How Do You Make a Sandblasted Sign by modegt125

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									Sandblasted Signs have been a popular choice for years for most any
application, including but not limited to subdivision entrances, park way
finding signs, resort signs, and business signs. Offering a great
alternative to vinyl signs, sandblasted signs are more of an
architectural element, which adds to the overall design and feel of the
location, rather than just getting the job done with a flat, printed
sign. First impressions are important, typically the first thing people
see is your sign, and a sandblasted sign will go far in helping you make
a great first impression and giving you the opportunity to stand out from
the start.

How do you make a sandblasted sign?

Choose a substrate. Originally the substrate of choice was cedar planks.
Cedar is a great sign building material because of its resistance to bugs
and rot. Cedar is easily sandblasted and the resulting signs can last
many years. The downside is that cedar is a natural product and no matter
how much care is used in the fabrication of the cedar sign the wood is
still (eventually) subject to decay. Cedar is also becoming harder to
come by.

HDU (High Density Urethane) is the most popular choice of substrate for
sandblasted signs today and it's the material we use for the majority of
our signs. It is impervious to insects and rot and unaffected by
temperature changes. Unlike cedar, HDU is readily available, is stable,
carves easily, and paints beautifully. It also looks just like wood when
painted.

Cut and apply sandblast mask. Once the substrate is chosen the sign blank
is cut to shape on one of our CNC tables and is prepped for the sandblast
mask. Using a vinyl plotter the artwork for the sign is cut from a rubber
stencil material called sandblast mask. This mask is then applied to the
face of the sign blank. The areas to be sandblasted are removed exposing
the raw substrate. The exposed areas are blasted down to depth of 1/4
inch to 3/8 of an inch leaving the graphics and borders raised. This give
the sign its dimensional look.

Prime and Prime again. The sandblasted sign is primed by hand, allowed to
dry, sanded, then primed again. Priming is an important step and it's
important that shortcuts are not taken with this step. An even, smooth
coat of high build primer will give you the base you need for laying your
color in. Once priming is complete, dry, and well sanded, the sign is
cleaned of any dust and is then ready to paint.

Paint with commercial grade enamels. 1Shot paint is applied to the
background of the sign by hand and allowed to dry for 24 hours. We use
Spraylat's 1Shot Lettering Enamels for all of our sandblasted signs
because they dry hard, have a beautiful gloss and smooth finish, and last
a very long time. After the background color is completely dry the
graphics and borders are painted. Painting the text and graphics of the
sign is called "Lettering" the sign. The paint is usually applied with a
brush but rather than painting the color on by using brush strokes the
paint is gently laid on the top of the letter with the brush. Because of
1Shot's good flow, the paint evens out leaving a smooth finish with
little or no brush marks.

Want to learn more about sandblasted signs? Contact Larry Holbrook

								
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