Outdoor wooden signs are ideal for all homes and business, but they have one drawback. Unless properly protected, they will be ruined by the elements. Sun can damage the wood and color, water can cause wood deterioration and moisture can cause rot. All of this means that if you have or want a wooden sign to be used outside, some prevention techniques are mandatory!
Type of Wood will Determine the Result
Maybe you cannot choose the type of wood a sign is going to be made from, but if you can, make sure you choose it properly. Red cedar, redwood, and oak are the best choices of wood for outdoor signs. These are all hardwood and have a greater ability to protect from water intrusion and from deterioration from the elements. If you choose them and you pay attention to the thickness of a sign, you will get a high-quality sign with a perfect capability to be used outdoors. These types of wood are the most resistant and they are even immune to rot.
If you already have a wooden sign that is made from another type of wood, don’t lose hope. There are a lot of additional things you can do.
The Steps You Should Take in Making a Wooden Sign Weatherproof
The first thing you will have to do if you want to protect a sign from the elements is to sand it. By doing this, you will remove all the impurities and the damages that can cause further issues. Use wood putty if you think it is needed. Holes, bigger damages, and even scratches must be treated and resolved. Outdoor wooden signs cannot have a single damage or a hole, due to the fact rotting will start there as it is an entry point for moisture or insects.
The water-repellent preservative is the next step you should take. Keep in mind that you need the one that is specially made for wood and it can guarantee the best water repelling. Another thing to remember is that you must choose the one that will allow for you to paint it (if desired).
Now, the paint comes into action. Here, two things are mandatory as well. The first one is the type of paint. It must be for outdoor use, so make sure you buy that type only! Another factor is that the paint must be for wood. There is paint for metal, ceramics, plastics and etc., but it isn’t suitable for wood. If you make a mistake with the paint, you won’t be able to paint a sign and even if you do, the paint will crack and look rough. If you use the wrong type of paint you will have to re-sand the entire sign or will have to risk constant peeling.
Using the wood sealer is the next step. We recommend using a polyurethane sealer. You can either choose to brush it on or spray it on. Apply 2 coats and make sure they are not too thick. One you are done, leave it to get dry.
The last step is very important as well. We highly recommend using plastic edge caps. They are immune to the moisture and water, but they look amazing and they can even make a sign better. We recommend them because water will off of on the edges for a longer period of time, so they are the most sensitive part of a sign.