A whole make video of this project, including design, cutting, painting, and finishing, is available on youtube. Have a look for details!
Also, see Stephanie’s blog post about this project here: Crafting In The Rain
We’re going to paint the carved letters. But if you just slap some paint in there, it will bleed into the wood grain of your workpiece and you won’t get crisp edges, and it won’t sand out. So we need to seal that woodgrain. Here, Stephanie is coating the letters with simple clear shellac. Go over the edges a bit onto the top surface, so you can paint over the edges later too. That will make sanding it off easy.
This is where the shellac sealer pays off. Now we simply sand the surface of the sign, using either a simple sanding block, a random orbital sander, or even a sanding drum if that’s your machine of choice. We went with an orbital sander, with 320 grit sandpaper, and it cleaned up the surface down to bare wood in just a few minutes. If you sealed the endgrain with shellac, you won’t have any paint residue!
We chose to finish it with clear gloss spray lacquer. 4 coats done, drying in between, and then a light sanding (to knock down any dust or whatever) and then a final coat of lacquer to be nice and smooth.
Yes, you can use lacquer, especially in a spray can like this, over paint. Latex or acrylic. Because the solvents evaporate so quickly, it is unlikely to cause your paint to bubble. Don’t soak it or let it puddle on the paint, though, as it could ruin it with prolonged exposure.
And that’s it! Hang it on your dog’s crate, or food dish, or dog house, or wherever you want! We just used black zip ties through the holes at the top to hang it up.