Outdoor sign material

Any suggestions on what material to use going to be 28” diameter hang at a campground. What kind of a “plastic type” material would work that would take the weather and not warp? Thanks in advance

1 Like

if you want plastic you can use PVC sheet and paint it whatever color you want

I use a lot of pvc decking material. You can get it as wide as 11.25" and glue it together with pvc glue. It works great outside because the weather will not hurt it it is made for outside use. It is not cheap but works good and is easy to mill.

@BlueLocktite Any trick to painting the cut edges of PVC sheets?

To me there’s no question here. High-Density Urethane, aka Sign Foam (in the 15-18#/ft^3 range is what is used for sign making). I think Inventables sells PrecisionBoard in reasonable sizes. A 4x8 sheet, 1.5" thick set me back $400 (~$12/sq ft) but the stuff is amazing! Cuts like MDF, that is to say, disintegrates cleanly, and cuts quickly. Attaches with woodworking screws and the like.

You’ll want to keep this out of the way of serious damage. I suppose with enough force (probably less than a wood sign) it’ll snap, and its soft enough that you can make a gouge in it with your fingernail, but having said that, I made these for a public dog park, and more than two years later, they still look great:



HDU like planecrazy said. Won’t rot, warp or twist.

Nevermind on Inventables’ Precision Board. Its really dense, much more useful for say, part prototyping than signs. 10-18# /ft^3 is plenty dense, by the way. While its “foam” its far denser than say, foam insulation.

Granite! My ancestors have endorsed it for decades.

where do you buy that material?
I’ve been goggling, but cant find anything that dense.

I bought it at a local sign making supplier store. I called the first and they wouldn’t sell to the public, and the second place would and delivered it to my house. I’d google for signmaking supplies near you.

the other option is marine grade plywood. Menards has it in stock for $75/sheet

That’s what a lot of professionals use for signs. It’s weight and strength are what is needed. It’s probably overkill for small signs though. Well…there is really no such thing as overkill right?! lol

How easy is this to finish? What kind of paints, etc? Looks awesome man!

I have not tried it yet… just heard of other people using it

They have special primer for HDU, but I didn’t use it. I just used a stone textured Rustoleum spray paint and some black exterior house paint to do the letters. Again, those signs have been out for two years, and I stopped by a few weeks ago, and they still looked great.


Thanks everyone for the information. I haven’t found anyone in Cincinnati that actually has it. They all need to order it and ship it in, the search will continue in that respect. I did find it on Amazon. 1/2" thick 2’x’2’ is $25 plus $11 for shipping no Prime shipping available for it. Going to purchase a sheet or two to try out and see it goes.

Planecrazy what bit did you use>

Again thanks or the input. Steve

Think MDF when you’re cutting. So I just used a 1/4 endmill for a roughing pass and I think an 1/8" for the finishing pass. But really, anything will cut it: upcut, downcut, it doesn’t matter, it just disintegrates into dust.

I’ve had good experiences with a product from Lowes ( usually in stock ) called:

Royal Mouldings Limited (Actual: 0.375-in x 48-in x 8-ft) Common Board PVC Board
Item # 677203 Model # 0287808021


Cutting it down has been the most difficult part of it. Use blades with fine teeth. Course toothed cutting tools will leave a rough cut and blow PVC pieces everywhere ( not that I would know ).

What have you made with`it. I will check it out. Thanks

I just made a simple 18 inch spinning wheel for winning-a-prize kind of thing. It was for a craft show. I would post a picture but honestly, I really want to do it over again. It looks nice enough but it was my first try and I haven’t had time to fix some of the issues I had in my Easel file.

The material seems to machine well with pretty much every bit I have and it’s relatively rigid. There’s also a good selection of paints, primers and glues available for PVC at your average hardware store too so you shouldn’t have a problem with that. I hope it works out.