Maltese name sign- advise requested for painting

Hey everyone. Been making these, among other awesome creations on our so3 xxl. Using 1/2" birch plywood. Nice quick cut, relatively easy sand.

My question, can anyone share their .02 on the best/easiest way to paint this? I’ve tried an acrylic paint brushed/rolled in areas (as seen in this pic). Seems to have uneven areas and the red doesn’t cover well (takes like 4 coats with a tiny brush).

Also tried spraying with rattle can, which yielded decent results, but slower dry time, 2-3 coats, and meticulous taping to separate the red from black, as well as dealing with bleed through.

Is there a better option here? For product (something other than acrylic to brush on)?

Fyi I’m clear coating after paint.



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For better coverage, have you tried sealing the wood first? I’ve done projects on plywood, MDF and chipboard, which all have fairly course surfaces. I fill any obvious imperfections with paint ready filler (the stuff that’s pink but turns white when it dries), sand it smooth, then roll on a coat of B.I.N primer/sealer (shellac based sealer). A light sanding with 220g on the orbital, Spray or roll on my final color. Most times it only needs one, but occasionally a second coat is needed.


second the sealing coat and then painting. i think i have seen that recommendation before on some other boards. at the risk of sounding like over simplifying your masking. are you using tape and paper or just masking tape. on something this large i would try make a block around red area with square of masking tape then mask rest with news paper/craft paper/ or the green paper tape combo stuff they use in the auto body shops if your pocketbook allows it. double row top bottom and sides of 2" tape then block rest with paper should save you a lot of tedious i would think.


Thanks guys. Have some primer and 220 I’ll try that tomorrow. Been using some stage 1 craft store acrylic paint. I’ll continue with that unless you have anything better. Tried oil based and that took forever to dry.

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It has been recommended in our CNC meetings that you should also seal the back side of any project you are working on to keep the wood (panels in particular) from warping.


How did this turn out?

FYI, Always finish both sides of a project. If you do not finish both sides of wood you usually get warping over time. Also remember that preparation is 90 percent of any finishing project. No project ever looks good with rough surfaces. Paint or varnish will not make up for poor preparation. Some people use auto body filler, others wood fillers and some others grain fillers. The product used to fill is based on how big your fill job is. Wood like Oak will never get a smooth surface without filling the grain. If you use Plywood then the edges need to be filled and sanded smooth. Most likely plywood edges will always telegraph through the layers. Finishing should take as long as the rest of the project by a factor of two if you want a good finish. Do not rush the finishing. Many times you have worked on a project and you just want it finished, over and done. That is a mistake and you should not rush through finishing. Many a great project is ruined by rushing the finishing process. One last piece of advise. All finishes have to cure. The usual cure time is anywhere from a week to a month depending on the finish. If you use polyurethane you can handle the project in 24 hours but it will smell like chemicals for years if you close the lid on a newly finished box and never let the finish fully cure before closing the box lid. Craft Supply USA has some wax that is lemon scented and is great to put inside projects with enclosed space. The smell of lemons is much more pleasant than oil based finish.


Decent I’d say. The veneer edge (top side) of the wood covered well. The sides of the plywood never want to accept the sprayed primer (rattle can), or acrylic brushed on paint well. Same goes with rattle can paint. Takes several coats, and the dry time for rattle can paint takes crazy long, otherwise the paint wrinkles up. I do have an hvlp I could try. Brushing all the inside edges takes a lot of time.

I will mention I’ve been using standard birch ply from the big box store and haven’t made it over to the specialty wood store to get my hands on baltic birch yet.

What gets me is there are shops on etsy that sell these for $65 all day long, minus fees. So they must have a technique that’s working well. Because as it stands, I can’t justify the time involved in finishing for the small profit.

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Interesting, is that with using any kind of separate sealer before the primer or paint?

I’m not a wood guy (mostly cutting MDF or alum for prototyping things), so this is all just theoretical to me atm. :slight_smile: