I shape the end of a popsicle stick to give me different widths for applying the glue. The knife also “squares out” some corners that the CNC bit left “too round” for my liking.
Just wet the stick and apply the glue, stirring in a little extra water as you apply it to the surface. Remember that this will rise, so you don’t need a thick layer of glue. Watch for the glue to start changing color. Once it does, you can’t swirl it around anymore.
This is how your glue should look when dry. If you have too much glue, the texture won’t appear as random. You will have a few minutes before it’s completely hard to texture it a bit by hand, but note that this is a short window of time. A wet brush handle pushed in works well for this. A test piece is a good idea.
See these little craters in the glue? They’re almost impossible to hide unless you use a paintable silicone caulk. By applying with a wet finger, you can fill the holes easily.
Paint in your darkest color with a brush. In this case, I did a second coat in an even darker color.
With a lighter shade in a foam roller that is loaded with very little paint, let the roller glide across the high spots, using very little pressure. This will give you your mid-tones.
I have some worn-out brushes that I save just for this next step. With very little paint on the brush and holding the brush at 90 degrees to the surface, just touch the high spots with your highlight color.
In this case, I also needed to add some fallen petals on the ground, using the same brush and technique.
Here it is, more or less complete. My customer is originally from Japan, and the sakura is an appropriate and meaningful theme for her house marker.

Flat graphic? Add texture with Gorilla Glue

By SignCraft Magazine

Posted on Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Texture always adds appeal to a sign design. It creates contrast to the otherwise flat surfaces of the sign, and contrast catches the viewer’s eye. Here’s an easy way to add texture using Gorilla Glue polyurethane glue. It works on letters and graphics, and it looks great finished with paint or gold leaf.

Rodger MacMunn, of TR MacMunn & Sons Signs, says one ideal use for Gorilla Glue texture is on the tree graphics that so often are part of sign layouts. It’s fast, looks great and adds value to the sign. Don’t forget to charge accordingly for knowing how to add appeal and value.

“Over the years,” Rodger says, “I’ve noticed that sign makers, myself included, use a lot of lone trees on signs where there is no other obvious theme. Apartments, retirement homes, condos and parks come to mind.

“It’s usually a good choice, because almost everyone likes trees. However, they can be rather boring, and there’s an old saying among artists: You can paint leaves all day and still not have a tree.

“Here’s an easy way to add value to a sign, by adding some extra dimension to a tree graphic, with a minimal investment in time or materials. By applying Gorilla Glue polyurethane glue to any surface, adding moisture and stirring it around, you get a very random texture when dry. You can control this a bit, by increasing the amount of glue in places, or by the amount of water added, but that’s about it.”

Rodger explains the process here, step-by-step. The glue dries hard and smooth, making it ideal for gilding or painting.

With a tree, the result is a relatively accurate texture that’s easy and fast to paint. It adds interest to an otherwise flat silhouette. With some experimenting, you’ll find other opportunities to put Gorilla Glue texture to work on your signs. Rodger sometimes uses it on letters and finishes it with gold leaf, as you can see in the signs here.