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My brother has a company and I am making him some signs. I routed a couple of boards with the text and numbers in the same design as their logo using a core box bit. I have also used a round over bit on the edges and sanded the whole thing. Now I am looking to stain the signs, something light in color, but was wondering how it might look to use colored paint for the numbers and letters to match their actual logo. Their colors are black, grey, and a light green. This is my first attempt at making a sign (I've only owned a router for a week or two), and I don't want to ruin the work I've done so far. I free-handed everything. No stencils, no skis, no tracing, so I know it's not perfect. Thank you.
 

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Hello Brad and welcome to the forum.

I personally like painting the text on wooden signs. I think it looks sharp. I think that it's possible that more than one or two colors may begin to look cluttered, however.

Check out this article about sign making, wherein the letters are indeed painted black:

Wooden grave marker

Good day.
 

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Hi Brad. Welcome to our little corner of the 'net.
 

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Thanks for the help, Phillip. The actual logo is letters in grey thinly outlined in green, and numbers in black, also thinly outlined in green. The letters are on one sign, and the numbers on another, so I was hoping that might help prevent any clutter, but clutter is definitely something I'm trying to avoid. Not really sure what direction I'm going to go yet. Thanks again.
 

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I do quite a bit of signmaking, although I do most of it with a CNC router. But as an example of an alternative way to think about painting, the attached photo is a sign that was v-carved and then the recessed area painted.
 

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Welcome to the forum, Brad.
 

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I do quite a bit of signmaking, although I do most of it with a CNC router. But as an example of an alternative way to think about painting, the attached photo is a sign that was v-carved and then the recessed area painted.
Good looking sign, Tim. I like to use acrylic paints on my signs (mostly for indoors). Paint the carved area, don't worry if a little gets slopped on the surface. A light sanding with a random orbital sander (or by hand) to remove the excess, then finish.
 

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Thank yall for the examples. Those are along the lines I'm thinking. When I get it done, I'll try to post some pics on here.
 

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Paint the carved area, don't worry if a little gets slopped on the surface. A light sanding with a random orbital sander (or by hand) to remove the excess, then finish.
This sign was completely finished first, THEN cut. When painting the carved portion, if I got a little on the surface, I could just wipe it off.
 

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Welcome to the forum Brad.
 

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When painting signs I first route out the text required (CNC or by hand). Then I clean it up and stain (Depending on what I am doing I will use either a natural or light stain color). After that I put on a very thin coat of polyurathene and when dry very lightly sand (220-400 grit). Then I will draw and paint a flower, bird or anything else I want onto the board. After that I will very lightly sand again with 220-400 grit clean the board of the sand shavings and then again a very light coat of polyurathane. Then I will Paint in the letters after the Polyurathane dries. Normally the letters are the last steps in the processes so after that I go for my final finish adding very thin layers of polyurethane then sanding and then repeating until I get a look I like. The biggest trick in all this is to work in layers and do not goop on the polyurethane or paint!. It is not necessary to have a pile of that stuff on your wood. Very very light coats will do. Just enough to separate one layer from the next sothat the paint layers are separated.

Also many folks beginning to polyurathane apply it on like paint where they do short strokes. That is not the best way to do it. When applying polyurathane you want from one end of the board to another with a very thin coat on the brush (I prefer foam but others prefer hair). If you see puddling then carefully run over the entire puddled surface with the brush gather it up and start the next stroke from one end of the board to another.

I've found that this methodology allows you to do an easier cleanup if you make a mistake on a complicated piece where it is not all that easy to resand and go back to the beginning without reworking all the artwork. If you see uneveness in your finish, you either put on to much polyurathane or paint. For carved out letter signs (letters are lower than the background) this may be a little overkill. For relief signs (letters are raised background is lowered) it can be a real time saver to clean up blotches that accidentally happended without affecting any previous artwork finished.

I've found that clients find that once they like one of your wooden signs they'll ask for more and more complex. Using the layering method whether your a pro or just starting sign making you can a much more complex sign that looks good rather than just trying to do everything at once on the board.

Victor
 
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