Exterior Signboard Material

      Modern plastic materials are the way to go for outdoor signs. August 6, 2008

Question
I've got 3 storefront signs to make, each with individually cut out letters to be applied over a backer board (in one case it's a 10' surfboard). I plan on using MDO for the backer but I'm not sure if the resin coating on the MDO will protect the edges of the letters from the elements. Any thoughts about material choices? I was also thinking of spraying or dipping the letters in lacquer for a weather resistant finish.

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor A:
We used to make them the way you are thinking but no matter how we finished them the edges would blow after time. Recently I've seen a type of foam being used. It's the type commonly seen in PVC window boards and the sign writers just spray the letters with car paint. Job done!



From contributor B:
Styrene is the way to go. It is lightweight, machine-able, weatherproof and comes in many colors.


From contributor C:
My neighbor is a signmaker and as the previous poster said, no wood products anymore. They have different types of sign foam which can be machined and painted and last longer than we'll be around. I would suggest at least looking into it as you may save yourself a lot of headaches.


From contributor D:
I never use wood for outdoor signs anymore. I use sign foam, and lately, mainly sheet PVC. It mills nicely, takes paint, and withstands environmental forces. It is stronger than sign foam if there is an issue with vandalism.


From the original questioner:
I ordered samples of Extira and will most likely use that for the project.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?


Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork

  • KnowledgeBase: Architectural Millwork: General


    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.



    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2014 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB











  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers


      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article