Using Cheap Paint Mask for a Multi-level Multi-color sign

Winter Sign (2016)

My justification for developing this method

There are other methods to do paint masks.

The Wheat Mask

I used wheat paste as a mask as it is cheap and water soluble.

I could have made my own like I did to make these Stained Glass Sun catchers . But this time because I would be using it so often instead of mixing it each time I used this product with the handy snap on lid Wall Paper Paste . This was more than enough to do 20 signs and at $5 how can you go wrong?

Evaluation of the Wheat mask method



An Overview Of The Process

  1. Apply the mask
    • Wait 24 hours for complete drying
  2. Use CNC to expose next area to be painted by cutting though the mask and forming pattern in the wood.
  3. Paint the next color (with a oil based paint)
    • I used aerosol cans of enamel
    • Because I was making many of the signs I also used my CNC to make mechanical paint masks to save on paint and cut-down on build-up
    • For the white mask I also made a foam seal to better allow the sides of the letters to be printed
    • Wait 24 hours for complete drying
  4. Repeat for each color   
  5. Remove the masks and the excess paint on top of the masks
    • Soak in water for 4 to 8 hrs
  6. Scrub brush is useful for removal
    • More soaking after brushing is preferable to excess hard brushing which can remove paint which is intended to be on the finished sign
    • It was obvious that the wood was absorbing some of the moisture but was not a problem for this project
      • I was using popular wood

Specific steps for the Winter sign

  1. Green and Red
    • Paint green for outside and top border using green paint mask and let dry
      Green Paint Mask

      • Touch up green paint where side tabs on green mechanical paint mask were.
    • Paint red for letters using red paint mask and let dry
      Red Paint Mask

    • With a brush paint on the wheat paint mask over all of red and green paint and let dry
      Green and red before 1st milling

    • CNC out the cavity around the letters border
      Green and red after 1st milling

  2. White
    • Paint white for snow and sides of letters using white paint mask and let dry
      White Paint Mask

    • With a brush paint on the wheat paint mask over all of all of red and white (note I used painting tape over the green border to reduce build up and protect the side of sign)
      White before 2nd milling

    • CNC out the background of children sledding
      White after 2nd milling

  3. Black
    • Paint black on background of children sledding and let Dry (no mask)
      Black before mask removal

  4. Remove the paint mask with water and a brush
    Finshed Sign