Experience with Outdoor Wood Signs

Does anyone who’s made a wood exterior sign for a business have any tips to share? Specifically, is 1" thick edge glued pine an acceptable material?

You can use about any material you want just remember to seal it welll for outdoor use. I prefer pvc it is pretty much indestructible easy to work with and paints well.


They’re a young couple with a small start up home business. They can’t afford to use PVC. Hell, I can’t afford to use PVC material, lol.

It’s just a 2’ round, edge glued, pine board logo sign. It’s been stained, and the carved path highlighted with paint. I plan to seal it with several coats of polyurethane. This is the first one that I’ve done that will be in full sun and weather though.

I’ve advised them that an annual scuff-up and re-spray of the poly will be needed for maintenance.

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I made this for a buddy’s farm, it’s pine ( this was a 24" x 1" round table top from Menards) it still looks great after a couple of years. make sure you use good sealer. marine varnish is a good choice.

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For outdoor signs we use either Mahogany or Western Red Cedar (both hold up well to the elements).

All of our signs are given either marine grade varnish or multiple coats of outdoor poly.

All glue ups use Titebond III

We do not suggest or offer pine for outdoor signs , we just replaced two pine signs that had started to rot in a about 2 years. The one also must have used indoor glue as the seems split.

Jut my two cents.


Here is the one I was worried about. It has around 5 coats of Helmsman IMG_4391 (1)
poly on it.

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You’re right about pine. I’ve been in the Sign Industry since 1986. Redwood was replaced with Red Cedar back when our Industry was all about the SANDBLASTED craze. The only pine I would ever use (with massive caveats) would be the hardest of all pines: YELLOW pine. But then again, if you’re going to go to the trouble of making something good, use good (or “gooder”) materials. :wink:
I will plane down old redwood or cedar signs & recreate newer (although thinner) signs.

Good Luck, Great Creativity & HAVE FUN!

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