Sign Fixing Tips


Cut Vinyl
Sign Boards
Small Signs
Vehicle Signs
Office Door Signs
Pavement Boards
Shoulder Boards
Etched glass signs
Table top signs
Licensed Trade Signs
House for Sale
Computer top signs
House Plaques
Fire Signs
Blackboard Signs
Parking Signs
B&B signs
Signs about the House
Multilingual Signs
Irish Language Signs
URL stickers
Fridge Magnets
Street Signs (nostalgic)
Magnetic Sheet
Car stickers
Vinyl Supply
Sign Design Guidance
Sign Fixing Tips


Removing old vinyl

The big DON'T: Don't use your fingernails. You won't notice any pain at the time, but you will later.

It is easier in hot weather as the warmth makes the vinyl that bit softer. Soften the vinyl with an ordinary hair dryer (Take care which setting and avoid dwelling if working on glass). It then lifts easily with a palette knife. (Not the price or difficulty to get hold of that they used to be. Available in 'The Works' discount art and bookstores at a fraction price)

If there's no glue or outline dirt left on the substrate, all you need to do is wipe the surface with meths and you've a clean surface again.

Depending on the substrate, the vinyl and how long the vinyl has been on there, you may get a residue of glue. For a little residue meths and a washing up sponge/abrasive is effective. Car body shops that resell commercial vans use a proprietary product: 'Panel Wipe'. It is available from most car spray distributors. Last lot I bought was £9.50 + VAT for a 5 litre can. Don't leave the top off for too long or it isn't cheap. It's tempting to use acetone but apart from other risks, it can take the colour out of some substrates.

Flat Signs to walls

The basics:

bulletMeasure hole distances from edges otherwise the whole sign looks awful.
bulletAlways drill with the board flat on a bench. Extruded acrylic boards are highly likely to shatter if you don't. That's one reason why we won't use them, but most signmakers do.
bulletEither countersink or use screw cups. We prefer to supply screw cups as they make most signs look much more attractive for the sake of about 7p each (There are three tricks in getting the cap to snap properly into the cup: put the screw in straight; don't use oversize screws and only tighten down the screw enough to stop the cup moving. Otherwise the cup walls distort preventing the cap from snapping in nicely)

A frame or not?

bulletA frame can easily double the cost of a sign, and significantly increase the cost of putting it up.
bulletIf your sign is too big to be made out of one length of board (8 ft or 10 ft depending on the material), the case for a frame becomes greater, particularly if using foamboard.
bulletIf you've already got a decent frame in position, my advice would usually be to make use of it.
bulletThere are cheaper alternatives to framing:

For small signs, flush onto the wall (If the surface is not flat and straight, just take care tightening down the screws so that at least the board appears flat and not contorted to the shape of the wall).

To stand off from the wall, or to provide a flat base on a less than flat wall, a timber subframe (I usually use roofing laths) is an option. It can be hidden by making it 4'' less in each dimension.

A posh option is to use metal stud and sleeve assemblies. (£3.40 each in polished brass or aluminium to suit large outdoor signs or I've smaller aluminium ones @ £1.90 each to suit indoor reception signs



Is your banner a one off or will you regularly put a banner in that location?

For one off banners, the cost of a frame support may be more expensive than the banner, in which case insist that your banner has eyelets (eyelets at 2' intervals is usual) and support the banner with cords or cable ties at all four corners for a small banner or inbetween for larger banners. Floppy banners can become difficult or impossible to read, and are not good for the image.

Proprietary banner frames are expensive. The DIY system is not only cheaper. It is easier to use and more effective. Fix a length of the standard road sign extrusion channel (about £5 per metre) to the wall, across posts or to a home made frame. Put ordinary M8 bolts (about 2p each) through the eyelets with nut attached. The nuts will slide along the inside of the channel. Bolt heads can then be tightened when the the banner is in position. Whilst we don't mind supplying the extrusion we have to add on postage costs and the Royal Mail will not take items longer than 5 ft. so that's realistically only an offer to local customers.

Signs to poles

Look on the back of any 30mph sign or almost any other standard road sign and you will see the ideal system for fixing signs to round posts. We will supply any of the components but we have to add on postage costs and the Royal Mail will not take items longer than 5 ft. You should beware of the following problems. The straightforward nut and bolt clips (£1.85 each) are only available for poles of diameter up to 3.5 inches. 3'' is the most common and easily available. The clamping system for larger diameter poles is more expensive and needs a special hexagonal tool or a binding machine. Clamps for square poles are hard to source and expensive as is square section pole. If faced with square poles, it is worth considering the bolt straight through sign and pole fixing. The alternative is to make your own from one of the proprietary strips on the market with a hammer and a metal workers vice.

Signs to fences

Treat the fence as the core of a sandwich between the board and a back bar, bolting through the sign into the back bar with the fence clamped between. I use either coach screws with a roofing lath as back bar or coach bolts with a 3mm mild steel back bar. For small signs on lightweight fencing, nut and bolt fixing using corner plates may be adequate. BEWARE boards that are not rigid: you will need a strengthening bar to support the back of the sign.

House for Sale signs

On a post in the garden: The big question is do you need the sign to face both ways. A one way sign is as straightforward as fixing a sign to a post, BUT if you are using correx use fixings with a large head or create a large head by using a washer.

For two way signs you cannot print back to back on correx without show through. It needs to be two signs but since correx is so cheap it makes little cost difference. To fix both side of a post, I double sided tape the two sides, so they end up supporting each other. The other method favoured by estate agents is to cut a slit in the middle of the post and clamp the sides of the sign in a the slit. If you intend this method, you need to let the signmaker know so he can leave the necessary space on the signs for the width of the post

A frames

The cheapest route to an A frame is to buy just the boards and make your own A frame, to suit your budget, presentational needs and carpentry skills. The ultimate in low cost without detriment to functionality is two pieces of shuttering ply top hinged with correx boards pinned on them. You would be advised to talk to your signmaker first about size because most signmakers and screen printers keep standard sizes of correx (for myself it's 32x24 and 24x16 inches)

Potential problems to bear in mind: Weight for routine carrying; Exposure to high winds; Exposure to theft; Size and suitability to vehicles that might carry it around.

ALWAYS make sure sandwich boards have a tie chain, bar or cord to prevent them falling flat from the bottom.

Using Cut Vinyl

Cut vinyl bonds to some substrates more firmly than others

You will achieve a firm bond easily on aluminium composites, vinyl, acrylics (perspex is an acrylic), correx and sheet metal vehicle panels. Glass and PVC foamboard can be difficult in cold weather. There are some very cheap unbranded foam boards around that I won't use because of poor bonding.

Gloss painted timber surfaces are okay provided the timber is smooth (don't even attempt to use shuttering ply), it is close grained (african mahogany face exterior ply is usually good; fibrey surface ply is not) and the painting is thorough ( bits in the paintwork become mountains when cut vinyl goes over the top of it; a well primed surface is essential)

1. Clean the surface completely. Use meths or similar to pick up any grain of dust. Failure to do so will show as a lifted area around every particle on the finished sign.

2. Mark where you intend to place the vinyl. Removable tape (masking tape or insulation tape) is ideal. Two base line markers and the left side is enough. If you are working on a light coloured board, pencil markings will suffice.

3. Decide whether to wet or dry mount. The disadvantage of dry mounting is that you will not be able to squeeze out trapped air which will then show bubble (or blemish on glass) beneath the surface of the vinyl. This has to be a consideration where letters or logos have a large unbroken surface area of vinyl and appearances matter.

4. Carefully remove the backing paper from the vinyl, making sure that you donít leave any dots of íiís behind.

5. If wet mounting, smear the area to be covered with a clean damp cloth ideally with a few drops of washing up liquid added (a jeyes kitchen cloth is ideal). Donít soak it. A damp film is sufficient.

6. Without any delay, press the carrier film and vinyl firmly onto the surface with a plastic edge (a credit card, a plastic beer mat or plastic windscreen scraper). Press from the centre outwards. A single firm stroke is far more effective than a continued rubbing.

7. Be patient and leave the carrier film on for a few minutes if dry mounting, or for a few hours if wet mounting. Then gently peel away the carrier film.

This information sheet has been produced for the benefit of sign buyers, and our customers in particular. You are welcome to download it for future reference. Any reproduction for trade use is unlawful, and if apprehended will be dealt with accordingly.

Orders and enquiries:

bulletBurntwood Signs Unit 9 Lime Lane, Yates Industrial Estate, Lime Lane, Pelsall WS3 5AS
bulletEmail: - Monitored 16 hrs a day for quick response.
bullet01543 - 37 1066 or
bulletIf you leave a UK landline number and availability on the email, we will be happy to ring and discuss


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