More MDF signs

I made up some MDF signs as decorations for a Westworld themed party a friend is having. :slight_smile:

To save time, I used a v-bit to cut the letters into the surface of the base as a placement guide and then cut the letters out separately and glued them in place.
This is so much faster than cutting the whole sign as one big pocket operation.
This also makes painting easier as I can paint the letters separately before gluing.

I tried sealing the MDF with Shellac before painting for a smoother top coat. It worked pretty well, though it did take a lot more shellac than I anticipated. I used the spray on shellac. Maybe brushing it on next time so I can get a thicker coat? (or invest in a spray gun setup)

Unfortunately the wind was picking up and every bit of dirt and dog hair seemed to be magnetically attracted to the wet paint. (There actually may have been some static charge thing going on)
But these are for one night, in the dark, so I didn’t stress over it. If I wind up doing a lot more of these I need to look into some kind of paint booth / tent setup.

Also there was some swelling of the MDF right at the edges of the cuts. (A thicker coat or multiple coats of shellac may have helped with this? I don’t know.) So I probably should had sanded the edges again after the first coat of paint had dried. But this was to be quick and easy and I didn’t want to wait a day for things to dry and re-paint.

For the “marble” effect I originally planed on getting some Krylon webbing paint. It is kind of like spray paint silly string for doing marbling effects. Unfortunately no one local actually stocks it. So I got some stone texture instead.

Because the letters were going to be the same color as the base on the Rome sign, I painted the edges black to make them “pop”. I did this by first painting the tops white and then flipping them upside down and spraying the backs and edges black.

But I noticed that the 99 cent primer I got was not covering very well. Coming out very blotchy. So I decided to lightly spray it with some light black streaks. Then again up close so it was more of a dark pencil line. I did this a couple of times, alternating between black and white. It came out pretty good.

This only worked because the cheep primer comes out in such a thin stream. Regular spray paint comes out in too thick of a stream to get the fine “line” effect. No bad for $2 and 2 min of work. Plus I learned to never to use that 99 cent primer, except as effect paint, ever again. :wink:


Nice work!

I like the Rustoleum Painter’s Touch x2. It provides very good coverage and a nice finish.

That was what I used for the dark greed base, the different in quality between it and the cheep “primer” was impressive.
Half a can of the cheep stuff to barely cover one sign vs. a few quick sprays of the Rustoleum.
Lesson learned :wink:

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Yeah, finishing MDF can be a little tricky, it’s like painting a sponge. I tried staining it, and it sucked up the stain so it couldn’t be wiped off like you do with regular woods.

I use shellac for sealing mdf. I buy it in the cans and wipe it. The mdf does hog allot of it so you will UAE quite a bit to seal it. For the edges though I still use a wood glue and water mix.

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Got a particular ratio of the wood glue to water for sealing the edges? Tried the minwax sanding dealer yesterday and it works fantastic for surfaces, but not so well on edges, even after 3 coats.

My MDF edges get straight glue. No water at all

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