By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016
In the sign business, we have to deal with a lot of different substrates and a lot of different sign applications. It takes a variety of paints and finishes to get the job done.
We have to paint PVC, HDU, ACM, steel, wood, plywood, aluminum, vinyl and fabric. Sometimes it has to look super glossy, other times flat or somewhere in between. We may need a finish that looks like gold or silver or rust or the patina of aged copper.
Fortunately, there is a finish or finishing system that works for each of these situations, almost without exception. The challenge is knowing what products are available and how to use them properly. It takes a little research and a little experimentation, but knowing this is one of the things that makes a sign person a true professional.
While it’s tempting to rely on tried-and-true approaches that you’ve been using, it’s important to keep learning about new finishes and finishing products. A unique finish is a great way to create appeal on a sign.
You can’t expect clients to be able to visualize the paint effect you plan to use or to know the quality of the paint finish you depend on. To most of them, paint is just paint. Be prepared to sell the paint finish or paint effect you have to offer—its durability, visual appeal or how it adds to their image.
These photos show a few of the ways paints and specialty finishes are being used by sign makers. And if you have found new ways to use paint products or have products/ techniques you find helpful, we would like to hear from you. Take a minute and drop us a note a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source list: paints and finishes
1Shot Paints: Lettering and bulletin enamels, background finishes, specialty finishes
Akzo Nobel: Base coat/clear coat paint system and single-stage finishes
Alsa Corp.: Candy airbrush colors, Spray Chrome and specialty finishes
APS Tower Paint Co.: Custom one- and two-part finishes in aerosol spray cans
Axalta Coating Systems: Hot Hues, Standox, Nason, Cromax and Spies Hecker finishes
Coastal Enterprises: Primers, hard coat and texture finishes for HDU board
Createx Colors: Airbrush colors for all applications
Design Brilliance: Axalta Hot Hues urethane paints
HAR Adhesive Technologies: Jay Cooke’s All Purpose Sign Primer
House of Kolor: urethane paints for pinstriping, plus specialty finishes and clears
Matthews Paint: Base/clear coat paint system and single component sign finishes
Modern Masters: Specialty and patina finishes
Nova Color Paints: artists’ acrylic paints for graphics and murals
Sign Arts Products Corp.: Primer for HDU board
Sign Life Products: stains for wood signs
Sculpt Nouveau: Textured and specialty finishes
Sherwin Williams Co: Base coat/clear coat paint system and single-stage finishes
T.J.Ronan Paint Corp: Lettering and bulletin enamels, waterborne and specialty finishes
Vivilon Coatings: Clear coating to restore faded paint and protect against graffiti