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Love Holiday Displays, But Hate To Paint?

By Jim Shutes

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Wood crafts and holiday displays can be a very fulfilling and rewarding hobby. There are many aspects to creating a beautiful display piece: picking the right pieces of lumber to use, tracing the pattern onto the wood, cutting the pieces out of the wood, tracing the inner lines of the project, painting the project, sealing and protecting it, and setting up the final display on your lawn for all to see and enjoy! All of these elements can be a lot of fun. Some of them are more fun than others, for some.

I have found, in talking with fellow woodcrafters, that some people love cutting out the wood, and would like to skip right to the displaying part of the process. They seem to just endure the tedious painting part of the craft. They wish that there were some other way to get past it. Well, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who would like to quickly cut out and setup their holiday displays, without the tedium of hours of painting: Color Prints.

There are many benefits of using color prints, over painting the display yourself. One, in particular, is that the color print is a flawless reproduction of the original. The lines are crisp and sharp, the colors are impecible, and the entire print is consistent. Even the best painter will show imperfections in their painting, but a color print is always perfect. If you want a perfect color display, and have little time to accomplish it, then you will want to use color prints on your holiday displays.

This is how it works.

  1. Obtain full-color, poster-strength color prints (there are a few companies who offer these very specific types of prints – see below). Glue the print down to your wood. To do this, use a good spray adhesive (one that sprays consistently, and allows you to peel back the print if you make a mistake) to spray the wood and the back of the color print.
  2. Carefully spread the print across the wood, starting at one side of the print, and gently pressing the print down and across the wood, with your hand. Make sure that you have pushed out any air bubbles. If air bubbles persist, don’t worry, you have a little time to gently, and very carefully, peel the color print back up, until you reach the air bubbles. Then, very carefully, continue to press the rest of the color print back down to the wood.
  3. Once the color print has been spread out and glued down to your wood, lightly press the print down to the wood with a rolling pin. Let dry for a few hours, before cutting your wood. Once dry, using a jig saw or scroll saw, cut along the outline of the color print, so that the shape is all that remains.
  4. Now you must seal your display with an all-weather sealer. Get a really good sealer, called Exterior Gloss Varnish. It seals the print and the wood, to keep out moisture, and also resists yellowing. Standard polyurethanes will yellow very quickly, which results in a very unsightly display. The gloss will ensure that your display will stay dry, with crisp, bright colors. Test the sealer to make sure that it doesn’t cause the colors to run. Apply several coats, making sure to seal the edges and back of the display, as well.
  5. Now you are ready to display your project on your lawn. Attach wooden stakes to the back of your project and then into the ground. Or, to make it easy to stake into the ground (without the risk of ruining your display), use a staking kit. A staking kit makes it easy to attach the stake to the back of the display, as well as making it easy to release from the stake. Stake your display into the ground, and you are done!
So to recap, glue the color print down to the wood, cut on the outline of the image, seal your project, and stake it. You’re done in minutes, instead of hours or days. You just saved yourself huge amounts of time. The end result is that you ended up with a wonderful, professional-looking display. And best of all, this frees up your time to do many projects this weekend, or just to quickly do the one project that you have been putting off for weeks.

If you would like details on what displays are offered in high-strength, full-color prints, please call toll-free (800) 843-2571.
Visit www.SherwoodOnline.com/colorprints.asp for additional information on Color Prints. Sherwood offers all of the products listed above, at one location. Spray Adhesive (#D-7203), Exterior Gloss Varnish (#D-7002), Large Staking Kit (#H-675), and Small Staking Kit (#H-672).

Click HERE if you would like to download this article as a Microsoft Word Document, including the photos.


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