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Question Brands of lettering enamel

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Clint Voris, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. Clint Voris

    Clint Voris New Member

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    Oct 21, 2015
    Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Hi everyone,
    A general question about lettering enamels. I use both Ronan and 1Shot. I was back in the hardware store and saw plain ol' Rustoleum. Has anybody ever actually used Rustoelum (oil-based glossy paint, applied with a lettering quill,) to letter a sign? How is it different than Ronan? I'm guessing the solids would be greater in Ronan and 1Shot.

    I was doing some testing on a black panel the other day. I used gloss white 1Shot, and was not pleased with the coverage. Just for the fun of it, I tried yellow gloss Rustoleum. It covered about the same.

    Any opinions or comments...?
     
  2. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    I have a hard time imagining an off the shelf, consumer grade paint would perform as well as an industry standard lettering enamel.

    Willing to give it a try though.
     
  3. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    Does not mean to burst ya bubble, but if you want the paint to cover well 1st brush, last a good length of time, have good strong color compared to lettering paint be it 1-Shot, Ronan lettering or even bulletin or Alfa6 Alfanamel, Ronan Aquacoat, Hot Hues or the many others even Nova Colors or Createx Scenic all absolute all of these are way better, all within cost comparative. if not an emergency needs any paint color on area type repair & this was the handy do not bother.
     
  4. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    back in the day? Yes I tried rustoleum. Its thin but great for spraying. it WILL NOT last in the elements. Rustoleum is actually worse than One Shot and I thought that was impossible. I dont know how these big time guys are treating their One Shot but they are still using it
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Using 1shot and some of the others is Iike painting with snot. There's no coverage and it's no longer long lasting. Most everything has been taken out of it, to make it safe to eat for kids eating window sills and pictures on their beds. Using rustoleum can't be any better. Just look at the crap that comes outta their rattle cans.

    Honestly, about 45 years ago, my old boss used rustoleum to paint some signs and it was horrible.

    Remember this, if the paint goes down real nice and smooth and you can quickly build or stroke out a letter, it's probably too thin to be of any good. You need drag and when you have that , ya generally have a worthwhile paint. When using your white, add some imatation silver to it. It will cover much much better and create that drag I mentioned. Make sure you stir it thoroughly....... and try not to thin it, it's already thinned down.
     
  6. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

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    I'd stick to your One-Shot and Ronan. These paints have been formulated for many years specifically for the commercial sign industry. You will not find better manufactured paint for hand lettering and painting graphics.

    A traditionally-trained sign painter will paint directly on a surface to create letterforms and graphic elements. Part of the process is an understanding of basic shapes and a developed skill to execute brush strokes to create those shapes, typically in a single stroke. One-shot paint was formulated to facilitate brush lettering. Bulletin paint (using alkyd resin and faster drying) is typically used to cover larger areas.

    The paint has evolved as different manufacturing process and environmental regulations have effected the formulations. The removal of lead oxide has a slight, but not insignificant effect on the covering power of the paint (especially yellow and orange hues). Black goes on a little thicker, and takes longer to dry. I suspect that the increased pigment load has some effect on adhesion and durability. But there is no substitute for these paints for a brush lettering artist. They work well for their intended purpose.

    A typical modern sign shop will have little use for these paints. Digital printing, screen printing, and computer cut masks have made graphics production faster and easier. A modern production shop will likely use acrylic polyurethanes (Matthews paint among others), with an efficient mixing station and spray booth. Industrial alkyds and latex are used for field applications.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    How long will a painted sign with one shot last outside in your area/
     
  8. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

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    Central Illinois gets cold and hot, rainy and dry. I have signs that were painted with One-Shot bulletin and lettering enamels that still look fine after 10 years. There's a few older ones out there that look fine but you can see where the paint is nearing it's useful life-span.

    As always, the trick to longevity is the choice of substrate, choice of coating system and how it is applied, and how the sign is installed. In contrast, properly prepared signs with cut vinyl graphics will last about 7 years. Printed vinyl about 5 years.

    Properly engineered signs coated with acrylic polyurethane will last 15 - 20 years. Back-sprayed polycarbonate faces using acrylic lacquer (Series 400 Lacryl) will last about as long as the cabinets.

    Not all applications call for a fifteen year+ life, but those that do are well served in terms of both performance and economy with acrylic polyurethane and acrylic lacquer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

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    We're in a super high UV area but have only been here 4.5 years so its hard to really tell. I regularly see an old, vintage pickup I lettered about four years ago for a contractor who drives it daily and it looks great. We coat panels with Ronan or Chromatic Bulletin colors as background all the time and they hold up really well.

    I rarely letter or paint with colors right out of the can, so for me coverage and durability has always been about fortifying colors with minute amounts of other colors. 99% of customers couldn't tell if I added tiny amounts of other colors to help them cover and last longer. When folks print black on their large format printers, do they use a formula of C:0/M:0/Y:0/K:100?

    If all the lead and other toxic compounds that have been removed from industrial paints for all of our safety were so good, my mentors 40 years ago wouldn't have taught me and an entire generation of apprentices to bolster their colors with small amounts of other colors for added coverage and durability even while those elements were still in them. Or to make sure I was careful to keep it off my hands as much as possible and have a change of clothes to go home in. I'm sure health records for sign painters are not easily collected or studied, but I'm willing to bet more than our share or fellow craftspeople have fallen to various cancers and other life shortening illnesses related to high exposures to the compounds we work with.

    Achieving good paint coverage by brush is a combination of technique, equipment and consistency of the paint. Its chemical and elemental makeup is important, but not the only factors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  10. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    One shot will die within a year here. its either latex or auto paints for me and Im doing more latex and vinyl, have had no issues at all with that. The drying and curing time is hell but its all good
     
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
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