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Best Types Of Wood For Wooden Signs With Different Purposes


Wooden signs are a popular decorating item nowadays since they are highly creative and distinctive. They are an excellent alternative for adding a fresh flair to your house or business. You may purchase this item or make it yourself. However, the issue you must address is which are the best types of wood for wooden signs. In this post, Blog Flagwix will provide you with helpful information on the purposes of wood signs and the most excellent categories of wood for making a high-quality decorative wooden sign.

Purpose of Wooden Sign Decides Best Wood To Use

Before making a wooden sign, ask yourself what kind of wood sign will I want to make? This question is a key to determine what is the best wood to use. It would be best if you don’t focus on finding a specific wood for your sign in the first place. Instead, you need to know what purpose you want to use it. Many types of wooden signs are for different purposes such as home decoration, service advertising, branding, etc. Because of the different purposes of use, the place to display them is also not the same. 

Indoor Uses – These wooden signs are typically for decorating home and do not have to be exposed to weather or outdoor elements. Pine or Plywood would be an excellent choice.

Outdoor Uses – Due to exposure to the environment, outdoor wooden signs limit your options. Furthermore, the wood will need to be maintained on a regular basis throughout time. Most people associate outdoor signs with commercial usage, but in recent years, the popularity of wooden house signage has grown. MDO (Medium Density Coating) is a great material for these purposes.

Commercial PurposeMost of your commercial signs are going to be outdoor signs for advertising. Less common will be in the indoor application for wooden signs. Additionally, they will be more specific or custom to a brand or event. 

Custom Purpose – Custom wooden signs include a variety of woods. It can range from cherry, cedar, cypress, or walnut. These exotic woods might be costly, but when finished, they are stunning.

Two Best Types of Wood for Sign Making

As mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, knowing the aim of your project is critical in selecting the best types of wood for wooden signs. Here, we’ll look at two common wood types to help you decide which is ideal for your wooden sign project.


Pine wood

Pinewood comes in over 126 different species. They’ve been used for a variety of things, including building, ornamental, and food.

Why is pine the finest option wood for signs, focusing on the lumber aspect?

Durable – Pine is highly sturdy and robust, making it an excellent choice for various wooden sign applications. It may be utilized for furniture projects and is strong enough to support most weight needs.

Longevity – If properly primed, painted, sealed, or varnished, your wood sign pine can endure for ten years or longer if kept inside. 

Waterproof – Pine is not weatherproof, therefore it would not be a good choice for an outdoor wooden sign decor. However, if you properly prime, paint, treat or seal the pine it will prevent water penetration.

Rot – Pine will decay if it is not protected with a treatment. As mentioned, regular pine is not a good choice for outdoor application without properly protecting it.

Cost Pinewood is available at a lower price in the market than many other softwoods and hardwoods. There are many reasons for the low price of wood, such as high availability, fast growth.

Medium Density Overlay (MDO)

Medium Density Overlay (MDO) is plywood with a weather-resistant resin bond overlay created with heat and pressure. Much like plywood, its cousin, MDO has cross-laminated strains of thin wood bonded together, but with the resin overlay. As a result, this type of wood is a great option to make outdoor signs since it is very weather-resistant; in fact, it is the choice of many street signs.

Durable – Medium Density Overlay (MDO) is a lightweight, weather-resistant material. Because of its high-quality fiber and phenolic resin components, MDO will last for years.

Longevity – If properly primed, painted, sealed, or varnished to protect your wood sign MDO can endure over an estimated 10 years or longer if indoors.

Waterproof – Due to the layer of waterproof resin, MDO is much more weather resistant and can better handle friction than other plywoods. If MDF ever gets wet, for example, it absorbs the wetness and swells, creating a huge risk for mold, termites, and other wood-related issues.

Rot – MDO is especially resistant to rot due to its high-quality fiber with phenolic resin solids. It is also waterproof and water-resistant which makes it an excellent product for outdoor wood signs. It is also used for marine applications such as flooring for pontoon boats.

Cost – Due to its high durability and strength, MDO does cost a great deal more than other plywoods. However, MDO is generally a higher quality board that will not require you to replace and rebuild, and will last you much longer.

Best Wood For Wooden Signs Pros & Cons

We have been through a lot of details regarding the best types of wood for wooden signs. Let’s look at the pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your wooden sign project.

Advantages Of Pine And MDO

Pine – The pinewood is a cost-effective and affordable option to use in comparison with the other wood options. Pine is very flexible for many applications and can provide many finishes from paint to stain. Additionally, it is easy to apply stencils, carve, edge, and distress for a rustic look and relatively light hang on the wall. Furthermore, the pine wood is an excellent choice for the flooring, deck, or patio as the wood offers excellent endurance and is best suitable for areas with high foot traffic.

MDO – When it comes to a home improvement project, you need to choose a highly durable material. Everyone, of course, wants to buy a product that will last for years to come. This is where a medium-density overlay takes an edge. Due to its uniform strength, this type of plywood is very durable. Moreover, it can also resist high pressure, making it the best material for many applications. Besides, MDO is a lightweight material that is used for many indoor and outdoor projects. It is designed for exterior use to withstand extreme weather conditions. The lightweight nature of plywood makes it easier for you to work. Most importantly, you can transport it without any hassle from one place to the other. For commercial applications, MDO is one of the best materials.

Disadvantages Of Pine And MDO

Pine – As pinewood is a softwood., there are significant changes that wood will cause shrinkage and swelling in case of seasonal change. The pine is not considered weatherproof and can get affected due to weather changes. Specifically, if exposed to direct sunlight, the color of the wood may changes. Also, it is essential to treat the pinewood with strong preservatives to protect them from getting damaged with rot or decay.

MDO – Although like plywood, Medium Density Overlay (MDO) has a panel on the top that does not show any wood grain. If you want a natural wood look, this kind of wood might not be the choice for your wood sign. Additionally, it needs painting with primer and paint to be effective. 

Hopefully, this Blog Flagwix article will provide you with an overview of the best woods, as well as their benefits and drawbacks. Then it’s your time to select the best types of wood for wooden signs and spruce up your home or business with excellent hanging signs.

Related Questions

Naturally resistant woods that are commercially available include black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), teak (Tectona grandis), ipe (Tabebuia spp.), California redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum). These have the highest resistance to rot over time.

MDF is ideal for cutting, machining and drilling, since it does not chip easily. On the other hand, plywood is a much more stronger material, which can be used for doors, floors, staircases and outdoor furniture. It is easier to create curved surfaces with plywood, since it bends easily.

Strength and Stiffness
Solid wood is significantly stronger than plywood, especially in terms of stiffness. A shelf made from solid wood will sag less than one made from plywood of the same dimensions.

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