Wood Selection for outside sign

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Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby Paul Stewart » Wed May 06, 2015 4:02 am

I have a job that the customer want a sign 20"w x 10"h that will go outside and wants it the last for many years with little or no maint. (ie no refinishing ect.) It will be painted - lettering and art work. The customer is wanting what i would describe as a honey oak color type of wood.
The Questions are this
what kind of wood to use that would meet the above color requirement and would last outside
type of paint to use. i have lowe's sampler of valspar paint- not sure if it's indoor or outdoor paint would like to use it if possible already have colors on hand to do the job
customer wants a high gloss look/finish. Was thinking poly with UV protection.
what type of mounting hardware. i was thinking stainless steel

Thanks for any help or info

(as a side note i have only done indoor signs in the past)
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby dhellew2 » Wed May 06, 2015 5:42 am

For outdoor use, paint only with exterior paint.
All woods change color over time but can be delayed by finishing with a uv clear coat
When exposed to the sun and weather many woods turn black-ish including oak
The glossier the finish the longer the finish is suppose to last

Paint is a matter of personal preference and personal choice

My wife and I mostly use acrylics and industrial voc enamels
When using acrylics we finish with at least two coats of clear Rustoleum industrial enamel [solvent based] which slows the fading of the acrylic exposed to the sun

Industrial voc enamels are formulated for painting metal and their slow recoat time makes a permanent bond with wood [primer not needed or recommended]
Ask any old-timer and they remember the 100-year oil based finishes that fade but never peel

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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby Mobius » Wed May 06, 2015 2:09 pm

My Go-To for outdoor signs is Western Red Cedar. Naturally rot/insect resistant, lightweight and generally inexpensive, cedar also has some beautiful grain patterns.

I also prefer to laminate strips of the cedar together, to give it strength and reduce warping/splitting etc.

Image

I usually finish with 4 coats minimum of UV resistant spar-urethane (semi-gloss or gloss), and use Rustoleum indoor/outdoor metal enamel paint for color/details.
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby Art Mann » Wed May 06, 2015 4:57 pm

I have yet to find a clear varnish-like material that will hold up for more than a year or so of full exposure to the sun and weather. I make camp signs out of Eastern Red Cedar and I would love to find a material that would hold up for years even with temporary use.
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby glenninvb » Wed May 06, 2015 6:25 pm

This is kind of interesting, only 2 years so far, but extreme exposure.
Your right, there is no long term clear wood coating, a few years at best.
http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/ ... 576-1.html

Tung oiled Teak will last darn near forever, if you forget the "plastic" coating



Art Mann wrote:I have yet to find a clear varnish-like material that will hold up for more than a year or so of full exposure to the sun and weather. I make camp signs out of Eastern Red Cedar and I would love to find a material that would hold up for years even with temporary use.
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby COWBOY1296 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:43 pm

I have been at this for a few years now but 99% of the stuff that I have done has been indoor stuff. I like what Mobius posted but have some questions about the procedure.
1 did he use the spar urethane prior to v-carving;
2 did he seal the graphics prior to painting with more spar urethane if not then what prevented bleeding;
3 when he added the paint was he able to wipe off the excess with mineral spirits and was the paint protective enamel;
4 after painting did he apply the spar urethane on top of the paint.

I know that all of this is elementary but I failed in outside sign finishing
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby ger21 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:03 pm

If it's in the sun, it won't last long.
The best finish would be at least 3 coats of epoxy as a sealer, followed by at least 5 coats of varnish. And I still wouldn't guarantee it for more than 2 years.
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby Leo » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:19 pm

I would NOT use wood at all.

I would use HDU and completely paint it.

Generally I use 2-3 coats of professional sign primer, then 3-4 coats of a high quality acrylic paint from Ben Moore of Sherwin Williams. This will last YEARS with little to no maint. I have power washed after 4 years and it looks like new with nothing else.

There are aluminum and PVC laminated that are good. PVC is also good.

If you DO need to use wood - Cedar, Redwood, Teak, Mahogany.

EDIT IN
Mounting hardware can be PVC, or Aluminum. I like to use Aluminum "Z" track.
I try to use 18-8 or 316 stainless steel fasteners - do not use 416 stainless steel.
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby COWBOY1296 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:01 pm

great response but the wood has already been purchased. and i have not painting skills
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Re: Wood Selection for outside sign

Postby COWBOY1296 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:47 pm

here is one that i did out of african mahogany, the shop shut down a few months after i did it so not sure how long it would have lasted. sanding and resealing the top can be done, what i dont want to happen is the paint peeling out of the graphics.
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quilt shop.jpg
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