The Carson General Store sign is finally done! It was a very long project - but the result is pretty cool. And here's a little insight into the how-to.
Step 1: We mounted the plywood on a wall to make the painting easier. Painted the plywood white and used a projector and transparency to project the image onto the plywood. Next, we outlined the design on the plywood with a Sharpie. In retrospect, I would use something a little easier to paint over. It turns out that Sharpie is rather difficult to cover.
Step 2: Painting in the color. Since the sign is going to be outside, we used exterior paint. It was color matched at Home Depot. Exterior paint is difficult to work with - but worth it for the end result. This is me painting - one of the final steps was outlining the mountains with charcoal colored paint.
Getting all the long lines of the lettering straight proved to be quite a challenge. I ended up edging almost every part of every letter with painter's tape. It took a long time - but was well worth the ease of painting such long strokes against the grain of the wood.
A close up of the final product before we had dismounted the plywood. After it was dismounted, we used a skill saw to cut out the half-oval over the top of the mountains.
And this is what it currently looks like mounted above the store. I wish that the pulleys in the front weren't there... but apparently it was a necessity. In the Columbia River Gorge there are a lot of big wind gusts - gusts strong enough to take the sign off and into something valuable. So, until we figure out a new way of securing the sign, the pulleys stay.