Blog posts tagged with 'Wooden Signs'

How to Make Wooden Signs: The Easiest Method

Making wooden signs has a lot of benefits. It is fun, interesting and it can be profitable. This action also relaxes you, so it has more benefits than most people believe. Nevertheless, the main goal is to improve the look of your house, garage, farm or anything you want to promote. If you want to know how to make wooden signs you should pay attention to the points below. This is the simplest and the best result-delivering technique. It is also the quickest.

  1.      Sand the piece of wood you are going to use

Wooden signs are made of natural plant material, obviously.  As with any natural materials there are imperfections that must be smoothed out.  Before starting any finishing the wood must be sanded. Use different types of sandpapers for the best results.  Start with the roughest grade such as a 60 grit and move towards a fine sandpaper such as a 200 grit – depending on how “finished” you want your homemade DIY wooden sign to look. Always be sure to sand the edges as well as an unsanded edge will not go unnoticed.  Once you are done sanding, make sure you remove all debris with a piece of cloth. If you don’t remove all of the debris and dust, the next step will be compromised.

  1.      Paint the wood with a stain or paint

Paint or stain your sign with any color you desire.  Whether you choose paint or stain really depends on the look you are going for.  For example, if you use paint it may be white, red, blue or any you prefer.  Stains tend to show the grain of the wood more than paint, and historically stains have been limited in color, however, a number of colored stains have recently been released by Minwax specifically, and you would be surprised at the number of choices there are nowadays.  Whether you choose stain or paint, double check that the particular stain or paint you have chosen is specifically designed for wood. Paint for metal is different.  When you paint the wood, leave it to get dry for 60 minutes, or more if the paint is specific.

3.       Protect the wood with special paint or sealer.

Each type of stain or paint you choosed includes a specific way to protect the wood.  If you choose a wood stain then you will typically need to seal the wood to protect the color, especially if you decide to keep it outdoors.  You can choose a clear or tinted sealer, and you can always choose what kind of “sheen” you want – ranging from a flat or stain sheen all of the way up to a glossy sheen.  If you have painted the sign the most common way to project the piece of wood is to choose a paint that is suitable for the environment where the sign will be installed – if it is an exterior sign make sure that the paint used is exterior grade, or the same applies for an interior sign.  Your wooden sign should always include some sort of protection to ensure that your sign will last for years.  When it is done, make sure it dries in 60 minutes (longer if the temperature is low) and then move to the next step.

  1.      Print on your computer logo or text you want

This is a simple, but the most important point. Once you have printed the sign, cut out the letters and symbols. Place it on the wood and glue it with duct tape. Use a large brush and the preferred color to paint the paper and therefore paint the wood. Don’t remove the paper right away. Leave it to get dry for 60 minutes. After that, remove the paper (carefully) and check the sign. Note: Cutting letters and symbols on the paper is complicated and requires a lot of precision. You can go to the special stores where they can use machines to cut out the letters and symbols. It is a more accurate way.

  1.      Protection, again

No matter where you are going to place the sign you just made, make sure the paint and the letters are protected. Use a clear seal (again in whatever sheen you prefer) to get the best effect and the look that you are going for.

One item to note:

Use a soft brush. Old and hard brushes can damage the paper and therefore damage the sign itself. Then, always use paint that has been properly diluted with a special substance.

How to Determine the Age of Vintage Wooden Signs

Vintage wooden signs are the most expensive type of signs, available on the market right now. Some of them may reach astronomic price tags and some are extremely rare to find. Sadly, there are a lot of fake signs that are usually produced in China in order to mimic the vintage design. It is crucial to know how to determine the actual age. Keep in mind that there are some copies that look very realistic, but they are not vintage!

Where to Look

We will start with the simple observation. A real, vintage sign will have an emblem or a logo somewhere, usually on the back of it. These logos are larger and rougher than modern ones, so they are easy to notice. Back in the ages, each company had a unique logo, which had to be imprinted on all products. If there is not a single logo or mark, a sign may be fake! Vintage wooden signs were important in the past, so they were made by professionals.

There are no two same signs! Due to low-end technology capabilities, vintage signs are unique. Each one is slightly different and each one has a few specific characteristics. If you find 2 or three signs vintage wooden signs that have exactly the same dimensions, chances are high that they are fake. In addition, real, vintage signs have standard dimensions that are usually 4x8, 4x4 or 4x12 feet. The situation is the same when it comes to their shape. Only the simplest shapes were used, so don’t look for vintage signs that look different.

Brush strokes are easy to see. Modern signs are painted by robots and with sprays. The second kind, those painted with a brush require soft and delicate brushes so brush strokes are not visible. All vintage signs have them! The brushes used back then were rough and the paint was suitable for brush strokes. This is simply a must-have, and it can help you in determining that a sign is really old. However, it cannot help you determine how old it is.

All vintage signs are different when it comes to the aging. They aged naturally, not evenly, which also helps you determine their true origin. Signs that are made to look like vintage, have been treated with acid in order to look old. When this happens, a sign will be evenly treated, meaning that the complete surface will look the same. Vintage wooden signs age unevenly, simply because the sun and the elements affect different parts of them. As such, the paint will be degraded on specific places, and minor damages will be visible. Fake signs don’t have damages!

The wood used to make these signs is almost always oak. However, there are some additional wood types, but they are rare. What is important is that the signs made from bamboo or from a pine board cannot be vintage. These materials haven’t been used back then and they are reserved for newer signs.