Paint Your House Address on the Curb





Introduction: Paint Your House Address on the Curb

My neighborhood has the addresses painted on the curb, mostly so emergency services can find your house in the case of an, um, emergency.  The one in front of my house was getting quite worn, so I decided to repaint it. 

Items needed:
spray paint (gloss white, reflective, and semi-gloss or flat black)
masking tape
newspaper for masking
TechShop (for making template)

Step 1: Make a Template

I used the computers at TechShop, since they also have Laser cutters for the next steps. Also, I don't have Corel Draw on my Mac, and it's available on all of TechShop's computers. 

I used Corel Draw to sketch a 4" tall set of house numbers.  I selected a font I liked, placed the numbers, then used Corel's convert to curves feature to get the outline of the numbers. 

I originally cut them out in heavy paper, but decided I wanted a truly reusable set, as the numbers fade on the curb after a couple of years. Therefore I used a piece of scrap acrylic for the final version. 

Step 2: Measure the Curb for the Template Bend

Back at home I used the cardboard version to verify position, and also measured the angle of the curb, since the acrylic needs to conform to this angle. 

Step 3: Cut the Template Out of Acrylic, Bend It to Fit the Curb

Back at TechShop I used the laser cutter to cut out the letters in acrylic. After warming up the Heat Strip Bender, I transferred the angle measurement to a protractor, and set the angle of the cooling form to match the curb angle. 

I marked the bend location, heated it up and then bent it. The cooling jig allows you to hold the part at a set angle until the plastic cools and sets.  (The heat strip photo is from another project). 

Step 4: Prepare the Curb and Paint a Base Coat

Mask the curb with newspaper and masking tape.

Spray a coat (or two or three) of the gloss white spray paint. 

When it is dry, coat the base layer with the reflective coating paint. 

Step 5: Place the Template and Mask It, and Paint the Numbers

Once the reflective layer is dry, place the template on the curb, mask the edges and paint thru it using the semi-gloss black paint. 

Remove the template, clean up the masking, and you're done!

The Template is ready to use whenever the numbers start looking sketchy again. 



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    9 Discussions

    im going to do a black background with white letters. do you think there is any benefit to putting a reflective background down first. then using a reverse stencil (cut adhesive vinyl) to black the background, leaving the white numbers masked?
    or just paint a black background. and put the positive stencil on and apply the reflective paint just to the numbers?

    1 reply

    Either strategy sounds fine. Having just the numbers be reflective, especially on a black background should yield good reflectivity.
    I think I personally would go with choice B, as it utilizes two coats of paint without moving the stencil, as opposed to Plan A which depends upon the stencil not removing the white paint from the curb when peeling it off.

    I like the initiative, and think you did great with the acrylic, but this could have been more easily achieved with some cut vinyl, and would have been a fraction of the expense/time. Only takes about 5 seconds for my vinyl cutter to do a cut like that.

    But, I also understand having access to machines but no projects use them for... I often build/make things because I can, not because I need to.

    Great job on the instructable!

    2 replies

    I guess you live in a area where it doesn't snow ?

    Jim in Toronto.

    While it is true that curb numbers wouldn't be visible when the streets and curbs are covered with snow, they are still useful the rest of the year.

    I think the original stencil font, which you called "boring", is more legible than the version you picked. If these numbers are for the benefit of emergency vehicles, delivery services, etc., a font should be chosen for maximum legibility, at distances up to 30 meters/100 feet.

    This is a great job for kids to go through their neighborhood for part-time work. I've done it several times over the years.

    It reminds me of an epiode of The Simpsons :-D

    It reminds me of an epiode of The Simpsons :-D