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What paint to use for an outdoor wooden sign?

Discussion in 'Hand Made Signs' started by nolanola, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. nolanola

    nolanola Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    New Orleans
    I built a sidewalk sign a few months ago and I used benjamin moore paint because the client provided the color codes.
    I painted it with a stencil. It came out alright. I had an issue that the paint peeled of the primer once but i fixed that.

    sidewalk sign 1.jpg

    My current job is to build a sidewalk sign and a hanging sign. The client provided the image:
    museum (1).jpg

    I am going to paint it with a stencil. I have some red and black One Shot. I need brown, light brown and yellow paint.
    The question is: can I use a paint by benjamin moore or sherwinn williams to paint the signs?
    They can mix any color you want and that is convenient.

    Thank you.
  2. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    Enamel paints have been industry standard. This used to mean One Shot, but most don't care for their "new" formula. Ronan seems to be the preferred brand now.

    The honest answer is there are a lot of really good latex paints out there now. I believe many of the Wall Dog events are painted with Nova Color. Some of the best dimensional signs are painted with exterior "house" latex paint. Let's also not forget, there are several pretty darn good rattle cans out there.

    It really boils down to what you're comfortable with and what you can get your hands on in a timely fashion.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    benjamin moore would be fine for this. EXT satin.

    Take the one shot and throw it in the trash where it should be
  4. Pete Moss

    Pete Moss Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Duluth, MN
    When I used to make hand painted signs I used Kilz primer, Pittsburgh for the background color and 1 shot for the lettering. This was before 1 shot changed formulas. Pittsburgh is a quality product for background colors. I still have some signs from over 20 years ago holding up using these paints.
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Today, most paints aren't all that good for outdoor durability. Prepping is your only hope regardless of what paint you use. If your other sign peeled, that's generally an indication you didn't prep correctly, whether you had too much dust still on it, didn't tack properly or simply rushed the coats of paint. There are a lotta ways for paint to peel..... even incompatibility.

    As for rest, how do you intend to do the skull with all the fades and gradients ?? Do you have an airbrush or are you gonna just dry brush those effects in ?? Also, when working with those light colors on a dark background, your paint buildup could get a little outta hand, due to the opacity [or lack thereof] of oil or water based paints these days. Without lead in the paint, you're gonna be lucky to get 5 years.

    Luckily for us, I still have a boat load of 1-Shot containing lead. Cases of it in all the various colors. I stocked up years ago, when a local supply company went out of business. Lettering and bulletin. Kept in a good climate, the shelf life is like... forever.
  6. hcardwell93

    hcardwell93 Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    I am bidding a sandblasted sign right now. My plan is to get CVG cedar boards, glue them together and cut out my sign shape.

    Would the Sherwin Williams All Surface Enamel Latex Primer and their Resilience Exterior Latex Acrylic paints be appropriate for this job?
  7. Tyson Mowat

    Tyson Mowat New Member

    Sep 6, 2019
    Fort St John
    Most exterior latex paint from the local hardware store should be just fine, using the recommended primer and allowing proper dry time. Hit it with a latex clear coat for some extra durability.
    Important note to keep in mind if you are not using the same type of paint through the whole project: you can paint latex on top of oil based paint, but you cannot paint oil based paint onto latex.
  8. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    Jun 13, 2013
    An issue with "wood" signs is that they expand and contract quite a bit and whichever paint you choose, it should have good flexibility as well as breathability.

    For that reason, I've always avoided 1Shot and other harder drying enamels that tend to suffocate the wood by sealing it too well.

    Wood "breathes" as it ages and covering it impenetrable layers of paint is like putting duct tape over someone's mouth.

    Solid color stains work really well on solid wood signs because they penetrate into the wood and moisturize it instead of just sitting on the surface.
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Not quite sure, what you are talking about, unless the whole paint world has done a 180 in the last 5 years. It's never been latex on oil........ but always oil on latex.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Tyson Mowat

    Tyson Mowat New Member

    Sep 6, 2019
    Fort St John
    Haha - you are right, I must have been up late ;-)
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Yeah, been there done that. For a moment, I thought the paint did weird things up in Canada. I've heard other odd stories about that land north of us.......................:eek:
  12. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    If you are painting on wood make sure it's very dry. Get kiln dried if possible and don't leave outdoors where it will absorb moisture. Painting wet wood will surely cause paint to peel outdoors. Once the sun hits the sign it will draw out the moisture and cause the paint to blister. I've seen this happen on both oil and latex paints.

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