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Sign Painting Kit?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by Circleville Signs, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Circleville, OH
    OK all you painters....You've gotten a few of us fired up to start learning. I've ordered a couple of books, and am trying to find some old Speedball books as well.

    Now, here's the question -

    If you were putting together a beginners painting kit, what would need to be in it?
  2. Pat Whatley

    Pat Whatley Major Contributor

    Sep 29, 2003
    Wetumpka, AL
    Brushes and paint....duh.

    Okay, that's the obligatory smart assed answer. I have no clue, I'm just starting out learning hand lettering too.
  3. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    1 toolbox of your choice.
    Some Wright's of Lymm metal ferruled red sables, evens or odds.
    A few red-handled Macks
    Swirly Qs both sizes
    Alan Johnson signature brushes both sizes (they never do write his signature though)
    Baby oil
    Rapid Prep
    a few small metal portion cups
    paper dixie cups
    wooden yardstick
    Pounce wheels (a couple sizes)
    pounce bag made from an old t shirt
    vine charcoal
    X-Acto knife
    butter knife
    fineline tape, better yet that orange tape from Germany
    masking tape
    I can each black, white, bright red, reflex blue, process blue, and chrome yellow lettering enamel
    razor blades
    rubber gloves
    paper towels
    some spare change
    the alphabets torn out of Mastering Layout or a couple pages of the Letraset catalog
  4. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    i started with QUILLS.
    so would suggest you buy at least 3 of these, #4, #8, & a #12-16.
    as for learning how to use one, you really need an old sign painter to show you in person.
    1. learning how to prepare your new brushes.
    as soon as you get em, find a tray sorta like the one in your kitchen you put knifes, forks, spoons in. puta 1/4" of 10 W NON-DEGERGENT MOTOR OIL in it, lay the new brushes in that for a day of so, so the brushes will get OIL in the heal(this is the part of the brush near the twisted wire) so paint WONT GET IN THERE.
    2. when you go to use a brush, lest start with the #8, you get a small can of turps/mineral spirits, wash the brush in that, laying the brush on the bottom of the can applying down pressure in a back and foth motion like you was painting with it.
    3. now......take the brush, lay it in your right palm, hair end to the heal of the hand, now put left hand on the right with the brush in between, turn both hands like your going to pray, now slide your hand back and forth, rolling the brush between your palms.
    this removes the turps.
    4. now here is an important thing. find the twist on the wire. now with you thumb and fore finger............flaten the hairs....WITH THE TWISTED WIRE either to the left or right of the flatened edge of the hairs. THIS IS IMPORTANT, as this sets the hairs for the life of its use.
    5. get youself some 3 partitioned picnic plates. in one of the small one you puts some one shot, in the second small one you put a small amount of turps. put the brush into the paint, touch the trups with it, and in the big part, lay the brush, CAREFUL make sure the twised wire is horizontal with the plate..............now stroke the brush, back and forth.....keep doin this till all the HAIRS ARE FULL OF PAINT......UP TO THE HEAL. this is called loading the brush. it will take time for you to learn the right turps/paint mix. for me it hasa lot to do with temps......when its hot i thin more, cool i thin less.
    6. practice single strokes.......glass, tin, cardboard....dont matter at this point, you are feeling out the brush.
    once your able to pull a straight line, and have it the same width where you started and where you stopped.......thats lesson #1.
    7. now do the same thing with HALF A CIRCLE.
  5. mikey-Oh

    mikey-Oh Very Active Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    thanks OP and Jill
  6. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    washington state
    Oh...and if you haven't yet acquired the "kit" itself, some of the larger tackle boxes will do. Find one that has about the right balance of "free space" and compartmentalized space. Knock out the dividers if needed for specific brushes, etc.

    Toward the end of my hand lettering career I used a pretty big tackle box. Customized with my own ideas about organizing it. After you've got it set up the way you want it....guard it with your life.

    Jill's list is pretty good. I would add some quills, (all sizes) and some truck lettering "flats" as we called them.

    For wall work, soft fitches for smoother walls (squirrel hair I believe) and hard fitches for rougher textured walls. (boar hair I believe)

    Enamel drying retarders, and accelerators. (will be useful at times)

    Flask of booze. (optional, but handy)
  7. threeputt

    threeputt Very Active Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    washington state
    Oh...and for wall work, a couple of angled sash brushes. (can be nylon or natural bristle) Cutters, we called 'em. Cut the long part of the handle down four inches or so, so they'll fit in the kit better. Typically you don't need all that much handle.
  8. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    My cutter and fitches are in a separate kit, wrapped in phone book pages and soaking in a mix of thinner and motor oil.
    I have a whole nother kit for wall jobs.
    My sign kit is in a wheeled toolbox I got from the evil W place.
    My "good" brushes are in a metal box in it, my quills are in oil in the tray.
    Try to always keep a brush just for white.
    I have a few pinstriping brushes but never use them.
    Wright's of Lymm
  9. Craig Sjoquist

    Craig Sjoquist Major Contributor

    Jun 18, 2004
    I only buy what is needed.... are you starting to learn ?
    or you been learning and want a more advanced kit ?
  10. Whit

    Whit Member

    Nov 16, 2004

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  11. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    I use to keep my brushes oiled with Neat's foot oil. I always kept extra strength Tylenol in my kit for the migraines I would get from absorbing the lead in the 1-shot. Don't wash the paint off of your skin with benzine like I use to. Its a carcinogen. I always used one good silver teaspoon to open my cans, stir my paint with, and scoop out into my paper cups. I always used paper towels to wipe the spoon clean and clean the rim of my paint cans so you could seal them well as to prevent the paint scum from skinning over on the top. I use to exhale carbon dioxide into the can before sealing. That would help but I would often hyperventilate and pass out. The customer would sometimes see me lying on the floor passed out and think I was dead. I thought that was funny.
  12. Fitch

    Fitch Member

    Sep 1, 2009
    @ Jill: "the alphabets torn out of Mastering Layout"

    I can't believe you said that...lol
  13. round man

    round man Active Member

    Oct 16, 2005
  14. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Circleville, OH
    @Jill - THANK YOU for the comprehensive list! I'll start putting it together a bit at a time.

    @OP - You're a PITA on the NHB boards, but I really appreciate the help and advice here. I might just have to come spend a day or two with you the next time I'm in FL.

    @Whit and RoundMan - AWESOME links. Thanks a ton.

    @Pat - Smartass :)

    @everyone else - Thanks for the encouragement. I got the book Sign Painting Techniques by Ralph Gregory in the mail today. Started reading it already - pretty fascinating!
  15. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    Your welcome anytime............
  16. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    That link of Whits would be like doing your apprenticeship online. It is exactly as I learned the trade!:thumb:
  17. GP

    GP Very Active Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    (this might be the most exciting post I have read on signs101)

    it has been confirmed. i am a geek.
  18. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Awesome list, going to have to come back to this thread once I get some down time. I could really see myself getting hard core this winter learning this side of the biz.

    Gary, great post - and thank you all for your replies!
  19. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I also forgot to say some white and some blue Staedler pencils, as Stabilos melt.
    And isn't that what you are supposed to do with the alphabets?
    I even have a paperback Atkinson so I didn't have to rip up my 1915 one.
    Also some books from this page.
  20. Just Another Sign Guy

    Just Another Sign Guy Very Active Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Jill Jill Jill...you're slacking on us. you forgot to list the quarter :)