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How to Put Vinyl On Painted Wood Signs (So It Actually Sticks)

Vinyl, painted, wood, sign, Silhouette tutorial
This is more of a tip than it is a tutorial and it's a pretty easy one. I've been making some painted wood plaques and instead of stenciling the names and personalization on, I've actually been using vinyl.  I like how crisp and professional looking it looks.   If you're going for a more rustic look, vinyl's not going to do it so get your paint and sand paper out...but in those cases when you want fresh and crisp this is a really easy way to get the look.  I'm sure there are other ways to do this - but this is what I do and it works for me...


The first thing I do is paint the wood.  For this project I was working with unfinished pine plaques that were ready for paint, but if you need to sand down first - do that before you paint. You want a nice smooth finish.

Vinyl, painted, wood, sign, Silhouette tutorial

I used craft paint and ended up adding a second coat after the first dried. That's just personal preference.

Vinyl, painted, wood, sign, Silhouette tutorial

The next step is the important one: paint a thin coat of polycrylic over the paint and let it dry.  I use a foam brush so I don't get brush marks from a paint brush.  The poly gives the vinyl something to stick to.

Vinyl, painted, wood, sign, Silhouette tutorial, polycrylic

Once the poly is dry, you're ready to add the vinyl.  And that's it. Wam, bam, thank you ma'am.

Just a reminder, you don't want to put anything over the vinyl as it could cause it to curl or crack as we saw here. Yikes!

Vinyl, painted, wood, sign, Silhouette tutorial

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22 comments

  1. Do you think following the same process swapping out stain for paint, vinyl will stick?

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    Replies
    1. Caryn, did you get a answer to your question. I'm wondering the same thing.

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  2. I may or may not have put the coat of poly over the vinyl my first time. ;)

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  3. So no Polycrylic as protection? Thank you for the great tip, Melissa!

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  4. This may sound like a really dumb question, but do you add the extras (ie: hooks, pegs, so on...) *after* painting and putting on the vinyl, or before? I was worried doing that ahead of time would chip the paint or ruin the crisper look, but yours looks so perfect and wanted to make sure I followed your steps :).

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  5. what about using mode lodge as a sealer over the vinyl?

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    Replies
    1. From what I have read you don't ever want to put any kind of sealer over vinyl.

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  6. So using mod podge on top as a sealer would not be a good idea? I want to make cork coasters using the vinyl instead of painting from a stencil but I'm concerned about watermarks from drinks. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. did you ever get an answer to this question?

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    2. This is the same question I have! Would love answer - I could do regular vinyl or heat press, but need to know if it's worth a try either way!

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  7. Awesome! Finally I got some stuff regarding woodworking signs. I was searching for material related to matter included in post. I am very happy and relaxed too that I find this blog.
    Brian

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  8. What were the tips and guidelines on painted wood signs. I really like your writing style and how you express your ideas. Thank you.

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  9. I just tried this with the same brand polycrylic and the second I started brushing it on my white painted board, it left black streaks. Will these go away?

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  10. okay so i plan on using spray paint for color, and a clear gloss sealer for the spray paint and then adding the vinyl for my finishing detail. would this work?

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  11. I have been doing painted wooden signs with vinyl since 2008...I use basic plaid acrylic paint from Walmart..sand the wood, paint one or two coats (more if it is a lighter color paint...in which case putting a coat of white paint on first really helps). I let it dry while cutting and weeding my vinyl. I transfer the vinyl and then seal with mod podge...I have never had issues with curling or cracking...do not use homemade mid podge...that will yellow. I haven't tried the poly stuff but mod podge works great and helps protect the paint and vinyl. Just remember to use thin coats of mod podge and it takes 30 days to fully cure (aka fully dry). For signs on walls and such this is no big deal...but for coasters, you will want to give it the proper time to cure.

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  12. I have been doing painted wooden signs with vinyl since 2008...I use basic plaid acrylic paint from Walmart..sand the wood, paint one or two coats (more if it is a lighter color paint...in which case putting a coat of white paint on first really helps). I let it dry while cutting and weeding my vinyl. I transfer the vinyl and then seal with mod podge...I have never had issues with curling or cracking...do not use homemade mid podge...that will yellow. I haven't tried the poly stuff but mod podge works great and helps protect the paint and vinyl. Just remember to use thin coats of mod podge and it takes 30 days to fully cure (aka fully dry). For signs on walls and such this is no big deal...but for coasters, you will want to give it the proper time to cure.

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  13. thank you for the great tuts!!!!

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  14. Signs are a huge part of advertising. Good advertising can really help your business. It's important to make sure you have a professional looking sign to help you business out.

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  15. This is pretty neat and the steps seems simple enough for me to follow. I'd make some of these to giveaway for Christmas for sure!

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  16. How long do you have to wait for the poly to dry? When I used my transfer paper it peeled off the poly!

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  17. Hi Ladies, I have a question, I am doing a sign on Painted wood and used Oracal 631, do I have to seal it and if so, with what?
    I really appreciate the advice.

    ReplyDelete

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