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What is the difference between carved and sandblasted signs?

The materials used are generally the same; Redwood, Cedar or SignFoam.  The process begins the same with a computer generated file and design.  This is then taken into another specialized application where the programming for the router takes place.  At this point, the depth of the groove, groove style (V or Flat), and other factors are programmed into the design.  For most V-Groove signs, the depth is around 1/4″.  Deeper grooves can be made, but may require thicker materials, especially if the sign is double sided.The methods and results are quite different.

Carved Signs

carved sign is when the lettering, borders, or logos are “V” grooved or Straight Routed into the wood creating an indented effect.  You begin with a smooth flat material and end with a smooth flat surface, with the letters essentially carved into the wood.  Similar to this sign:

Carved and Sandblasted Signs

V-Groove Carved Redwood Sign with 23K Gold Leaf

From there, the background and letters or logos are painted in contrasting colors or even Gold Leafed. This results in a nice professional look that will last a long time.

Sandblasted Signs

For Sandblasted signs, a “mask” is generated using a specialized material on a plotter.  This mask is then applied to the substrate face.  Once applied, a Sandblasting spray is used to remove the negative materials (that portion not covered by the mask).

Sandblasted signs can be made in Pebble or Wood Grain finishes.  The Wood Grain finish gives the sign a rustic look and the Pebble finish is a bit more refined/leather like finish.  The letters and logos remain smooth, but opposite of carving, they are Raised.

For both carved and sandblasted signs, additional effects and features can be added such as raised elements like letters and logos, to add a 3rd Dimension.  Additional Gold Leaf and even full color graphics can be added as well.  Here is an example of a sandblasted sign:

Sandblasted Sign

Sandblasted Directory Sign

Contact Us

Call Express Sign & Graphics today for more information on these signs or other sign products. Our staff is ready to assist you with designing and implementing your sign project. Call 978-250-9890 or email Sales at with questions or information on your sign project.






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