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Wood Blanks & Paint Options (one shot getting too expensive)

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by New England Wraps, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. New England Wraps

    New England Wraps New Member

    Dec 4, 2010
    Hello, looking to possibly do a sandblasted wood sign. I haven't done this in years so I am wondering what other people do nowadays ( not looking for foam ) I live in Florida. I am in an area that uses a lot of carved/sandblasted signage.
    ALSO, One shot has skyrocketed, I do a lot of sign resto's and would like some ideas on other paints that are possibly more cost-effective.

  2. Old Timer

    Old Timer Member

    Nov 2, 2018
    Have good success with PPG Manor Hall and Paramount acrylic latex
  3. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    We used to sandblast wood signs many years ago. For best results you'll want a kiln dried vertical grain wood. There are companies that still sell this type of wood sign blanks that you can buy and blast yourself but they are not cheap. We now use PVC with a wood grain texture instead of sandblasting real wood. For paint we use acrylic latex house paints. These products last a long time in the Florida climate. (Maybe too long as we don't get as much repeat business:()
  4. petrosgraphics

    petrosgraphics Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    cape cod, ma
    we have access through our supplier for ALL WOOD it is red cedar. it comes 1 3/4" thick in a choice of ready made sizes. nice product and blasts very nicely. just not sure if your supplier has access to the product.
  5. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    first off why in the h@ll are you using one shot for anything? Using BEHR exterior paints is better than using one shot especially in FL. I would switch to routed pvc, the cost is less expensive than wood and I would imagine the durability is better. Now take all that one shot and dump it
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  6. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Normal, Illinois
    The most economical coating will be acrylic polyurethane (biggest performance:cost ratio). If you do not have spray capability (equipment, booth), a high quality exterior latex works well (I use Manor Hall). I would recommend an alkyd "stain-blocking" primer on wood. Details can be painted on using One-Shot.

    The bigger issue is why wood? Cedar and Redwood have been "go-to" products for years because the natural occuring oils help protect the wood from water damage. HDU will likely be a better choice. It is not effected by water. You will probably want to use a high-build primer for a smooth surface, but it can be painted directly if the somewhat rougher texture suits your application.

    If you are going for a "natural wood look", understand that no finish will last more than a few years. The best I have used are epoxy-fortified stains such as DEFY. Again, brushed details can be painted on top using One-Shot.

    A lot of people have been complaining about One-Shot over the years. It is still the best paint (along with Ronan and a few others) for hand lettering and brushed details (urethane striping enamels are available, but can be tricky to use). If you are not skilled in brush lettering, artist's acrylic latex also makes for a good detail paint, for applications requiring masking and painting raised letters.
  7. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Latex is better than oil on raw wood

    High-quality latex acrylics definitely have the advantage over oil based lettering enamels on raw wood (and masonry). Paint films that dry to a hard shell will usually crack and fail when there is movement of the substrate, as is the case with wood. Latex, by contrast, is stretchy and will move with the wood. Latex is also semi-permeable, giving it a great advantage over oil paints when moisture is present in wood or masonry. House painters have long known that moisture contained in wood house siding can escape through a latex film but is trapped by an oil enamel, resulting in blisters.

    Color-fastness is another issue to consider. Experience gained at the Walldogs festivals has revealed a clear advantage of acrylic latex over lettering enamels in color holdout over time. One Shot, at least in its current formulation, fades quicker. Further, an acrylic latex mural paint like Nova Color has an advantage over acrylic house paints because of the practice of adding significant amounts of white to house paints to achieve opacity. Nova Color mural paints, by contrast, are heavily pigmented and the pigments are purer, not being heavily fortified by titanium dioxide or other whites. This allows for cleaner blending and tinting, and colors that are, generally, more vibrant than can be achieved with house paint mixes. Also as many of you may know who have done pictorial work, lightening One Shot greens or browns with white often resulted in muddiness. For this reason, many billboard painters used yellows as a workaround to this problem, instead of using white when lightening and blending.

    The disadvantages of paint like Nova are obvious to any old school sign painter the moment you start working with it. If you are used to pulling long opaque lines with a loaded quill, you will be disappointed. You must learn a new skill set in brush manipulation and accept double coating as the norm. Also, quills made of animal hairs do not work well in water-based paint. The hairs swell and lose resilience. Lettering brushes for latex need to be synthetic or a synthetic mix. Switching is an easy transition for wall work if you're experienced using fitches on bricks. Simply switch from bristle fitches (and cutters) to synthetics. The moves are much the same. Using synthetic quills is a longer learning curve. A newbie might have the advantage here due to not needing to "relearn."

    Both quills and fitches are being made now with a synthetic content that holds up well in water based paint.
    Admittedly, working with latex paint and using synthetic quills is a slower process (though not so much with fitch work). You must modify lettering time estimates and allow for double coating. But it is a mistake to cling to a paint product that is inferior (at least on raw wood and masonry) just because you're used to it.

    Of course, on metal, or on an overlaid product like MDO, or on PVC or HDU, where the paint film does not actually touch wood grain, acrylic polyurethane beats all others for longevity, as kccollins in Illinois mentioned. But on redwood or cedar where the film is in contact with the wood? I am skeptical, but I admit I don't have much experience using polyurethanes on sandblasted wood except on very small areas. kcollins probably has more experience than I do in this regard.

    If you are required to use sandblasted wood, I can understand not using high-density urethane. But HDU will easily outlast any wood product when it is put out in the elements. It accepts all paints and will not rot, even when completely exposed. Of course, it will eventually go away, as will all petroleum-based products. But there is tremendous pressure, and progress, in the paint and coatings industry to produce coatings, pigments and solvents made from renewables. A good thing, even if we old dogs must learn lots of new tricks.

    Brad in Kansas City
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Normal, Illinois
    I don't do many real wood signs anymore, but when I do they are primed with a stain blocking alkyd primer and top-coated with high quality lexterior latex. I do not use acrylic polyurethane on wood signs.

    I have yet to try the Nova acrylics, but from all reports they seem to be a good bang for the buck. I have been using Golden acrylics for years with fantastic results, but they are a bit pricy. Attached is a sign painted 12 years before the picture was taken. It still looks great 14 years going!

    Attached Files:

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