I have a customer that wants to replace their existing weathered wooden sign. I have very limited (actually exceptionally limited) experience in wood and paints. So much so that I don't know exactly what I need to prep the sign. I have a sole owner, part-time/hobby vinyl sign business with laser engraver. I usually work with metal, glass, plastic, and normal MDO (pre-painted) substraits for the vinyl signs but this one is a little different for me.
Here is what I have. The existing sign is a 14" x 36" x 3/4" plywood sign that appears to have been painted and then vinyl lettering applied. It does not look like the standard color (white) for pre-painted MDO plywood. Also the edges are not painted thus leading me to believe this is not what I am used to working with.
Here is my question: Since I don't usually use wood as my substrait when making vinyl signs, I have a few concerns that I can make this sign last and produce a good product.
1. What is the best wood to use for an outdoor sign of this nature? If I dont have to use MDO, that is good, then what plywood (customer wants to stay with this as this is what they used in the past.)
2. What is the best prep work to make the final product? Vinyl letters are goind to be applied to the finished product and I want them to stick correctly...duh...
3. I need to have it painted. What is the best type of paint and how should it be applied? Again, vinyl lettering is going to be placed on the item so it has to accept the vinyl and stick good. Customer says last sign lasted 10 years, so they are expecting the same. (I use Arlon, 3M, and Oracal for my vinyl.)
4. Please be as detailed and specific as you can, like I said, I have NO experience in this field, but would like to learn so I can expand my business also.
Thank you in advance for all your suggestions and help,