Made a sign, what material for outdoor?


I made a prototype of a sign I was asked to build with some scrap luan. I think it turned out well for a first cut.

I am going to enlarge this since it will be a sign out by the road, but I am wondering what materials are recommended for a long term outdoor sign? I have seen 1/2” white pvc sheets that are 4x8 but can only find black in 2x4.

What would be some good material suggestions?

Also any recommendations for outdoor lighting to back light the sign?

google Your City, Plastic Distributor.
piedmont plastics, Laird, Sybic Polymershapes, alro, etc are some local to me. Ask for a price for 100 of them and then say you need one sheet for your prototype.
If you ask for the price of one sheet they might just blow you off.
12v led strips affixed to an aluminum heat sink will work fine. You can get them off amazon or ebay. they come in white or other colors as well as programmable multicolor strands.


Syntra, Komotex are trade names for expanded PVC. It can warp and get damaged in the sun, especially if black and any windows reflect light on to it.

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For material, take a look at ACM (Aluminium Composite Panel). It’s durable, pre-painted in a variety of fast colours, and easy to machine.

For LEDs, you probably want waterproof LED strips that you can snake around behind the panel. Try a local DIY store, Amazon, or AliExpress.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into these and see what is available near me.

Acm is a product I have used. It works well outside and comes either single or double sided about 3mm is the thinness which has a .3mm skin .cut easy on the Maslow .and is great for either cut outs or engraved signs

I just got 2 sheets of 6mm ACM(Maxmetal) from Grimco. Anything I should know about cutting it? Any rpm, feed rate, bit suggestions?

Also any suggestions on how to attach standoffs to ACM? I was thinking of using stainless screws through the back sheet into some sort of threaded insert. Any better ideas?

single flute up or down cut. leave the protective plastic on till after install. the aluminum paint scratches very easily. if it will be touched debur with a hook tool:

sidewalk bolts have huge heads to distribute the weight.
you can paint them same color as panel to blend in. has threaded spacers as well. or get them from mcmaster above.