Slab Signs

Slab signs are typically rustic wooden signs carved from a single ‘slab’ of raw timber. The wood is cut so that the top and bottom edges of the slab maintain the jagged shape of the tree trunk. Bark is typically removed, and the wood is then treated, sanded, carved, painted and finished as required.

A touch of the rustic

Slab signs - because of their rough, wooden nature - are perfect for the log-cabins and rural properties, of the rustic style. As farm signs, the slab sign look can be extremely effective, harmonising with the landscape and evoking a romantic sense of the past.

Slab signs are a great investment for any home or business with an eye to character and charm. They can be a great way to welcome guests and personalise a home, not to mention the effect of a beautiful sign on a potential home-buyer. A personalized wooden sign can also be a great gift, especially for those with a rustic aesthetic taste. A slab sign can be a beautiful work of art, accentuating the natural qualities of the wood by tactful carvings, paint and varnishes.

Slab signs that last

Slab signs, like all wooden signs, are loved for their raw look and finish. On the other hand, the downfall of any wood sign is the difficulty of ongoing maintenance, and refinishing. Carved wood signs are notorious among sign-makers and homeowners alike, for warping, splitting and swelling from weather exposure. In warmer areas, such as the southern USA and Australia, termites (also known as white ants) can quickly eat a wooden sign hollow. Real wooden signs are also particularly susceptible to rot in wetter regions like the Pacific Northwest and Europe.

A popular sign-making alternative is the use of a carving foam known as High Density Urethane (HDU). This closed-cell foam can be carved into, painted and shaped just like wood, while remaining incredibly resilient against moisture and insect damage. HDU can be shaped into traditional-looking slab signs using a variety of techniques – from carving and paint to special varnishes and the use of wire brushes. At our workshop, our artists routinely creat 'faux wood' signs out of HDU. The results are so convincing that sometimes the only indication that these signs are not real wood is the fact that they last so long!