If you are looking for a charming and rustic appeal, nothing is better than choosing wooden signs. As great as they are, outdoor wooden signs require a lot of maintenance. If you want to make them last for a long time and stand the test of time, you will have to weatherproof them. When wood remains unprotected, it becomes shabby and henceforth, reading the interpretation signage becomes difficult.
You can still keep your wooden sign readable and protect it from the weather to increase its lifespan. Read these tips to find out how:
Choose a sturdy type of wood
It is extremely important that you choose the right type of wood to make sure the sign can keep up with the damages of the outdoor environment. The best type of woods for outdoor projects include red cedar, cypress, and redwood. You can also use treated wood. Choose whichever is available.
Sand the wood panels
Sand the wood panels. The smoother the wood surface is, the less it will retain water and moisture from humidity, dews or rain.
Get the letters routed
Instead of painting the letters or information, it would be best if you can get them routed in the wood. This might take extra time and effort but once it is done, the message will stay there for a long time since it is engraved. To get started, use a small router to rout out letters. Print the letters in anappropriatesize, glue them on the signboard, and route the letters or space between the letters. Once you are done, you can highlight the message with paint. The sign will only need touch ups with paint over time.
Use wood putty
If there are any damaged areas on the signage, apply wood putty onto the scratches. Use a knife for the application. Make sure it dries completely before you put back the sign outdoors.
Apply a water-repellent preservative
A water-repellent preservative will play the role of a sealer. Apply a coat of it once the sign is ready. This will increase the resistance of the sign to outdoor conditions. It would also add life to the paint. Make sure the preservative you choose to use has the right consistency.
Choose the right paint
Before choosing the paint, you must be sure it is the type of paint fit for the outdoor application. This is one of the most crucial steps in making sure your wooden sign lasts longer. It is recommended to use acrylic based paint since its adhesion is better. As you paint the layer of the wood, it will prevent the rays of the sun from fading the wood. To ensure maximum protection, apply several thin coats of paint. Apart from acrylic, you can also apply enamel paint to provide a harder outer surface.
Apply a wood sealer
Once the paint is dry, it is time to apply a wood sealer. Apply two coats of the sealer and make sure you give it time to dry before applying the second layer. This will not just increase the life of the paint but also that of the wood.
Add plastic edge caps
It is not just the surface of the wood that needs protection, the edges need protection too. For that, add plastic edge caps on the ends. This will make sure the wood doesn’t chip from the sides.
Use non-rusting fasteners
Whether you are using hardware or fasteners, they should be non-rusting. These hardwares include nuts, nails, bolts, screws, and hinges. As the sign will be installed outdoor, water can make hardware rust and this would ultimately stain the signs. But if you are using non-rusting fasteners to begin with, you won’t have to worry about rusty streaks and stains.
Keep the sign out of sunlight
Even if you have done everything right, don’t install your outdoor wooden sign in direct sunlight. Find a spot with enough shade to install the sign for its longevity.
Use outdoor oil finishes
Another great way to protect your outdoor wooden sign is to apply an oil finish. This also makes the sign look great. You must apply it every year. This shouldn’t be a problem because it is fast and easy to use.
Once you follow these tips, you will be amazed to see how long your wooden sign lasts. As long as you care for your investment, it will last for a long time. When you are not using the sign, make sure you put it in storage.