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Signs on buildings

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Signs on buildings
Posted by mreagant on Monday, August 2, 2021 3:39 PM

Several years ago I saw an article in MR about putting a sign on brickbuilding side and making it settle into the brick texture. Can anyone give me a short primer about how to do this?

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Posted by WPA on Monday, August 2, 2021 8:46 PM

The older version of Jeff Wilson's weathering book has a section on brick building signs (Kalmbach series). You can find it used online. This may help as well, link below.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, August 2, 2021 11:08 PM

I print my own signs as decals on my computer, using decal paper.  To get the colors right, I paint a rectangle the size of the sign on the brick surface with white craft paint.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by BATMAN on Monday, August 2, 2021 11:38 PM

On one of the FB sites, I belong to, a guy did a tutorial video on the subject, it was a YouTube link so should be available there if you search. It was really good and I bet there are others as well.


It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, August 3, 2021 6:04 AM


I print my own signs as decals on my computer, using decal paper.   

I just use computer paper and 3M 77 spray adhesive to secure the paper to the building.


Alton Junction

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Posted by MapGuy42 on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 4:14 PM

I tape tissue paper to regular computer paper, and print on that.  I paint the area on the building white (perhaps somewhat spotty depending on desired weathering effect), then I apply the sign with diluted matte medium.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 10:35 PM

Randy Pepprock of Downtown Deco's method is my favorite, though have only used it upon hydrocal walls.

I like to sand down the back side of the paper sign first.  Coat the back of the paper sign and the wall with rubber cement and let dry.  Apply sign and press down gently yet firmly.  Errant cement will rub off later.  

After placing a piece of plastic sandwich bag over the sign press and crease the sign into the bricks, running a fingernail over the brick lines.  With plastic still in place further burnish the sign into the brickwork with a soft cloth.  

Regards, Peter

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, August 14, 2021 9:06 AM

George Selios showed how he did his in the first Allen Keller video of his layout. This was before digital imaging and color printers were commonplace so he would search through old books and magazines to find pictures that would make for good wall signs. He would sandpaper the backs until they were tissue thin and then use diluted white glue to put them on the walls. Because they had been sanded thin, the brick texture would show through. Now with so many images available on line, finding good signs is much easier. When I sand the paper down I don't worry if I overdo it slightly and wear a few holes in the paper because wall signs over time will beging to fade and chip away.

You can find pictures of wall signs in which case the brick texture is already in the image which means you don't need to sand them quite so thin. Here's a few examples:

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f80b1b1f40a0a181df526a1b84e74515.jpg (1444×1209) (

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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 6:20 PM

Check out Luke Towan on YouTube.  One of his recent videos includes a step-by-step method for exactly what you are looking for.  His trick is to print the sign onto gift-wrap style tissue paper (temporarily attached to a sheet of printer paper).  His resulting sign appeared to have been painted directly onto the building siding.  Check it out.


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