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Old school sign painting advise

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Texas_Signmaker, May 21, 2019.

  1. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I have an area of about 3' x 12' of a brick wall at a car dealership that I need to redo because of a name change.

    This is what the brick looks like and I have some questions because I've never painted signs before..

    How would a go about making a template? Would I cut one out of vinyl and apply it and use that to paint the inside of the letters?

    What kind of paint would I use?

    Should I even try this or let it go? I've done LOTS of work for the GM over the years and followed him to new dealerships so it's not just some random one shot call. I'm kinda curious about painting and wana give it a shot.. ya know see what it was like in the olden days.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    Hmmmm..... where to start. I can safely say that if you have never had any real experience with this type of Sign Painting, it would be best to sub it out to one who has. Maybe they will let you shadow them for the learning. Otherwise, pass on it. Don't try to go it cold on your own, especially on a wall with that type of brick. Types of paint, brushes, image transfer / layout methods etc. are all a matter of choice and preference of the individual painter and details of the particular job itself. If I myself were in your vicinity, I'd be all over helping you with the job and of course collecting the $$. If you can locate someone to sub or turn the job over to, you could possibly make a few bucks and learn a few things that may or may not be of help to you in the future.
     
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  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's very good advice. Watch and help someone who already knows how.

    However, there are some other alternatives. It doesn't look very high, so you could use a paint band by prepping the wall and painting it another color in that spot, then pouncing the new pattern and slowly cutting in the edges and filling the rest with what's called a pig brush. Also, you could tell the guy...... most paints today are total crap and it would be in his best interest to put new panels over the old paint and letter them accordingly. Not seeing the entire area, makes that we can't offer complete suggestions, but these should help.
     
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  4. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    ditto what Gino said. In all my years I have never seen funky brick like that.

    however it it were my job I would do a paper pattern off a plotter and tape it up and start cutting away and transferring lines to the brick
     
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yea, that's a tough texture to work on for someone with experience. I'd probably try a pounce pattern, but you are only going to get a "suggestion" of the outline. Projecting may work. Then a lot of patient work with a fitch ( a short stiff bristle lettering brush) to do the edge and fill in with a larger brush. And, yes, unfortunately most paints are junk now, I think a lot of wall painters are using Nova brand. An amusing story about not knowing what you're doing...when I was starting out I had learned the basics of painting signs and had worked several years in the trade before I was sent on my first wall painting job. I had no experience on walls, just panels, glass and vehicles. So there I was trying to letter a concrete block wall with some nice quills...it was a long frustrating day.
     
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  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Yea, it looks tough.


    I like the idea of covering the old paint with ACM
     
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Quite honestly, that may not be brick, but a decorative concrete job. The mortar lines look just too perfect. Looks like someone used a template/mold to create that effect..... much as a grain frame does for HDU to look like wood.

    They have 5'x 12 ACM if you're alright with 3mm. Might be a little flimsy. Might want to look into something with some real depth. I wouldn't go to the trouble of making a lip and putting up a frame system. Just some up & down runners and attach strategically.

    When trying to cover something such as this, it's almost always easier to make a mistake look like it was done purposely, so I'd create a nice border when finished and make the background most likely a reverse. Make it intentionally stand out.
     
  8. Sandman

    Sandman Member

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    Some wall dogs will use a projector at night to transfer the pattern with a stabilo pencil. Then as others have said, fitches for the outline, bigger brush to fill in.
     
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  9. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Agree with Gino, not brick. Looks like a decorative finish. If you end up not painting and going with a panel I would still put my anchors in grout lines so in the future if the sign ever comes down and wall repainted it will be an easy patch and paint. If you paint I would definitely follow other advice and find an old wall dog that you can pester from behind while they work. Pay for the education, get the sign work as a bonus.
     
  10. Moze

    Moze Very Active Member

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    It's stamped concrete, you can see the vertical seam where the forms met up.
     
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  11. Gennalee Thunder

    Gennalee Thunder New Member

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    We print a template and pounce it, line up on your surface then use chalk line powder in a rag to blot against the pounce lines and just fill in the lines, however none have been exterior yet so not sure how that would effect it.
     
  12. from the look of the font, it was hand drawn, no pattern needed.

    get a can of one shot, a letter brush, a large triangle, a stabilo and get to work.

    Cash-money the old fashion way!
     
  13. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    I think you can do it. I'd use a pounce pattern and exterior latex paint. Just don't forget your mahl stick.
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Ya don't need a mahl stick on something that size. You're gonna be pulling as far as you can before dripping and then going back and filling in. Mahl stick will just get in your way. If you do paint, make sure you mix up some perfect matching paint of your background, cause there will be drips. I've already had drips go 10'... 20' down before they hit the wall.... according to how the wind's blowing.
     
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  15. fresh

    fresh Very Active Member

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    you do you Gino. I'd use a mahl stick when outlining the letters, no matter how big or small.

    And i'm 99.9% positive he's going to have to paint over the existing lettering, so the background paint would be available. And if the weren't the case, I would make sure I procured the color of the background before I started the project. I've painted a decent amount of signs, and I've never had a hard time getting base paint from clients.
     
  16. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    Sorry, but I've never seen anyone in my 40+ years of outdoor signpainting experience use a mahlstick on a wall job or while using any kind of a brush but a quill or flat on any surface angled, nearly vertical or vertical.
     
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  17. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Not arguing with you..... if you wanna use one, go right ahead. I simply said, you don't need one. However, just not the size, but the texture of the background. Whether you're sliding down the mahl stick or waving it around.... you're gonna hafta move it to make a single stroke. Much faster to just free hand it.... unless you're not steady and no using your pinky as a mini-mahl stick.. As for the touch up, again.... it goes without saying, you ask the owner if they have any paint left over, but that rarely happened in all the walls and I've ever done.
     
  18. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    :covereyes: Oh no, I can't believe my eyes, once again !!!!!!!!!!!
     
  19. mfatty500

    mfatty500 Active Member

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  20. Gene@mpls

    Gene@mpls Very Active Member

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    No opinion on the job... would just like to mention how pleasant the ignore feature is how much it has enhanced my enjoyment of this forum.
     
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