Clear resins for exterior use
I've had some experience using a two-part epoxy resin made by West Systems. Is there a marine supplier near you? This product is used for boat and fiberglass repair.
I've used it quite a bit to repair boats, but I also had an outdoor sign project I used it on. It can be rolled, brushed or poured on and levels out very nicely. Two coats of this stuff with a scuff sanding in between and your sign will be virtually bullet-proof.
West Systems has an excellent online manual for using their product line. They do also recommend their epoxy be coated over with a UV-resistant spar varnish or marine paint.
West System epoxy will work fine. There are also a number of other marine-type epoxies available. Raka is the least expensive I have found. I build strip kayaks and canoes and use these epoxies for construction and finishing.
Note: All the marine epoxy manufacturers recommend a high-quality marine spar varnish with UV inhibitors for a final finish! The epoxies do not hold up all that well outdoors with exposure to sunlight. Seems they haven't found a good way to add UV inhibitors to epoxy yet. I would therefore buy the compatible spar varnish from a marine supplier for sure. They are not inexpensive; starting from about $35, they range to over $80 (gallon) for the best UV protection.
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