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Need Help Restoring Old Motel Signage

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Kat, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Kat

    Kat New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018
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    Hi there-
    I wanted to see if anyone has any advice for "restoring" old Motel and Vacancy signs? My client does not want them full restored or re-painted. They want them to still have the old/ rusted look- they just want the words to be legible (They will be removing the neon tubes and replacing them but they wont light up). I always work with One Shot paint but I am concerned it will look too high gloss and "new". Any tips or advice would be great! Thanks!
     

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  2. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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  3. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    I don't understand why they don't want it painted or to illuminate. Why not leave it as is?
    My suggest is to throw some dimensional letters on it and call it good.
     
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  4. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Do what you have to do with them and put a flattened auto clear coat on it to keep it from degrading further. It may darken the rust some so try it first. Make sure it doesnt melt your one shot too but it should be fine
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    by the way, have you ever seen this?
    >warning: very cussyheaded<
     
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  6. Kat

    Kat New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018
    Dallas
  7. Kat

    Kat New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018
    Dallas
    Ha! I haven't seen that but it's great also a shame because that new sign is hideous!
     
  8. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Hahaha, that video was good, he said the new sign looked like sh*t and Corel drawn with Blippo Bold.
    He's right, they don't make neat signs like they use too. "Come on"!
     
  9. SignosaurusRex

    SignosaurusRex Major Contributor

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    1). Lightly hit the faces with some Scotchbrite® and/or 320 grit sand paper.
    2). Re-letter the faces and cut-in the backgrounds with desired colors. Go ahead and use 1-Shot.
    3). After allowing them to dry to a cure, you can distress the finish to a desire degree with Scotchbrite, sand paper
    and/or a wire brush.

    The paint will no longer have a "gloss" and some of the rust and galvanized metal will be exposed. If you want the final finish to last longer, you can give it a "flat" clear over-coat.
    A final addition of "working neon" would give the entire sign a truly classic, retro and respectful finish.
     
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  10. HDvinyl

    HDvinyl Trump 2020

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    halfway house.
    I think just outlining the old would look neat.

    vacancy.JPG
    This is 5 minutes, so don't fret on the design.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    What the dinosaur said. Fun project.
     
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  12. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Are they using these for a motel or just a decorative thing? If decorative, I would do as HD suggested with outlines that suggest neon. If they are using this for a motel, will the public get the rusted look or will they just see run down? I love these old signs with their really cool shapes and love to see them put back to their original state.
     
  13. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Looks like it was made with18- 24 gauge paint grip sheet metal.
     
  14. Kat

    Kat New Member

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    Jan 9, 2018
    Dallas

    Thank you!!!
     
  15. Todd Jelle

    Todd Jelle Member

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    We had a small old motel approach us over a year ago. Existing vintage 50-60s neon sign, long story short the sign pole failed, zoning required a variance & they could not reinstall in the original location ( codes)
    So they had little or no place to install a new sign, we had to conform so provided a design based on the old sign. Its much smaller & is now LED, but keeps the original look witha day/ night look using RGB LEDs so it can do some cool stuff. So a year later after fighting the city & CDOT we got it installed, we are working on what to do re-creating or reusing the no vacancy sign, so current photo is not of the completed sign. The customer loves it as it keeps the original look.
     

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  16. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Drove by the Sunset Motel again two weeks ago. Their new sign is almost white now, it's faded so badly.
     
  17. Baz

    Baz Very Active Member

    Awww man ... I feel bad for the owner. They should have shopped around.
    They might have hit on someone who actually cared.
     
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