Step-by-step Instructions for Making a Slate House Sign

All streets and residences are required by law to have a visible house number sign or house name. Not only are house signs helpful in establishing addresses, but they are also vital for emergency services to locate persons in need.


Slate is one of the most classic methods of displaying a home sign. In comparison to the alternatives, slate house signs have a more refined and vintage feel. Additionally, they are durable enough to endure all the seasons.


Acquire a piece of slate.

Slates are available for purchase from slate firms, slate mines, and other suppliers. You can also get them from several recycling and reclamation yards. Alternatively, you can even obtain leftover slates from specific construction projects. 


Your desired sign location will ultimately determine the size of slate you will display outside your home. You should highly consider the distance from which it will be viewed from the street. Therefore, it is critical to first assess the entry to your property to accurately fix the measurement of slate you will need.


Measure and cut out the piece of slate.

Since you want your house sign to be seen from a distance, ascertain that your slate is large enough to accommodate your house number. As a general rule, 20mm is readable at a distance of 10m. Based on this, you must determine the minimum distance required for visitors to see your sign.


After identifying the measurements of the intended home sign, the next step is to begin trimming. This is the stage when most errors occur, so we recommend performing this step before working on your design. Also, remember to trim with extreme caution. It is highly advisable to use protective eyewear and gloves in case the slate breaks. Bear in mind that the slate should be cut face down on a slate cutter.


Slate can be cut in a variety of ways and with a range of tools. You have the option of employing power tools or a slate cutter. Moreover, angle grinders and circular saws are appropriate for cutting slates. If you intend to use this tool, ensure that the blade is carbide or diamond-tipped, as slate may damage relatively weak blades. Once you have trimmed the material, drill the appropriate holes that will guide you in positioning the slate on the wall. 


Mark out your house number.

The goal here is to choose the most readable font possible. Naturally, ornate, thin font styles, script fonts, and serif fonts will reduce your address's visibility. As a result, you should go for more clear signs, such as sans serif fonts. Not only that, but ensure that there is sufficient space between the numbers. When your home numbers are too close together, the lack of space between them poses visual problems. Of course, if you include an excessive amount of space, you risk confusing readers. Therefore, you should take your time marking out your house number.


Paint and protect your house sign.

Selecting the appropriate paint and paint colour for slate house signs is critical, as it has an effect on the end product's quality. It is ideal to use high-contrast colours such as white, black, and metallics for house numbers. Utilise high-quality acrylic or latex paint and invest in appropriate-sized paintbrushes. When appropriately applied, the paints produce an excellent finish and have a long lifespan. 


You should also ensure that the surface is entirely dust-free. Dust would prevent the undercoat from adhering to the slate's surface. Next, proceed to apply the base coat with the preferred background colour. After applying the needed coats and waiting for the surface to completely dry, you can now paint the house number.


Bear in mind that painting should not be rushed. Each piece of slate is unique, and some will require additional coats. The actual lettering paint is applied 4-6 times at least a day apart to ensure each coat of paint dries completely.


The next step is to apply a protective coating on the sign. Specifically, use a thin coat of oil or acrylic spray to your sign and allow it to dry. This will ensure the longevity of your slate.


Fit the house sign.

After you have successfully painted the slate and waited for it to dry, the next step is to fit the sign onto the wall. This stage will require the use of a handheld drill, a pencil, a carpenter's spirit level, adhesive, and drill bits. First, finalise the placing of your house sign and use the spirit level to mark the drill locations to ensure that it is straight and level. You can also base the position on the slate holes you have created earlier for more accuracy.


Following that, drill through the marked holes on the wall. These holes should be roughly 50mm in depth. Next, half fill the holes created with your selected adhesive. Finally, firmly press and hold your sign against the wall to establish a secure adhesion for 30-60 seconds.


Regularly clean your slate sign.

While slate is a highly durable material, you will still need to maintain your house sign for many years to come. You can clean your home sign on a regular basis with a soft bristle brush. Make sure that you do not move the brush back and forth but instead in the same direction. You can also use warm water, a light detergent, and a towel to remove any accumulated dirt or other undesirable debris. Additionally, avoid using any harsh chemical substances to prevent eroding or staining your slate.

 
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