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Hello all,

I started carving a house sign by hand using a router and I would like to have this sign hung outside my house, in the elements of the Pennsylvanian weather. I would like to know what is the safest way to protect the wood. I intend to use acrylic paint at one point or another to paint an image on the sign and the letters (title).
My question is, what are the necessary steps needed once I have the raw piece of wood carved out. Should I use varnish before or after I paint the sign?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
Timis.
 

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Hi Timis.

You may get better response if you post your question the the sign making section under general routing.
 

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My question is, what are the necessary steps needed once I have the raw piece of wood carved out. Should I use varnish before or after I paint the sign?
Hi Timis

Varnish doesn't really work all that well on signs and acrylic paints might also be a problem. Traditional signwriters over here used to favour either coach enamels, such as the Craftmaster range in the UK range, or signwriters enamels such as the American 1-Shot Signwriting Enamels (also available in the UK). These paints contain a far higher percentage of pigment solids then ordinary paints and really give a dense, durable colour. The manufacturers also supply compatible clear lacquers which are less likely to crack or craze than enamel

Regards

Phil
 

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I have a friend here in TN (Smokeys) that is a professional sign maker. He makes a lot of signs for rental cabins. None of the finishes he uses will hold up for a long time in our weather. To get around this problem he covers the face side with a thin piece of acrylic and seals the edge with clear silicone.
 

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Varnish will need to be renewed periodically. I've had very, very, good results from exterior acrylic latex paints. The acrylic lates housepaints are meant to withstand years of exposure to the elements before repainting. I figure you can't go wrong with a good house paint, and for get the varnish. The latex cleans up with soap and water also.
 

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clear unpigmented paint base for a final....
 

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Nice introduction.
 
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