Paint letters and panels: 4 hours Everything got two coats of paint on the front and back. It took about an hour to paint the letters and three hours to paint the background panels and cut the paint masks for the borders. Painting the letters on a “lazy susan” jig makes painting go faster.
Cut out letters: 30 minutes The letters were cut from ¾-in. PVC board. I did these letters on my small CNC router.
Install posts: 4 hours Two of us dug the holes and installed the posts on a raised concrete footer. Once the lawn and landscaping were added, the landscaper’s weed trimmer would hit the concrete footing instead of tearing up the sign posts.
The posts and frame was a kit from Ornamental Post & Panel. It was well made and has a powder-coat finish. Once the concrete was dry enough, we slid the bases down the post and screwed them in place.
Install faces and graphics: 4 hours Again, two of us mounted the prefinished faces, then installed the graphics. The letters are mounted to the face using 3M VHB tape and 3M 100% Silicone adhesive caulk. I put four or five pieces of VHB tape on the back of the letter, then a dollop of silicone in between. Now that I have a larger CNC router, I now rout a shallow pocket in the face to receive each letter on jobs like this. It makes for a clean, easy letter installation.
Here it is, complete and ready for landscaping. LED floodlights will deliver the lighting.

What does it cost to produce this post-and-panel sign?

By Chris Lovelady

Posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017

Materials:
Post and panel kit: $879
2½ sheets of ¾-in. PVC board @ $162 each: $405
Paint: $45
Total materials: $1329

Labor:
Design/setup: 1 ½ hours
Cut graphics: ½ hour
Paint faces and graphics: 4 hours
Install sign structure: 4 hours
Install faces and graphics: 4 hours
Total time: 14 hours
Like so many of our jobs, this project came to us as a referral. We work at satisfying our customers and that often leads to referrals. We post a lot to social media, and it helps keep our name out there. People prefer to work with someone who they feel has satisfied others with their work. In fact, we tend to refer prospects to our Facebook page instead of our website for that reason.

It was a new housing development, so we worked with the developer on the sign. They wanted something clean and traditional, and within their budget. I spent about 1½ hours meeting with them and doing the drawings.

This project is a double-faced sign made with two 4-by-8-ft. PVC board faces. It’s installed on a post kit from Ornamental Post & Panel. Like the sign face, the graphics are also cut from PVC board.

I finish PVC board the same way I treat overlaid plywood, applying the same number of coats to each side for stability. The background panel was cut to shape, thoroughly cleaned, then sprayed with black Sherwin-Williams All Surface Latex Base enamel paint on both sides. When dry, the face was masked and cut. Then two coats of white paint were sprayed to create the border.

The letters were cut from PVC board on the CNC router, then sprayed. If you spray letters on a solid surface, the air pressure pushes the letters around. Instead, I use one of the wire racks from my drying rack over a simple jig that spins to let me spray the letter from all directions without walking around the work. It’s just a couple of pieces of 2-by-4 mounted on a piece of plywood. The plywood is mounted to a $10 boat seat swivel from Walmart that is mounted to a scrap of plywood.

We lay this unit across two sawhorses, and we’re ready to spray the graphics. Rotating the work makes painting go faster, and the wire surface lets the letters stay in place while you paint. You could use a piece of ½-in. hardware cloth instead of the wire rack. It would work even better for very small letters.


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