Painted Sign Making
After getting my Cricut Maker I was excited to get started Sign Making-What’s the right way? OMG! What technique was I gonna use? What would work best? Don’t forget to check out more tips for sign making at the bottom of the article.
My first try was removable vinyl and it did OK, there was a little blurring where the paint ran under the vinyl.
So I searched Pinterest and YouTube for help. OK, brush Mod Podge on the project first to seal it and prevent seeping. This turned out somewhat sharper lines but not perfect. The obvious solution is to use permanent vinyl and make your design. My test for durability has been through cold, snow, rain and sun and has not come up yet. Still under observation as it’s only been out there a month so far.
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What’s the Right Way?
Next I tried reverse painting. The board was spray painted with a silver and I didn’t care for it. I cut the word home with some frillies and transferred it to the board. Remember to weld the words in design space so they cut out as one and group so they are all one unit to move and size.
Since this is a practice piece, I choose to spread Mod Podge on half of the stencil to see which side comes out better. I let that dry overnight just for good measure. Next, painted it with Martha Stewart all surface craft paint. Results, the Mod Podge side was a disaster. Paint peeled off outside of the stencil. That doesn’t work! The other side did ok, but the lines are not totally crisp.
White Washed Sign Making
Lots of Free Sign Designs
Stencil on Stained Wood Sign Making
Stencil on stained wood, carefully center the stencil then remove the transfer tape. I used a sponge to pat just a bare minimum of paint on the stencil as was done on the white washed sign. Did this twice, let it set for 10 minutes or so and peeled the stencil off going against the grain of the wood. Improvising with a stick pin for a weeding tool, I plucked the remaining stencil from the board.
There were a few bare spots in the paint so I took a sharpie and carefully filled them in. In my haste, I forgot to use the Mod Podge, but the results are fine. Using the Cricut stencil vinyl seals against smooth wood very securely. Just be sure to burnish the stencil so there are no bubbles around the edges that would allow seeping. My edges are nice and crisp. This one turned out so good, I’ve offered it for sale at my Etsy shop.
Vinyl on Stained Wood Sign Making
Some letters paint better in stencils than others. These letters with the small line in them could present a problem. Bigger, chunkier letters are best to use for painted stencils.
For that reason, I choose to do this sign in permanent vinyl. After weeding it, I used a piece of previously used contact paper. Burnish well on both sides of the lettering and peel back the cover layer. Go slowly and at a 45 degree angle. Stay as close to the project as possible and watch for pieces that don’t want to stick. Play with this process until you get the hang of catching and making those places stay. I use the scraper tool to hold the edge and peel back slowly smoothing if needed. Hard as I tried, I still got some wrinkles in the vinyl. The vinyl doesn’t really want to stick to the stain because even though it’s been dry for days, it’s got an oily feel still.
Vinyl on Painted Wood Sign Making
So far my test for the vinyl against the elements points to durability. It’s been through it all and nothing shows any sign of peeling or damage. I see more painted vinyl signs for the yard in my future!
Whether you decide to stencil or use vinyl for your sign, just take your time as you go. Rushing will be a sure way to mess something up. You can achieve so many different looks when you use different techniques for sign making.
More Helpful Tips for Sign Making
- Make stencil same size as project to help center the design
- Use paint thinner to fix seeps
- Roll a tennis ball will smooth stencil down
- Use blow dryer to make vinyl stick better
- Use used transfer tape for easier removal
- When sealing the stencil, paint towards the stencil. Try to make it bleed using a thin layer.
- Dab first coat brush second to even out paint
- Go against the grain of the wood when peeling the stencil. This helps the paint to not peel up with it.
- Let paint sit 10-15 minutes after painting the stencil then carefully remove it
Summary of Best Techniques
What are your thought or tips about sign making? We’d love for you to leave a comment below.
Happy Sign Making!