Last week, I got all the wood cut out and assembled. This week I am working on stain, urethane and paint.
The first step was to remove all of the tiles, and mark their locations with magic marker so I will see it through the paint.
Next, I sanded down all of the edges and faces that needed finishing.
Marques selected Minwax Sedona for the stain, so I am applying that to all of the sides and faces of the permanently affixed parts from the letters.
After that, I did all of the tiles with a curve on one side.
I saved the letters for last because they were a bit tedious. I just pulled up a stool and took my time.
Some of the letters were rather narrow so I wrapped my stain rag around a pencil and ran it along the edges.
The next day, when the stain had cured, I started applying the first coat of water based polyurethane, using a brush.
I did the letters first this time, then the rest of the tiles.
I waited a full day, then sanded down all of the finished surfaces with 400 grit sand paper, to smooth out any raised grain, then I applied the second coat of poly. It goes on a lot easier the second time.
The following day, I masked off the centers of the letters and started painting the base of the letters with semi-gloss white paint.
This is the same white as the office wall, so hopefully this backboard will blend in with the wall when it is hung up.
I used a wider brush to paint the larger areas, and when it dried a bit, I came back with a second coat on the back panel.
I also painted the back of all of the tiles. The white paint will aid in reflecting more of the LED back-lighting.
I deliberately waited to paint until all of the urethane had been applied to make it easy to clean up any brush strokes that may have spread over the edge onto stained areas. The poly made it easy to wipe off with just a damp paper towel.
I also painted inside the letters because there will be LEDs in there as well.
A couple of hours later, the painting was done.
The sign stands out a lot more finished than it did before. I think the stain really helps show off the curves a lot better.
Up next: All the LEDs…