Using Primer to Make Wood Grain Texture on Precision Board HDU

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to announce a series of guest blogs written by Dan Sawatzky of Imagination Corporation, which will be posted on the Precision Board Blog each month. This month Dan Sawatzky shows us how he used our FSC-88 WB Primer and some bristle brushes to create a faux wood grain texture on his Precision Board HDU mermaid statues.  These statues will eventually get a weathered look and be installed next door at The Hazelnut Inn.


In Dan’s own words…

The mermaids we routed last month from massive blocks of PBLT-30 Precision Board on our Rotary axis MultiCam turned out fabulous. The two figures were routed to steel structures with some 2” x 2” tubing down the back. These steel structures will be used to mount the figureheads permanently over the bed in the Hazelnut Inn in due course. For now they served as a sturdy temporary stand while we worked on the pieces. We knew there would be a fair amount of handwork to finish things off, but that’s the fun part!

We used a grinder and air powered hand die grinder to take away the bits we didn’t want and also to add a bit of basic textures. The patching and additions of clothing were done using sculpting epoxy.

Then it was time for some more magic. The perfect product for this step was some FSC-88 WB Primer. We generally have two gallon cans on the go in our shop. One is new and just as the folks at Coastal Enterprises sent it to us – a thick bodied primer. The second gallon we keep is much thicker because we’ve had it a while and have been using it. The primer thickens up marvelously if the lid isn’t nice and tight when it is stored. This super thick primer was brushed on generously and then various stiff bristle brushes (think pieces of broom) were dragged through it to form the woodgrain.

In key areas we drilled out a section, sculpted in a knot using sculpting epoxy and then formed the woodgrain around it. After the primer had dried we went back with a thin bladed grinder and die grinder to cut in some deep slits in the woodgrain. A teeny bit of sanding was done to knock off some lumps and even things out a tad. Our goal was to make the figureheads look like they were 200 year old weathered artifacts.

Then it was time to begin the painting magic. We began – as always, with three hand brushed coats of acrylic house paint.

Once the base coats of paint were in place and thoroughly dry it was time for blending on more colours. The two figureheads will still get more blended coats of paint onto the woodgrains. We’ll age things down considerably and then go on to the glazing to make it all look like an ancient artifact. Those wonderful woodgrains created using Coastal Enterprises FSC-88 WB Primer will shine through when we are done.

Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation is a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous national and international awards.

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force and visual storyteller extraordinaire. His art career spans almost fifty years of magic. Dan’s passion is to design and create imaginative places that take people from the normal world to a setting of delight and wonder.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board HDU, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane sign material that is particularly effective for making professional-looking indoor and outdoor dimensional signs.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  You can request free samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.