Routed Sign Question

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Forum topic by MrsN posted 12-15-2011 01:49 AM 1712 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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986 posts in 3520 days

12-15-2011 01:49 AM

I am making a sign for a family friend for Christmas. I used a router to “carve” the sign. Normally when I do signs I pain the letters then give the piece one final sanding to clean up any stray paint. This time however, my aunt requested that the letters be stained not painted. I haven’t done that before, so I have a couple of questions.
How deep does the stain go? Is it shallow enough to sand down to “clean” wood if I go out side of the lines?
Is there a way good method to apply the stain to reduce the possibility that stain goes where I don’t want it? I think I saw a stain pen at the craft store, any thoughts on that?
Any advise?

6 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


17378 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 12-15-2011 01:58 AM

The stain may want to bleed a little bit depending on what type of wood you have used. I think id use a q-tip to stain the lettering.

Is the rest of the sign going to be painted? If so you probably could paint over the stray stain but you may want to consider the type of stain. If you use an oil based stain you would have trouble using latex paint over the stained pieces. (i think)

Now you could sand back down to bare wood but the pentration of the stain may not be consistent so some spots would be sanded deeper than others. Im thinking hat a coat of shellac over the letters once stained would allow you to clean up any stray paint as well.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3062 days

#2 posted 12-15-2011 02:00 AM

Stain penetration will depend on the softness of the wood. For example, pine sucks up more stain than hard maple.

If the edges of your lettering are nice and crisp, get some “Frog Tape” and mask off the parts you don’t want stained. You can get Frog Tape at any big box, hardware, or paint store. It’s kinda pricy, but seems to work better than painters “Blue Tape”. I’ve had good luck with it preventing “bleeding” between paint (or stained) surfaces and unmasked surfaces.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9228 posts in 2914 days

#3 posted 12-15-2011 02:16 AM

Hi, Mrs N! I have been thinking about you! I haven’t seen a post from you in a bit and was wondering how you were doing.
Anyway . . . I agree with the above replies, but I have a thought (that could be dangerous!) Is there any way you could take a flat paint brush and apply a coat of clear around the lettering area (in the area that is supposed to stay natural color) to kind of seal the pores and block the stain from penetrating beyond the letters? I am not sure if I am picturing exactly what you are doing, but from your description, I think that may work. I will watch the topic here too so I can see what others think and if you put up a little more detailed explanation of what you are working with (or a picture) I am sure it will come out nice. :)

Take care, Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View MrsN's profile


986 posts in 3520 days

#4 posted 12-15-2011 02:46 AM

I thought about sealing the edges to keep the stain from going where I don’t want it. I would think it would help

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 3387 days

#5 posted 12-15-2011 02:53 AM

A suggestion.. Depending on how large the sign is.. use full sheet label paper “peel and stick”. Cover the whole area you are going to router and then router it. The Letters you cut out will then be exposed for you to stain, leaving the rest still protected by the label paper.. Stain your area.. let it dry .. then remove the remaining label paper.
I do this all the time with my Laser Engraver on signs up to 36” x 24” if I want to paint in colors..

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3044 days

#6 posted 12-15-2011 03:45 AM

I like David’s suggestion above.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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