How do I refinish my sign.
It is sad but true, some day, you will have to refinish your sign to give it the just made look. Be it an outdoor sign facing the elements or indoors with to much sun through the window, there comes a time to decide. If you do nothing, eventually, the finish will flake off and the wood will start to grey out. This process takes a few years but it will happen unless you refinish.
At Dougswoodsigns.com….we use a few different finishes and over the years have changed products. We use to do a lot of shows and needed a fast drying finish for the waiting customers so we used Rustoleum Crystal Clear Finish. We found that even though this is an excellent product for some materials, Cedar exposed to extreme outdoor elements does not last as long as we would like. Signs made prior to May 2013 used that product.. Since then our clear coats have been done with General Finishes Gloss or Semi Gloss. This product is available through the internet or at Woodworking stores like Rockler or Woodcraft.
Also in the summer of 2013 we introduced a matte finish for extreme outdoor service where the signs would be exposed to high or low temperatures and lots of rain or snow with no covering like an eave or porch.
The process for finishing is the same for all finishes…….,,.,.,.
If there is no damage and you just want to freshen up….clean the sign with a mild soap, let dry. Scuff with 400 grit sandpaper, do not remove the old finish, just scuff to give the new coat a tooth the grip.
Spray or brush a new thin coat. one coat should do but if you don’t get a consistent finish, give it a second coat. Let dry and rehang.
If you have damage, lifting or peeling finish, remove any traces of dirt and loose finish. Then sand with 220 grit to a smooth finish. Severe damage will probably need to start with 120 grit and then move to 180 grit. From there you can go to the new finish coats. If you have colored art work try to avoid sanding on the acrylic paint. Once you are satisfied with the results, Spray or brush on one or two fresh coats of finish. If the black lettering needs refreshing, this can be done after the clear coat with a good quality acrylic tube paint. This is available at any art supply store. If any colored artwork needs retouching, the same type acrylic tube paint in a matching color would be used for that. Any mistakes in painting will wipe off the clear finish before it dries. (try to wipe up mistakes within a minute or two).
Hope this helps you to preserve your sign from Dougs Wood Signs.