Instant age.

The primer was my last opportunity to add a little more texture to the sign. Coastal Enterprises primer goes on with the texture of cream. We apply it by hand with a brush. For areas we want more texture we will apply a second coat with a small brush and then purposely leave rough brush strokes which dry without flattening out. It’s a cool technique.

The painting is all done with acrylic paints by hand. Once the base coats are on we flooded the sign with a paint glaze and then wipe off the excess judiciously leaving bits of color on the low areas and on the edges. It adds age, character and heightens the illusion of depth. It also makes our signs look hand crafted rather than looking like they came off a machine. Once the sign was done I set it outside to do a photo shoot. The mountains out back of my shop provided the perfect backdrop.
I was delighted with the result to say the least. The sign was finished the day before it was to debut at a trade show. I’m happy to report the effort was well worth the trouble!

Published by

Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force in the sign industry. He and his wife Janis are owners of Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation – a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional theme signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous international awards and Dan’s articles appear frequently in the sign trade publications. Dan and his crew also host Sign Magic and Sculpting Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world. For more information please visit

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