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Preparing MDO

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by SUPALOSDOG, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. SUPALOSDOG

    SUPALOSDOG Member

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Hello wonderful people,

    I have to make a 4'x8' sign for a local construction company and have decided to use MDO this time. I have read through some threads where everybody debates about their preferred substrate. I am using ZINSER primer and a white oil paint for the top coat. It takes sooo long for oil to set up. Is there any other way? I have priced out the aluminum ply and thought about making my own but, too pricey for this job. Last time I used sanded plywood, but I didnt have enough time to let it set up and it damaged the finish a bit. Is this every sign makers dilemma when working with MDO or regular old plywood? takes about three days according to the paint cans, after all the waiting to dry and such...

    thanks a bunch ahead of time for all your help!

    supalosdog
     
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  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    Just buy prepainted MDO, When we use to paint our own MDO it never took more then 24 hours to dry, use Ronan quick dry enamel
     
  3. jdb

    jdb Active Member

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    Buy pre painted or pre primed. I prefer pre primed because I usually use colored backgrounds. It allways dries overnight. I use I-shot chromatic bulliten enamel. Oh yea, NO plywood ever!
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2007
  4. Rich

    Rich Active Member

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    Plywood may be good if your building a house....however, it's not a good choice for signs. I've used MDO for many years with good results and yes, it's takes some time to achieve a beautiful finish - if you do it right. Everyone seems to have a different preference for paints but I still prefer using Chromatic oil base with a foam roller. 1 coat primer and 2 top coats bulletin enamel. Sanding with 220 grit between coats. Finish the edges with MAS expoxy. I always allow 24 hrs. between coats.

    My choice these days would be LusterBoard from Laminators. It costs a bit more but well worth the added price.
     
  5. imaSIGNr

    imaSIGNr Very Active Member

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    I use mdo all the time....I use a couple different methods....Everyone will have a different story on this. I often use "Olympic" brand ,"Outside White"(color) solid latex stain as a primer. This I learned from Jay Cook himself. I took a workshop from him several years ago. He did extensive research on this and endorsed it himself. ( Don't know if he still does cause he has his own label now.), but it dries fast , lays down smooth and you can use and kind of paint on it...I usually use bulletin paints.
    I also use the Zinnzer too. As a matter of fact I am doing a sign right now using Zinnzer, bulls-eye 1.2.3.primer. This is the one in the white can and blue letters. The other is "BIN"a spot primer and does not work as well. It's a shellac base. I think it is good stuff for the money. I have never had a problem with it. And it dries so I can get 2 coats in a day and paint in the evening if there is not a moisture situation like rain or high humidity. ( I actually have wood heat in my shop and I had it fired up last night )Wood heat will dry paint quickly.
    I also recommend using "Chromatic" Block out white as primer. It is the industry standard.

    I'd suggest using bulletin paints.
    I use the pre primed mdo sometimes, but I always give it at least one more coat of primer. I have noticed that paint will loosen up on the pre primed in a couple years.
     
  6. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    I agree with imaSIGNr and use a solid white latex as a primer along with using other high quality latex primers. My favorite primer is Acyl-loc which is sold here in Canada at Home Hardware.

    For finish coats, I have been using 100% acrylic exterior house paints. This is something I been doing for over 10 years and tried many different brands with success and failure. Again, I use a Home Hardware Beauti-tone paints with great results. If using a latex paint, make sure its exterior 100% acrylic gloss or, at very least, semi-gloss.

    I've also had great results with using the solid white latex stain as a primer with an oil rust paint top coat, such as rustoleum and tremclad.
     
  7. imaSIGNr

    imaSIGNr Very Active Member

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    I don't know if Jay Cook has stock with " Olympic" but I was told to use "Olympic". And outside white as the color. I have actually used other colors and seemed to work, but darker colors had a different texture to it.
     
  8. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    bare MDO BOARD..KILZ OIL BASED, drys in an hour or2.
    light sand with 240-280...wipe with a tack cloth, SPRAY WITH AUTOMOTIVE ACRYLIC ENAMEL with/or without hardner. takes a qt of reduced paint. set in the florida sun for 2 hours...AND THEN YOU CAN PAINT/VINYL ON IT!!!!
     
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

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    only time I use MDO is when required ..why time involed in prep if cut priming edges etc. and back ,, painting color, cost of doing

    I just sell them ... alumalite .... for the best signs and money ....or ... 10 mm coraplas for the ppl that will not spend for the best

    13 folds
     
  10. SUPALOSDOG

    SUPALOSDOG Member

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    I heard never use Latex...

    I was told to use oil based for top coat, never latex. Because of latex breathes and doesn't created the best surface to apply vinyl to. Latex paint is much more user friendly than oil, but I wonder if it lasts as long?

    two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled... oil or latex?
     
  11. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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    I 've had great success with latex paints, but as stated, there are brands that I've had trouble with. Benjamin Moore paint wouldn't allow the vinyl to adhere. It had a "greasy" film after it dried.

    If you look through some of the sign magazines of late you'll see many signmakers adding or fully converting over to latex paints. I have mdo signs that have been up for 10 years and the paint is faded and a little chalky, but its not cracked and flaking like oil-based paints will do. I also like the fact that latex is easy to clean up and easier on the lungs.

    Also as I and others have stated, if using latex, make sure it's exterior 100% acrylic gloss (shine = vinyl adhesion)
     
  12. BlueFishDesigns

    BlueFishDesigns Very Active Member

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    I don't understand why you don't want to use Alumalite or Alumacore instead. You say because of the cost but the cost of the time you put into prepping the MDO will far outweigh the added cost of the other substrates. Polymetal is also a nice substrate, as well as 080 aluminum.

    The only time I use MDO is when the customer wants a specific color background that the other materials don't come in OR the sign needs to be a custom shape. And when I use it, I buy the pre-primed and use One Shot paint. Use one of the really thin, foam rollers. After you get the board evenly covered, go back over it with the roller, starting at one end, rolling all the way across in one direction and applying no pressure. Come back and go again barely overlapping the area you just did. Do this to the whole board and it'll look really nice.

    Good luck!
     
  13. wsteely7

    wsteely7 Member

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    I always prep the edges with an all purpose putty made by bondo, but its not the one for cars. I then prime and put 2 coats of finish oil base paint and let dry and outgas for about 5 or 6 days then letter with vinyl and graphics.
    no problems so far.
     
  14. SUPALOSDOG

    SUPALOSDOG Member

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    I needed it done and my local lumber yard doesn't carry it... I don't even know how much it costs, but I can see where it all adds up with hours spent prepping, paint cost and everything else involved... One of the challenges I have noticed are finding the material and people who sell it... I live in between Orlando and Daytona in a medium sized town.. seems like I have to travel a ways to get substrates... HECk, maybe I should be selling this stuff in town..?!!! ALL the other shops in town must get deliverys... just gotta find out who they are getting them from and make an order myself? Does this seem right? After putting in all my time into this mdo, i am very very interested in finding the alumacore. One more thing, I thought about making my own, but the aluminum .030 4x8' cost about 100$ and when I heard that I just put the thought to rest. I didn't really add up all the real cost involved with the mdo. Anyway the mdo is done and ready so next time I would like to find the Alumacore...

    thanks again everyone for your great help!
     
  15. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    If they charging you that much for a sheet ,, you are paying retail.
     
  16. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    last sheet of .040 4x10 ft i bought was $90..........tax included....
    sign supply usa ON LINE LOOK IT UP
    GRIMCO also.....these 2 DELIVER.....
     
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