Sawatzky Blog: Adding Texture to Precision Board with a Die Grinder

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 quickly adds a hand-chiseled texture to Precision Board projects using an air-powered die grinder.  He says it adds value to their work while actually saving fabricating time!

In Dan’s own words…

One of the things we are renowned for is texture. We incorporate textures into almost everything we do. Texture creates a wonderful look and in our opinion is a way to add value to our work while actually saving us time in fabricating our creations. Even though we often use modern machines and tools, our work looks and feels hand-made.

A while back we created a sign for a chiropractor. I textured the good sized project using the method I describe below. On a whim I timed the process as I worked. The six foot by four foot sign took me about 18 minutes to accomplish the texture using an air-powered die grinder. When I delivered the sign the customer was extremely impressed I had textured the sides and back of the sign. As he gently rubbed his hand over the beautifully textured surface he commented to me that it must have taken FOREVER to accomplish the task. I smiled at him and said ‘You have no idea!’ He happily accepted his sign and paid his bill knowing he had received excellent value.

Most sign makers finish the sides and backs of their signs by sanding out every imperfection, filling any holes or dings and sanding some more as necessary. That’s perfectly fine as Precision Board sands easily. We take a different tact on most projects. Rather than sand things smooth, we instead deliberately introduce texture to these surfaces. I love the hand-chiseled look but I do it with a die grinder. It is a whole lot faster!

We are currently creating an order for a mini golf that had forty signs in all. With forty signs and three layers of Precision Board in each sign it made an impressive stack.

We routed the top 1” thick layer of Precision Board with a woodgrain texture and raised lettering and edges. The centre layer was 3/4″ thick PBLT-30 Precision Board HDU with a hole in the centre. We inserted a piece of 3/4″ plywood into these centre holes so we had something secure for our mounting screws (from the back). The third layer was another piece of 3/4″ 30lb Precision Board. I glued these layers together using PB Fast Set glue. To keep things together while the glue set up I used lots of clamps and a couple of screws in the corners to keep things aligned.

Once the glue was set I took off the clamps and fired up the die grinder. I did the top outer border first using random strokes to quickly take off just enough material to leave a texture.  Then I did the side edges before adding small quick 45 degree bevel to the top corner.

The backs of the signs were then textured and another small bevel on the back corner edge at a 45 degree angle. In less than two minutes this sign was ready for paint.

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.

Announcing the February Instagram Contest!

February is Customer Appreciation Month here at Coastal Enterprises and to celebrate, we want to give two Precision Board HDU customers their choice of one of our companion products (primer/filler, adhesives, textures and coatings).  Entries will be accepted all month long on Instagram with the potential winners being randomly selected the first week of March.

Contest Rules

The contest will run from February 1st through February 28th.  All entrants must reside in the contiguous United States, including Canada and Mexico.  Prizes will only be shipped to those geographic locations.  Potential winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entrants and contacted by email.  They will have 48 hours to respond with a valid mailing address located in the contiguous United States to claim their prize.  With the exception of EP-76 (due to shipping restrictions), prize winners will have their choice of one (1) companion product offered by Coastal Enterprises.  They will also potentially have a blog featuring their project posted to the Precision Board Blog on our website and shared on our social media channels.

How to Enter:

Follow the @coastalenterprises Instagram account.  Post a photo/s on your Instagram account of your project done using Precision Board HDU. Use the hashtags #precisionboard and #hdu.  You can enter as many different projects as you like during the contest entry period.


Texturing Made Easy: TSF-45

Creating a wood texture finish, cross-hatching for an extra dynamic dimension, or achieving the perfect stucco effect can be made easy with TSF-45. This tough yet flexible coating has been made specifically to create a variety of texture finishes on Precision Board, but can also be used on wood, concrete, steel, glass, and even galvanized metal.

The great thing about TSF-45 is that it adheres directly to Precision Board with no priming. This process speeds up production time – which saves over all time and money. Here is a step-by-step guide on the basics of using TSF-45 on Precision Board Plus.

  1. Open your can of TSF-45 and notice the viscosity of the product. It has a thick consistency and, once applied, will hold its shape and not slump.

viscosity1 viscosity2


texture like frosting

  1. Be sure to apply an ample amount of TSF-45 onto your Precision Board surface. Apply enough for a wetout of the areas you will be covering and to ensure you have enough to create your desired texture.

spreading1 spreading2



  1. Once you’ve achieved a full wetout and have enough TSF-45 to create your texture, begin to mold, stipple, brush, comb, etc. the product.

addingmore1 addingmore2

  1. Once you have your texture designed, leave to dry over night. Use a shop fan blowing across the surface to help speed upt he drying time and to make sure the entire product is cured. You’ll know the product is dry when the thickest part that was applied is no longer soft.

textureoption wetout1

shortbrush finish

Please call us if you have any questions. We work with our products a lot and our technical department will gladly assist you. To request a sample pint of TSF-45, click here!

Request a sample size and we'll send you a pint!

Request a sample size and we’ll send you a pint!

For more information, check out our youtube videos, tips and features, and our Product Data Sheet.

**Be sure to stay tubed for the next blog on finishing the TSF-45 on Precision Board.

Ready to get creative with texture? We have the solution.

Here’s a little something you might not know about Coastal Enterprises. Not only are we the Precision Board Plus manufacturer, but we also have other great products that you can take from ordinary to extraordinary! Today’s focus is our TSF-45 Texture Surface Finish.

If you have been searching for a coating that is tough, yet flexible, to create an authentic looking texture like stone, wood grain, or any textured look.  You’ve come to the right place!

Look no further! TSF-45 is the solution.

tsf-45TSF-45 has been manufactured specifically for Precision Board Plus HDU.

One of the great things about this product is that it can be applied directly to Precision Board Plus – NO PRIMING!!     It also adheres to concrete, wood, steel, glass and even galvanized metal.

We’re not the only ones that think this stuff is amazing, but so does Jim from Synergy Signs says! ” TSF-45 is a game changer!”  Below are a couple of their projects using this creative product.


“This is a PVC Pipe… looks like the real deal!” – Jim Dawson from Synergy Signs

            tsf4                                          tsf1


Interested in learning more? Check out our How to video.

If you have questions about this product, or would like information on other Precision Board Products, call us at 800-845-0745 and our technical department will gladly assist you.

If you have any projects you would like to share with us where TSF-45 has been used. We would love to hear about them!

Keep a look out for the next blog on TSF-45, ” TSF-45 for Beginners”.

Remember… with Precision Board Plus, Creativity has no Limit!

New How To Video: Texturing With TSF-45


Looking for a tough yet flexible product that easily allows you to simultaneously add texture, protection and value to your signs? Whether for environmental reasons or the desire to use a material that lasts longer and performs better than wood, Sign & Model makers are increasingly turning to wood substitutes like Precision Board Plus. And with TSF-45, it’s easy to create the look of wood grain on a more environmentally-friendly substrate that will last much longer than wood.

Used right out of the can and requiring no mixing, TSF-45 readily adheres to Precision Board Plus HDU, as well as a variety of other substrates such as concrete, wood, steel, glass, polystyrene, even galvanized metal. As such, it works well for blending and texturing dissimilar sign elements and is great for dressing up steel poles, etc.