdoor use, so make sure you buy that type only! Another factor is that the paint must be for wood. There is paint for metal, ceramics, plastics and etc., but it isn’t suitable for wood. If you make a mistake with the paint, you won’t be able to paint a sign and even if you do, the paint will crack and look rough.  If you use the wrong type of paint you will have to re-sand the entire sign or will have to risk constant peeling.

Using the wood sealer is the next step. Apply 2 coats and make sure they are not too thick. One you are done, leave it to get dry.

The last step is very important as well. We highly recommend using plastic edge caps. They are immune to the moisture and water, but they look amazing and they can even make a sign better. We recommend them because water will off of on the edges for a longer period of time, so they are the most sensitive part of a sign. 

History and Importance of Each Farm Sign Type

Farm signs are something that have a great importance to farmers. These signs have been used since the 17th century and they marked the territory of a farm. The first models were huge and made from thick wood. Usually, they displayed the name of the farm, but there were some examples when these signs should send a message to the people. Nowadays, they are more popular than ever and they are better-looking than ever as well. The technology had an important role in the production, but traditionally-made farm signs are still popular.

Unique Features of Farm Signs

These signs are different than other signs. They must withstand the elements and they must last for a long period of time, with as low maintenance as possible. All farmers are busy, so it isn’t possible to maintain a farm sign frequently. As such, most of them are made from oak. This is very durable timber that can be exposed to the elements for an extremely long time and it won’t be damaged. Obviously, well-made farm signs are protected with paint or sealant, but even after being sealed, signs that are made to be installed outside should be built with treated wood to withstand the elements.

The method of installation of farm signs is very important. It may be hung with the help of hangers. But, in areas where winds are strong, this isn’t recommended. People typically use a bolt to secure farm signs in place when they are subjected to strong winds. Holes are then filled with oak plugs, so there isn’t a trace that there was a hole. Some models can be installed with wooden holders that will secure them in place. Others may be inserted to a gate or etc.

Hanging signs are less popular, but there are many situations when they are used. For example, they can be used on a farm, but on some building or facility where special tasks are done. Some farmers have cheese or milk stores, where these signs are more than just important.

Oak Fingerposts

We used oak as an example. In this case, a farm sign consists of directional posts which will show important directions around the farm. The best part is the fact you can add as many directional posts as you want. There are no limitations here.

Besides wood, these signs can be made from metal or fiberglass, but wooden farm signs are still the most appealing and they look vintage, high-end and elegant at the same time.

Additional Types

A farm sign can be made from wood, in this case, oak. But, it can be also made from other materials. You can choose between stone, fiberglass and even metal. Stone signs are the most durable, but the most expensive. They also require the longest period of time to be made and installed. Metal signs are more affordable, but they look too modern for a farm.

Fiberglass signs are completely different. They are easy to make and they are long-lasting. However, they are extremely complicated to repair, if that happens. They are present around a farm, but commonly in places where visitors won’t see them. We can even say that they are industrial-class signs. 

Different Types of Handmade Wooden Signs

Handmade wooden signs can be old, new, large, small and 100% original. However, all of them come from a few classes. In simple words, we have a few types of these signs. It is useful to know something about them and something about how to know of which type a sign is.

House Signs

This is the first and the most common type of handmade wooden signs. They are made for a house, for just one family and they are used to add the personalize, luxurious effect on the house entrance. The dimensions of a typical homemade wooden house sign are usually small or medium. They can be hung or installed on an exterior wall. For luxury and high-end homes, these signs definitely add a unique touch to your entryway and they can make each home look much better. The bottom line is that you can see signs of this kind in all parts of a city – whether it is in an urban setting or a rural setting.

Farm Signs

Farm signs are popular, especially in Mexico, Australia, and the United States. They are designed to send a message to a person who is entering a farm.  Typically you can find them at the end of a long driveway or private road heading toward the house.  They are also territorial, meaning that they may warn travelers that they are entering a private property. The dimensions are large. These signs are almost every single time installed on the entering gate of a farm, usually high above the ground.  The majority of the signs span across the road and a personal touch is added to show the farm or family symbol and name of the farm or ranch if it has one.  Keep in mind that on some farms, they can be paired with lights, flags, and sometimes security gates.

Sign Boards

Sign boards are less popular and it may be difficult to find handmade wooden signs of this kind. But, they have an important value today and they had an even more important role in the past. These signs are made only to send a message to specific people. They may warn you that you are entering a forbidden place or that you must take specific action. In addition, those that are informative (help you understand where you are) and those that are made to tell you that something is banned can be found.

Hunting Signs

You may have never heard for handmade wooden signs of this type and it is perfectly normal. They are reserved for less-developed countries, where ordinary hunters use them to display some information, usually to other hunters. For example, a sign may reveal which animals live there or that hunting them is banned. They are also used to mark the hunting ground. For hunters, these signs are extremely important.  Additionally, some private land owners utilize hunting signs to indicate whether hunting is allowed on their land or if it is discouraged or entirely illegal.

House Numbers

Usually, when it comes to house numbers, they are not custom made, nor they are made from wood. However, handmade wooden signs of this type actually exist. In almost any case, they are paired with wooden signs and they also have a role in improving the appearance of a home. Therefore, they are elegant and highly stylish. Same as conventional house signs, these are only for outdoor applications. It means that they are coated and protected from the elements. It isn’t possible to find a sign of this class that isn’t professional protected from the elements, due to the fact they come from high-range suppliers and they are usually located at the entrance of a home.  Many homemade wooden house numbers come as individual wood numbers, painted numbers on a common sign, carved numbers, or engraved wooden signs.

Attract More Customers than Ever with Outdoor Open Signs

All business owners know that in order to keep up with competition, improving their offerings and increasing the number of clients is mandatory. There are a lot of ways to do that. But, what is the most successful way to get your message across to potential clients who are driving or walking past your store? The answer is outdoor open signs.  As you can notice, outdoor open signs have been commonly used at retail locations for quite some time and they have an important role, especially today when the competition is harder than ever. In addition, they provide you two types of benefits.

To Show Potential Customers that You Are Open

An outdoor open sign is a very simple solution to show customers that your store is open. As such, these signs are more than simply important. New signs can be seen from a huge distance, thanks to new and improved LED lamps. Usually, the distance is measured in a few blocks. Try to calculate how many people your sign will reach who are walking or driving past your store each day. Each one is a potential customer, and every time they pass your location there is a change that they will notice your business. Without a sign, your number of customers and related profit is going to be seriously reduced.

Animated Flashing Outdoor Open Signs

A great improvement over common, simple outdoor open signs are flashing signs. They attract customer’s attention even more. The explanation is a bit more psychological. Humans have a complicated eyesight which has a special attention on the peripheries. This came from early ages when we had to run away from the enemies. Nowadays, you can use this to attract people’s attention. Every single person will notice your sign, simply due to the fact it is in our nature! Pair these two features for your outdoor open sign and you will actually get the ultimate advertising method.

Another important consideration is the fact this is a permanent solution. Once installed, LED outdoor open signs can last forever. They are made from aluminum or PVC and they are resistant to corrosion and the elements. LED can last up to 100.000 hours, so you can understand how long they will last.  Even when the LED lamps run out they can be easily replaced without having to recreate the whole sign.

Make Your Business More Professional

Besides just attracting the attention of the potential customers, open signs (outdoors or indoors) have another role. They make your store or a business more professional. Your facility will look better in any way and you can notice that. When you don’t use a sign, people will believe that your business is either poor or it will go out of business soon! This fact has actually been confirmed by the survey conducted in the United States.

Statistically, you can boost sales and get more than 20% of customers with one, simple sign. Of course, it should be LED and it should have a flashing effect. With these two features, it will be more than just successful in attracting a variety of people.  Try to remember that the size has an important role. In this case, bigger is better. Don’t try to save money on the dimensions, simply because this is an investment, not a waste of money. The last, but not least is the location and position of the sign. Where will you install it? Make sure it is at or above the entrance, and visible from the highest traffic path adjacent your store.