Fantastically Rich, Beautifully Strange: Workspace Renovations with Synergy

workspace renovations

Workspace Renovations with Synergy Sign and Graphics

Every once in a while, a skilled sign maker finds his workspace in need of some sprucing up. For top-tier craftsmen who make their living churning out beautiful, skillfully executed creations, it’s only natural that they’d want their creative space to reflect the art that they’re capable of. Today, we’re going to take a look at some upgrades that Synergy Sign and Graphics performed on their own creative space.

workspace renovations

The renovations all concern a metal door leading into one of the main work areas at Synergy. With the help of a little PBLT-18 and TSF-45, the Synergy crew turned it into a fun part of their laid-back, artsy aesthetic. The first step was to rout out a portion of Precision Board slightly smaller than the surface area of the door itself. The idea was for the PBLT to function as a facade on the front of the door, so it could have some rustic wood stylings without the actual wood!

workspace renovations

The Synergy crew used their CNC router to produce the general shape of the door, along with the faux-metal reinforcing slats and Jules Verne-esque porthole, but the wood grain was predominantly hand carved. Many artists and sign makers who work with Precision Board find that one of the best methods for getting an authentic wood grain effect is to carve it by hand. Slow? Of course. But definitely worth the time and effort with how life-like the wood effect is. For a capable artist, Precision Board offers a lot of freedom to get exactly the result you’re looking for.

workspace renovations

Once the door was routed, carved, and primed, it was on to the small signs, to be mounted on either side of the swinging door. The Synergy opted for a corrugated metal effect and contrasting color palettes, with one of the signs painted emerald green and the other fiery red and orange.

workspace renovations

The door is still a work in progress but it’s looking great so far. Tune in for the next edition of Workspace Renovations, when we find out what finishing touches Synergy decides to bestow on this little project.

Take a minute to check out the Synergy Sign and Graphics website. Click through their projects gallery, read the blog, or even request a personalized, hand-made creation of your own.

A Storybook Christmas with Xpressive Graphix


Tis the season for Christmas miracles, and when the Muskingum Library needed to drum up some holiday cheer with an eye-catching display, they knew exactly who to call: Tony Rose and his team at Xpressive Graphix. Tony is the master of creating incredible designs from just a sketch and a dream (check out his visionary work for The Angry Bull Saloon earlier this year), and this time around was no different. The theme for the library’s holiday attraction is “A Storybook Christmas”, and what better display for a public library than a pile of oversized, well-worn Christmas classics?


The books began life as five plywood boxes, reinforced with steel cages for durability. The boxes were screwed together with self-tapping screws to form a tall stack. This would serve as the backing framework to support the Precision Board outer layer. Next, the Xpressive crew went to work with their Multicam 1000 Series CNC router. They machined the surfaces of each book from PBLT-4; our lightest-weight material but still dense enough to hold edges for intricate detailing. In total they routed twenty separate sections of Precision Board, four for each book.



Next, they glued the routed sections of PBLT-4 to the sides of the plywood frame. The tower of massive holiday classics was beginning to take shape.


After the Precision Board was attached to the frame, Tony and the team applied two coats of TSF-45 to the entire piece. The base layer was solely to protect the PBLT-4, but the second coat was for detailing. Our specially formulated Texture Surface Finish is perfect for adding protection to low-density Precision Board for a durable yet lightweight final product. Check out TSF-45 here. Tony used a paintbrush to texture the drying TSF-45, beginning to create the illusion of aged leather and worn paper. 


When the TSF-45 had dried, it was time to paint. The team used a combination of mixed glazes for the first coat, resulting in a range of vibrant colors that were a bit too bright for their purposes…


So they used exterior latex paints to rough up the too-new finish. This is where the true artistry of Tony and the Xpressive team comes into play. They subdued the colors, added wear and tear to the bindings, and yellowed the pages. By the time they were finished, it would be easy to believe that some ancient Christmas giant had left his book collection in the middle of their workshop.


All that was left was to wrap the books up in a big bow and deliver them to the New Concord branch of the Muskingum Library. Tony and the Xpressive Graphix team really outdid themselves on this one, but they’re used to people saying that. Incredible work like this doesn’t just happen by chance; it takes skilled artists working with the right materials. We at Coastal Enterprises are beyond proud that Xpressive Graphix chooses Precision Board for their display and signage projects, and we look forward to providing the material for even more of their masterpieces in the future. Check out the Xpressive Graphix website for a full rundown on their projects, services, and design philosophy. 


Have a display or signage project coming up? Request a free sample today and see for yourself why signage professionals choose Precision Board for lightweight, rock solid projects that can stand up to extreme winter conditions. The weather outside might be frightful, but keep your signs delightful with Precision Board Plus!

The 411 on the 45 (TSF-45 that is..) – Finishing Part 2

A few weeks ago some of our skilled craftsmen at Coastal showed how to add remarkable texture and dimension to your Precision Board project using our TSF-45 Texture Surface Finish.  We were happy to hear from our loyal readers that the post got their creative wheels turning.

After experimenting with new textures and contemplating the possibilities, the questions are coming in!

What about painting and finishing TSF-45? …So without further ado, here are some tips for finishing your textured piece:

  1. Wood Stain can be used give your wood grain texture a realistic color.  We find that water based stains work the best with the TSF-45 because of its flexibility.
  2. Apply the stain in thick even coats using a chip or foam brush.
  3. Be liberal when applying the stain. Allow it to pool in the recesses of the grain. This will helps give your texture some great added dimension. Don’t worry, if you add to much you can wipe it away with a cotton rag.
  4. Let dry for at least 2 hours or until dry to the touch .
  5. If a darker hue is desired, a second coat can be applied.

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  1. Painting TSF-45 textured pieces is a snap. You can apply your favorite exterior paint directly to the textured surface. No need to sand or prime before or after application of TSF. (Don’t forget that Water based paints work best with TSF since it’s a flexible product)
  2. Brush on your paint following the orientation of your texture.
  3. Do not apply too thick of a first coat, or it could take too long to dry or could orange peel.  A second coat can be applied later if necessary.
  4. Allow your paint to dry over night, preferably under a shop fan.   Read drying and curing times for your specific paint, from the paint manufacturer.


IMG_5860Time and Cost Savings:

The great thing about TSF-45 is that it can be applied directly to Precision Board Plus.  No sanding or priming needed before applying TSF to Precision Board, or afterward when applying your top coat (paint or stain) to the TSF-45.

Use any type of tooling to achieve the desired texture.  TSF can be applied quickly, and for faster drying and minimum texture, use less amount of it.  A chip brush can give you a low profile texture for the edges or background.

For more information on how to create extraordinary pieces while saving time and money using TSF-45 or any of our other Companion Products, contact our technical sales department at (800) 845-0745 or check out our training videos.





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.

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  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.

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  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!