Artful Signs

FAQ - Artful Signs

  • What size of sign should I get?
  • What is the design process?
  • What finish do you use?
  • Does polyurethane blister or peel? No. In the old days, varnish would crack and peel with age in the outdoors but modern finishes such a good quality polyurethane will simply wear away. A light sanding and new coats is all that is required.
  • Why don't you use oil based products rather then water based? Isn't oil based more durable? No. Oil and water are only delivery mechanisms for the resins that they deposit. During the drying process the solvents evaporate leaving the resins behind. It is the quality of the resins deposited that make one better then the other. A top quality water based product is better then a cheap oil and as good as a top quality oil. Water based products are less toxic and cleanup is easier and more environmentally friendly. This means our customers are more likely to maintain their signs.
  • Do I have to maintain my sign? Yes. All outdoor wood must be maintained especially finishes where the beauty of the wood is to be maintained.
  • Wouldn't a clear wood stain protect better then a clear film such as polyurethane? A wood stain alone offers no protection to the wood. Wood stain as the name would imply is only to add colour to the wood grain. The pigments in a solid stain does block the UV rays but then you lose the beauty of the wood grain. Exterior stains have clear film additive such as waxes that provide protection but if it is protection you want why not just go with the clear film such as polyurethane that is meant to protect the wood.
  • What wood is best for outdoor signs? As far as the the look of the wood is concerned it is the protection of the wood that counts and maintaining that protection. All wood will grey, fade and experience water damage if not protected. Yes, Cedar has natural protection to decay but that only comes into effect if there is no protection and over the longer term. Any wood will do well if protected and that protection is maintained. Cedar is a more stable wood and is therefore better for large signs.
  • How long will my sign last?
  • How do I maintain my sign?
  • How do I mount/hang my sign?
  • How long till I receive my sign? It will generally take 3-4 weeks plus shipping time but can very based on time of year and the volume of orders we are receiving at the time.
  • When should I order to receive a sign in time for Christmas or a birthday? The earlier the better. If you are late ordering, you can always give a picture of the mock-up with the actual sign to follow.
  • What art work is available? Most any that is compatible with carving. Simple graphic images are better.
  • What fonts can be used? Most any font that is available for free use with Windows. See popular choices in the design form.
  • Can I supply my own picture? Yes, there is an upload function in the design form.
  • Does the text and artwork have to be black? No, many colours are available.
  • Can I Supply the Wood for my Sign? Generally we find that shipping the customers wood back and forth makes it a little expensive for the customer. But if you still want to proceed, know that we are not responsible for the wood if it should be lost or damaged in any way whether our fault or not.
  • Can I pickup at the store? Yes, local pickup saves shipping costs.
  • Should I use 's or s'?
     Apostrophes serve two basic functions; they show possession and indicate letters have been removed to form a contraction.

     English apostrophe rules are not difficult to master. Just remember that all possessives need an apostrophe and an "s" at the end. If the word already has an "s," it only needs an apostrophe. If the word does not already have an "s," it needs the apostrophe followed by "s."

      So a name or other singular noun that ends in “s” (like “Chris”) is usually made possessive with the addition of an apostrophe plus a final “s” (as in “Chris's coat”). ... The general rule extends to proper nouns, including names ending in s, x, or z, in both their singular and plural forms.

  • What are the terms of sale/refund policy? All sales are final.

Is epoxy better then polyurethane?

Epoxy is tricky to work with. If you are skilled with it you can do it but you can easily mess up. Epoxy paints are more rigid, hard, and brittle. So, it will crack if exposed to temperature changes. Polyurethane is more flexible than epoxy because it has plasticizers in the formula. Its plastic nature makes it stretch and contract based on temperature changes. This gives it improved flexibility.


So for outdoor, polyurethane is better than epoxy because it is flexible and can cope with temperature changes. For a more lasting finish, do 5 coats.


Check out these references:

11 Best Clear Cedar Finish for Outdoors ( 2023 Reviews) (


Polyurethane vs. Epoxy (What's The Difference?) - DIY Geeks

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2 The price shown here is an estimation only. You will not be charged at this time.You will receive a quote with your virtual model for your approval.
3 Not including tax