A Sign Makeover instantly changes your Image!


salation army


One of the easiest ways to update your look is replacing an old worn out sign. We completed this project this past summer for The Salvation Army and changed their image instantly. Their old sign was completely worn out and was beyond ready for a replacement. Reason 12 on my list of 13 Reasons You Need a New Sign.

Sure we could have come in with an exact replacement to what they had but what real new impact would that have. We designed a complete custom one-of-a-kind 3D Carved header sign that was hand painted with a realistic wood grain background. We added a locking message cabinet and custom-built posts where the cabinet is recessed into the posts.salvation army icon

Crisp detail work on the logo section shown here. The 3D carved sign section was carved into one piece of material. No overlays or added panels needed. It is one piece. We used all 100% acrylic polymers for paintwork.

Below shows the complete system assembled in our shop. Custom top sign section, custom posts and locking message center.


After this project was done this sign definitely met my #5 on the list of 5 Ways a 3D Sign Can Improve Your Business

Awesome Faux Wood Sign!


Faux Wood Sign

Faux Wood SignYou are looking at a sign we made that looks like wood but it’s actually HDU (High Density Urethane). We created a the wood grain pattern using Corel Draw and Vectric Aspire for this sign. The sign is hand painted.

080 lowresAfter we did our design work we machined the background of the sign on our AXYZ CNC. This process took several hours. The background was made in two pieces that we seamed together.

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After putting the background together we then had to prime the entire sign to get it ready for paint.

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We then began our painting magic. This process used several different colors and glazing techniques that are suitable for exterior sign use. We wrote a blog about some of the paint techniques.

faux wood with knot

In our wood grain texture we even added knots in the wood for more detail. We wanted it to be realistic!

HDU LettersAfter completing the background of the sign we began making the letters. They were made from HDU and all hand painted. During the painting process we did a mild age glaze to the letters to match the age of the background. The picture above shows the raw HDU letter testing alignment before we painted them.

SONY DSCThe finished sign turn our great! The client was very pleased. We also had several thumbs up and comments from people driving and walking by as we where installing the sign.

The irony of this sign is the client wanted it to look like an old wood sign, like it was found in a warehouse or barn. Since we made the sign from HDU it will outlast any wood sign. You probably wouldn’t be fortunate enough to find an old wood sign that is in, well, new condition and will last with you logo on it.

Realistic wood grain signIt was a fun project. I am always excited about sign projects that are different from the norm. Please visit our friends at The Barrel House when the open!








Working some Paint Magic on Background of Sign


Wood Grain Close up

We are in the paint stages of this project and working on the background of this sign. Our goal is realistic wood. Our next goal is to make the overall background darker and more aged.

The painting process starts with a coat of high build primer on the HDU.  This step alone on a sign this size can take about one hour when applied by hand. The next day we can do a base coat of paint to use to build our wood effect with. Now is when the fun starts and we work our paint magic to make the grain really come to life. Get the brushes out, turn the music on, and make it happen.

Tomorrow we will add the next color into the grain  effect of the sign. We will also start priming the letter we made for the sign.


Finished Detail Carving on the Background – Project: The Barrel House


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After several hours of machining we carved out the background texture of the sign.

Now we need to bond the two sections together and get it primed and ready for paint.

We will also have to get the art finalized and sent out for the custom letters we are making for this sign.