Today I’m giving you a sneak peek into my tool box and sharing some of my all time (can’t live without) supplies with you. All these supplies can be purchased via Amazon through the buttons/links below.
My favorite tools for wood and chalkboard signs
MOLOTOW PAINT PENS
My ALL TIME FAVORITE, Holy Grail of writing on just about any surface is the Molotow Paint Pen. I cannot sing enough praises about this pen, it is my absolute favorite. The opacity is fantastic and it’s non-toxic (so you don’t get that yucky smell). It also is removable on most surfaces if you catch it early and with a magic eraser. It’s great on wood and chalkboard signs. It works on acrylic as well but can be scratched off as acrylic is very non-porous. If you are looking to reuse your acrylic pieces (which I highly recommend as acrylic is not bio-degradable) then you can use Molotows and wipe them away after the sign is used.
Once I discovered the incredibleness of Magic Erasers I have not let them out of my sight. Magic erasers are just that MAGIC. If you need to remove something they are key. I use them a lot when I do large chalkboard signs that are done with paint pens. First I use chalk to outline, then I add the paint pen, then (once the paint is dry) I use my magic eraser to remove all residue and dust (I use a DRY magic eraser and lighty dust off the chalk, if it’s really stubborn I will wet the magic eraser but you need to be sure not to scrub to hard and remove the writing)… it works like a charm and gives me that beautiful black chalkboard again.
Another way I use magic erasers is for my wood signs. Once I am done treating the wood (cut, sand, stain, seal) I write on it. If my signs are going to be rentals I use water-based sharpies and then when the signs return to me I use magic erasers to remove the writing, works like a charm. If the signs are not rentals and are the clients to keep I will use a more permanent pen (like a Molotow) but I will use the magic eraser if I mess up to remove any mistakes.
Magic erasers are also my go-tos for just about any thing I can’t clean up. Recently I had a sea glass order and I couldn’t get a mistake to come off the sea glass, of course I turned to my magic erasers and WA-LA it was removed! You should definitely keep these in your tool box.
If you are making wood signs, this is another must, you must seal your wood. Sealing takes place after you have stained your wood (and allowed it to dry). I typically do about 3 coats of sealant and I sand inbetween coats (do not sand coat number 3). I use the Minwax Water Based Sealer in SATIN (if you go with a Matte finish your wood will look dull and if you get a glossy finish your wood may be so glossy that the writing is hard to read, so Satin is just right ;)). Another thing about the sealant is that you can erase your mistakes more easily than if you don’t seal the wood. After I complete my artwork on the wood signs, I put another layer of this sealant over it for extra protection (if the sign is not a rental)
Finally, if you are creating rentals you absolutely must use a sealer, this allows me to be able to wipe away the previous writing that is on the sign… plus the next pen helps with that too!
WATER BASED SHARPIE
The perfect paint pen for writing on rentals, easily removable, non-toxic and opaque enough for wood signs. The water-based Sharpie comes in a variety of sizes, I typically use the fine and medium sized ones (the extra fine is a little too tiny for wood signs IMO). I also use these pens to write on glass doors (or mirrors) when the artwork will need to be removed the next day, since it’s easy to wipe off.
One note of caution, be sure to purchase the WATER BASED one (blue label) and NOT the oil based one, the oil based one will not come off your wood sign once it’s on there… The button below will lead you to the water based Sharpie to purchase on Amazon.
DEWALT ORBITAL SANDER
If you plan on creating a lot of wood signs I highly recommend getting an Orbital Sander, it makes life so much easier. I bought one for myself last Christmas as a gift to me (I know I’m strange) and I’m so glad I did. It makes sanding faster, less messy and in my opinion better than the job I can do by hand.
WRITING ON TOUGH SURFACES
SAKURA PEN TOUCH PAINT PEN
If there is ever a time when I can’t get a pen to write on a material I always turn to the Sakura Pen Touch (Typically I only use their metallic pens, as I find these work best on tough surfaces). I have used these pens on agate, marble, tile, oyster shells, Christmas ornaments etc… They are very permanent, once they go on you can’t get them off which is good when you are trying to create something that is more permanent. The metallics are also very vibrant and beautiful!
Make sure to shake the Sakura Pen Touch and follow the instructions on the pen, they can be a bit temperamental at first but once you get the hang of it, I almost guarantee you’ll love them as much as I do!
What would I do without my Stanley Laser Leveler? If you want to be able to write in straight lines without drawing in pencil lines on your envelopes this tool is for you! There is not much more I can say. I use this tool every time I do calligraphed envelopes!
These are just a few of my favorite tools that I believe will help you up your calligraphy (and sign making) game! If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to reach out to me, I love helping other creatives :)
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