It’s All About The Smaltz

Vital Signs  in Verona, WI, is a full-service sign company that specializes in all types of high-quality signage including routed, sandblasted, and “smalted” signs. Adding smaltz to a sign is a very popular texture in the signage industry. This venerable technique makes for a beautiful sign, and we have some great pictures of some smalted Precision Board Plus from Vital Signs to prove it!

Smaltz is coarse, colored, crushed or powdered glass or sand. The typical application is to apply a paint that is the same color as the smaltz to the background of the sign, and then select a binder to hold the smaltz in place. Vital Signs prefers a mixture of One-shot lettering enamel and Smith’s Cream for proper adhesion. Once the binder is applied, smaltz is added and allowed to dry.


Adding smaltz adds a very visually appealing texture and sparkle to the background, and when used in combination with gold-leaf lettering is considered by many to be the true “high-end” finish for a sign.  Anything from backgrounds, letters, borders and ornaments can be smalted, and once done, are said to last much longer than a painted surface. According to Mark Kramer, graphic designer and artist at Vital Signs, they enjoy using Precision Board Plus because “the longevity, durability, finishing, and ease of carving make it the substrate of choice that helps set them apart from others.”

You can contact Vital Signs at (608) 845-3766 or at