What’s it cost to produce this 24-by-30-in. sandblasted sign?
By Noëlla Cotnam
Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2019
Western red cedar: $250
(material, shipping, planing and joining)
Sandblast mask: $65
Gold leaf: $85
Paint and misc: $50
Total materials: $450 CDN (About $340 US)
Design and prep file: 3 hours
Lay up, cut panel: 80 minutes
Sandblast panel: 30 minutes
Painting: 2 ½ hours
Router-carve letters: 90 minutes
Gilding: 80 minutes
Total time: about 10 hours
It’s always nice when a customer comes to you because they have seen your work and want one of your signs. This is one of those signs.
Much of my work is custom signs for farms and residences so this is a very typical project for me—a 24-by-30-in. sandblasted western red cedar sign with prismatic carved letters finished with gold leaf.
I typically spend about two or three hours designing a sign like this. That’s why when a customer wants to add something once they see the design it is seldom easy to do. If I can do it, I will, but I try to talk them out of it. Usually adding something compromises the design in some way. I hate to do that.
I do one design and that’s it. When customers ask if I am going to show a few designs to pick from, I explain that I put all my time into one design that I believe will work best for them. I don’t even like to fool around with the colors much once the design is done because that can compromise the design, too.
Every once in a while you get the perfect customer who says, “I trust you. Do whatever you need to do…” This customer happened to be that way. He said he always wanted to get one of my signs and wanted to incorporate one into an old iron gate in front of his new home.
As for the cost, I’m very upfront with the customer. But I explain that if they have a budget, I will try to work within it. They may not be able to afford a sandblasted 3-D sign with carving, gold leaf and a pictorial, but I will still be able to do a nice sign to fit their budget.
Most of my work is sandblasted 3-D signs. They really last. I have refinished signs that have been up for over 25 years.
This sign is typical of my design style, though most of my signs include a handpainted pictorial. On this one, the carved ornament seemed to work well. The font is Prentice from LetterheadFonts.com, and was designed by Dave Correll