Signwriting Paint Types and Application

When choosing a sign, be it traditionally signwritten or a combination of materials, it is important that you understand the type of paint that needs to be used for your particular application.

There are two main types of paint that are used for signs including commercial signs and A-frames, acrylic and enamel.

The way you can tell the difference between these two main types of paint is by what the are thinned or are cleaned up with.

Acrylic paint

  1. Thinned and cleaned up with water
  2. Quick dry
  3. Self-sealing
  4. Always remains tacky to the touch in hot weather – therefore if dirt gets onto the surface then it will embed itself in the paint over a period of time – it if is not cleaned

Enamel Paint

  1. Thinned and cleaned up with mineral turpentine
  2. Slow to dry
  3. Not self-sealing – this means that it needs an undercoat, otherwise it will just keep sinking into the surface you are painting
  4. Does dry completely – this allows it to be easily cleaned
  5. It will retain its gloss for longer than acrylic and is much harder wearing than acrylic.
  6. Gloss enamel can also be made into a two-pack, with an additive added to the enamel called dry add.  This will make it a chemically dried paint, rather than by oxygen.  This will ensure that the paint surface is even more robust and will last even longer.   This also ensures that the paint surface is much more solvent resistant.

Knowing the differences between these two paints will ensure that you and your signwriting company are selecting the correct type of paint for the application.  Feel free to ask the Brisbane sign company what type of pain they are using, and any possible issues that you may have with this paint now and in the future.

Brisbane Climate: Taking Care of Your Paint

It is also important to note, that with any sign there is some maintenance, and paint is no different. This is particularly relevant in a warm climate such as that of Brisbane.
These notes from Solver are relevant:

As paint films age, washing may become necessary.
The flatter the finish of the paint, the more difficult it is to remove any soil marks etc. Care must be exercised to avoid rubbing
and polishing of the paint finishes, which can contribute to patchiness.
It is also important to allow the paint film to be completely dry and cured before attempting to wash off marks.

For more download the following pdf from Solver –  Care and maintenance of paint and paintwork.

Great video on how to make a paint cup out of a 4″ x 6″ index card
by a great old signwriter!

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