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Photopolymer Sign Painting with Matthews Paint

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Photopolymer continues to be a popular choice for ADA signage. And when this material is combined with Matthews Paint, the results can exceed client expectations in regard to appearance and performance.

Why Photopolymer Is a Good Choice for ADA Signage

Photopolymer offers a wide range of benefits that make it suitable for ADA signage.

Why Matthews Paint Is a Good Choice for ADA Signage

Matthews Paint has been a top manufacturer of acrylic polyurethane sign paint for more than 80 years. The company continues to improve on its line to ensure that sign fabricators receive the highest-quality paint possible to complete their projects.

There are a number of advantages to using Matthews Paint for ADA signage, including the following:

Tips for Photopolymer Sign Painting with Matthews Paint

Though the combination of photopolymer and Matthews Paint can produce high-quality ADA signage, sign fabricators must have the necessary tools and skills to yield the best results.

Required Tools and Materials

As with any sign painting job, technicians need to have the right equipment before they begin:

Sign Painting Steps

  1. First, it’s important to clean the photopolymer by spraying it with a cleaning solution and using a short-bristled brush to gently scrub the material. All areas on the front of the material around the copy should be thoroughly cleaned. It’s also recommended to clean the second surface, especially if that surface will be painted as well.
  2. Second, the photopolymer should be dried so that no cleaner is left on the surface.
  3. Third, the paint should be properly mixed. Matthews Paint offers mixing cups that are labeled for greater convenience. Mixing 3 parts paint to 1 part catalyst to 1 part reducer ensures that the paint will dry correctly.
  4. Fourth, a tack rag should be used to remove any remaining surface debris from the photopolymer.
  5. Fifth, using a spray gun, the primer should be applied to the material.
  6. Sixth, using a spray gun, the topcoat can then be applied to the material. It’s important to spray from both sides and at an angle in front to ensure that the paint covers all sides of raised letters.
  7. Seventh, using a wet film gauge, the wet film thickness of the paint should be measured. Ideally, the measurement should be at least 4 mils wet.
  8. Eighth, if the second surface of the photopolymer is painted as well, a clear coat must be applied to the first surface.
  9. Ninth, if finished painting, all internal parts of the spray gun should be thoroughly cleaned.
  10. Tenth, the newly painted photopolymer should be set to dry overnight—ideally in a temperature-controlled environment.

When to Outsource Sign Painting

As shown above, there are several tools needed to perform sign painting, particularly with photopolymer. Given that not every sign shop has the budget or space to invest in such equipment, it often makes more fiscal sense to outsource an order to a third party. A business that specializes in producing ADA signage will have the in-house capabilities to complete an order from start to finish—including sign painting. As a result, sign shop owners are able to provide their clients with high-quality finished products without having to spend money on additional tools or equipment.

Further, sign painting is a delicate process that requires a certain degree of skill and knowledge. If a staff member doesn’t have sufficient experience with sign painting, there’s a greater risk of it being done incorrectly. For example, the technician could wind up creating the wrong shade, mixing the wrong ratio of paint to catalyst to reducer, or missing parts of the sign during the painting process. If there are no immediate plans to train an employee on proper sign painting methods, it would be in one’s best interest to outsource a project rather than potentially ruining a client’s order.

Photopolymer sign painting with Matthews Paint can result in durable, aesthetically pleasing ADA signage, but sign shops must be equipped with the appropriate tools and expertise. If sign painting is a task that can’t be taken on at this time, the best course of action would be to enlist the help of a business that can offer such services.

Filed Under: Design and Customization

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