We routed pockets into the sign to make it easy to locate the separately cut letters when we glued them on. Most sign makers paint everything separately, then glue it together, but true to form we do it a little differently. I like to glue while all the materials are in their raw state. Routing the letters separately allowed me to build up the thickness of the sign in an economical fashion. Then after gluing I like to add just a little more texture with the heavy bodied primer. We use Coastal Enterprises FSC-88 WB primer. WB stands for water base. It goes on with the thickness of rich cream and doesn’t shrink or crack as it dries. The gold leaf will have that little extra sparkle on the texture. Then we painted our base coats on the sign with a top quality acrylic paint. The yellow/tan was first. Then using custom mixed acrylic glazes we started in with a reddish brown flooding the woodgrain texture, then wiping it off with soft rags, leaving the glaze in the lower areas.