Introduction: Creating a Custom Sign Board

We have been so flush with eggs here at Bean's Rock Farm that I was tempted to re-enact the egg scene from Cool Hand Luke. I needed to get a sign up to help draw attention to the fact that we have eggs for sale.

Here I show how I used a one-time stencil to mask the sign board for spray painting. The creation of the paper template will have to be another Instructable at a later date, but suffice it to say, it was a matter of taking a photograph of the sign board, adjusting the image DPI so the image was actual size then using various programs to create text to overlay the image, then printing out the overlay.

This method of stenciling allows for disconnected letter centers to stay where they need to be for a professional looking result. Ok, the OSB for sign board isn't professional looking, but the lettering is. ;)

Step 1:

Start with these materials:
  • a board cut to the shape you need and painted with a base color as desired
  • a full size paper printout of what you want on your sign
  • a can of spray adhesive
  • a utility knife
  • masking tape
  • a can of spray paint
Spray the back of the paper printout; save some spray by only spraying around the areas that will later be cut out. Let it dry for 1 minute; according to the directions on the can, this will allow the paper to be removed later without leaving adhesive residue.

Step 2:

Carefully align the printout with the board as desired, then press down on the paper to assure a good adhesion. Tape down the edges to keep the breeze from peeling up the paper.

Step 3:

Cut along the lines. Leave the middles of the letters attached, and peel away the part that is to be painted. As you peel up the paper you will get the hang of how deep you need to cut. Don't be super picky about following the lines, as people will be reading this from a distance while driving 40+ MPH.

Step 4:

This shows the stencil completely cut. The parts on the sides now need to be covered up with scrap paper to keep the over-spray from getting on the sides. Use making tape to hold the paper down and seal between the stencil and the scrap paper.

Step 5:

Spray away. When spraying outside like this, wait for lulls in the breeze so the paint doesn't blow away before it can reach the sign.

Step 6:

After the paint has dried peel away the stencil and hang up the sign.

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