A Letterville Step By Step
Different Materials & Paints For The End Result
Ray Rheaume

Normally, I hesitate when a customer says they have a sign they want to bring in and have done. It usually mean something that is pretty dilapidated, but this one was too much of a challenge to pass up and pushed me to try some new things...

The customer requested that it all be done in paint and have a trout on it, and after some thought, this was the game plan...

Here's the substrate...

A 4X3 piece of stainless steel that had been plasma cut to match their old sign.

The first step was to turn it to a maroon color to match the buildings new paint and awnings, so off it went to the guys at the body shop. It was sanded with 180 and then 320 grit first, then shot with self etching primer. PPG base coat paints were then applied and double clear coated on both sides.

Back at the shop, vinyl paint masks were cut for the lettering and applied. Once scuffed, the letters were foam brushed on with One Shot paints and the the masked removed. The cream color was mixed to match the building it would hang outside of.


Outlines, drop shadows and pinstripes were then hand painted...


And now the fun part...
Using Everwood foam, I hand carved the fish that were going to be applied to the 2 sided sign, sprayed them with sandable primer, sanded smooth by hand and coated with Metalcast base...




The fish were then airbrushed with One Shot Pearlescent colors and sprayed with gloss UV clear. Once they were finished, another mask was applied to the sign in the fish shape, scuffed and the trout were Gorilla Glued into position. After the glue set set, the excess glue was trimmed along the edges with a snap blade and pulling up the mask left a clean seam that was sealed with brushable clear.

A trip next door to the alterations shop (Thanks Mary!) resulted in a pair of black buttons with crystal centers for the eyes. A littel carving and some more GG set them in place, the water was painted on and a few more pinstripes on the top finished it up nicely...


One VERY happy customer and a real test of combining different materials and paints for the end result.


Ray Rheaume

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