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How do you make a Sandblasted Sign?

Pebble finish with CNC carved lettering

So, how do you make a Sandblasted Sign?

What is sandblasting? Sandblasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface or remove surface contaminants.

What materials are used? There are only a few choices of materials. Natural woods such as redwood and cedar and HDU (high density urethane) sign foam. While redwood and cedar are beautiful these materials can get soft and decay over time. This is where HDU is superior. It is lighter than wood, it will never rot and insects have no interest in it. It withstands extreme heat or cold and does not warp or bow. Here at Fox Designs we only use HDU.

And the finishes? As with any custom sign, the finishes vary according to each customers needs. Signs can be smooth, or blasted with a “pebble” or “wood grain” look. These signs can also be carved in a variety of ways as needed.

Size and color? The options are limitless.

And now, the process…

We start with your design and every design is different. We evaluate each project and determine the best way to create your design.

First, we determine if the letters be CNC carved? We carve lettering when possible and if they are too fine for carving, we laser cut the letters and apply them to the sign.

Once the HDU has been cut to the exact size specifications and carved (if necessary) the letters glued (if necessary) we cut a mask to cover the areas that will not be blasted. This way, your name and logo is smooth and will stand out!

Once the the blasting done, we remove the mask, clean the sign and prepare it for painting. This takes time and depending upon the sign, can be very labor intensive. A steady hand and a good eye are definitely required!

Reverse sandblasted w/CNC carved letters

This “Birdland Sign” was reversed blasted. The borders were CNC carved as were the all the letters. We placed a mask on the main body of the sign and sandblasted the letters with a wood grain finish… looks great! .

One of the nice things about sandblasted signs is that there is virtually no limit the shape. If you can use vector software to create files, you can design and offer sandblasted signs to your customers. Just send us your sign design, we'll take care of the rest!

The "Piece a' Cake" has a CNC carved border & lettering with laser cut accents. The lettering & logo were carved and masked along with the border prior to sandblasting with a pebble finish. Ready for cake?

Ready to add Sandblasted Signs to your product line?

A few things to consider when designing a sandblasted sign for your client:

  • Size and font: Fine font is difficult to cut and blast…you may want to thicken it up!

  • Single or double sided- Easy decision

  • Paint colors- Send us the names or PMS colors and we will match the color.

  • Mounting requirements: Will the sign be mounted to a wall? Be hanging from chains? Be mounted between posts? Also, will the sign need an internal structure a simple backer or nothing at all?

And lastly, once we have your design, we will work with you to help determine the best method for producing an exceptional sign!

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