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Woodworking/Making a sign...


I am trying to make a sign for a gift.   I got the wood from my father in law and it is has a smooth glossy finish.  Will I be able to paint on it?  I am afraid it will not take to such a glossy finish.  
I thought of buying small wood letters, painting them and then glue them on but they are hard to find in my neck of woods.  
If the glossy finish is a problem, should I rough up the area to be painted with sandpaper, then paint it?  Just a thought.
Thanks for your time.

Hi Tammy, sorry for the late reply...for some reason the system is not notifying me of pending questions. If it has a glossy varnish or Poly on it, then yes, you should sand the gloss off lightly, maybe with some 320-400 grit wet/dry sand paper. That will give the surface some "tooth" for the paint to grab....wooden letters are available in LOTS of places on the internet, (Google search "wooden letters"), or at a good crafts store. Hope that helps a little, please post back if need be.


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Greg Scholl


Questions on Woodworking, wood finishing and refinishing of all kinds, repairing furniture and wooden objects,Architectural details, Woodturning, carving, tool usage, product usage, some chemistry as it applies to woodworking and related interests,cabinet making and furniture construction/design, etc. I have experience with all manners of colorants, finishes, paints, stains, dyes, glazes, and coatings,wood species recognition,usage,etc.


Fine furniture restorer and cabinet maker for over 30 years,serving high end Antique dealers, Interior designers, Collectors in the CT area. Sold, built, serviced, setup Home,Industrial and Commercial stationary woodworking tools for a major tool retailer in CT. for three years, sold hand and power tools, and offered instruction on use and care as well.I even have some Trade show Demo experience.

none at this time.

Published in Fine Woodworking Magazine (12/97), included on Fine Woodworkings first "Best of Fine Woodworking" CD-ROM (2002)-("27 year compilation of expert know-how"),Multiple times in Family Handyman Magazine, local newspapers as well.

Art School at Silvermine Guild in Norwalk, CT., 9 year apprenticeship in a European run Cabinet and Restoration shop in CT., various classes on subjects having to do with the field. Seminars by Major tool manufacturers, Delta, Powermatic, Performax, Porter Cable, Skil/Bosch to name a few.

Past/Present Clients
Many varied clients including work on Martha Stewarts' Westport, CT. show house, many fine Antique dealers and private collectors in and around Fairfield County and in Woodbury, CT.(the Antiques capital of CT.)
Consulting for area Painting/Decorating and Building contractors on non painting issues..(staining, wood prep.,clear finishing, floor restoration and architectural detail restoration and repair, etc.), local Museums and Historical Societies.For the last two years I have been employed with Schwenke Auctioneers Inc.- Woodbury Auction LLC., as a staff photographer,IT tech,and doing restoration and repair work as well.

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