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Background paint for sandblasted wood

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by J Hill Designs, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    Hey all - I need to come to a consensus about the type of paint people use on sandblasted wood signs:

    -solid color stain
    -oil based enamel
    -paint treatments / wood pre-treatments?

    I appreciate the discussion :thumb:
     
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  2. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    For longevity, I use Behr Premium Ultra that has the primer in it already. Three coats will hold up really well. Stains look beautiful but wear down pretty fast.
     
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We don't do near what we used to, but we had the best results from priming everything with a latex primer..... for redwood two coats of prime. Painted with bottom colors first, again twice and worked our way forward. So some things had 6 or 7 coats while others had 4. Always oil-based. Sometimes we used the solid color stain for posts.

    If double-sided we generally did everything on both sides at once. Put it on rods to make it easy to flip. Otherwise, if one-sided the backs still need to be painted. This will prevent warping later on.
     
  4. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    I like to peel my mask while paint is wet so you dont get the ridge of paint on the edges. how do you guys battle this when using 3-7 coats?

    (I pre-paint the 'letter' color, then blast, paint background, remove mask, dry, done)
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    We would pre-paint the whole board before putting the mask down with one coat of primer and one top coat. It could be any color, cause it was gonna get painted 4 or 5 more times. Let that dry for a few days. Blast it. Remove whatever mask could be removed and paint those areas. We generally lifted before completely dry also, so it didn't lift paint. Never had edges pile up on us, that I remember. By the time we got to the final lettering, border or other incidentals, we had several coats on there. The lettering always came last and many many times, we used a roller for that. Went back in and touched up with a brush if need be. If it was being gilded, we'd powder it, then size it with tinted size and gilded the next day. Always used regular size, never that 'Quick Size' crap. Ya never get the punch like you do with regular size.

    We did literally hundreds and hundreds of redwood sandblasted signs back in the 80's & 90's. We were well known for our redwood signs and they lasted for years. Somewhere, I have some start to finish pictures I took back in the 80's of blasting one or two of them. We always glued up our own boards and I would personally go and pick out like $6,000 or more worth of vertical grain all clear heart 8 quarter stock. Wanted to make sure I got the grain I wanted and no cracks in the ends. We generally got 20' long pieces. We were very particular which way the grain ran when gluing up. Nothing worse, than seeing a totally new board start because someone couldn't match grains correctly. Vertical grain is beautiful and when done right, just has an elegant look about it. To me, these were the Cadillacs of signs.


    I know a lotta guys today are using latex paints on these things, but I guess I'm just old school and like the brilliance and longevity from the oil-based paints.... especailly the old leaded paints.... which are still available :rolleyes:
     
  6. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

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    Acrylic latex, period.

    Oils are horrible, especially on woods, they are too hard of a shell, they crack, chip, peel and get chalky with age.
     
  7. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    this is EXACTLY what I'm trying to tell the boss

    edit: chip - do you prime first?

    I may try the behr ultra. 1 would think that a water-borne paint would soak into raw wood quite well?
     
  8. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    I'd look into trying NOVA paint.
    (When I do make them, I prime after blasting then do the background and finally the lettering, no masking because I fricking hate masking)
    Love....Jill
     
  9. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

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    Depends on the material, sometimes, like with some HDUs, we need to even out the surface with some primer. In general though, no, no primer at all...I don't prime PCV, pressure treated wood, or even bare aluminum. Tough as nail once dried completely.
     
  10. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    specifically talking about blasted wood backgrounds
     
  11. SignProPlus-Chip

    SignProPlus-Chip Active Member

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    You don't have too, but you can. Basically freshly blasted cedar can be a bit "thirsty". Sometime we tend to feed it with primer first just to seal it up a bit, saves a few pennies since the primer is a half/third the cost of the paint.

    I reccomend trying it both ways and see what you prefer.

     
  12. Priming and Painting raw wood

    I certainly have a different opinion on some of these topics. Hope this doesn't cause anyone to hate me. Today, I knew better, but primed some rough cedar with a latex primer. Within a few minutes the tannens were leaching through. If I had primed with thinned down Block Out White this wouldn't happen. I've been doing this for thirty five years and confident with a block out primer. It doesn't need to be thick. Thin it down with 25 percent mineral spirits is all you need. Some HDU's are soft and gritty. The difference between Precision Board and Duna is like night and day. Same price, same density. Go figure. So the question does HDU even need a primer. The answer for me is yes. I've done it both ways and a good primer coat accepts paint much better and will last longer. I've skimped on this step at time and always wished I hadn't. Joe Crumley
     
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