How to Mount an Acrylic Sheet Sign Directly to the Wall
After getting a few quotations (which we thought were all too expensive) we decided to do the signage for our first Cape Town office ourselves. The size of the sign was 970mm wide and 400mm high, made up of laser cut acrylic sheet (Acrylite, Lucite, Perspex, Plexiglas).
Despite various people advising us to mount the acrylic sheet to a backing board which could then be painted the desired colour (or the colour of the wall) we were adamant we wanted to mount the acrylic sheet directly to the wall. I had looked around signage supply companies for mounting pins that would attach to the wall and acrylic sheet but found none locally.
I had solicited the opinion of a friend who manages a local signage company. This is what he had to say:
You could cut a number of blocks – all the same thickness – glue them to the back of the sign characters out of sight obviously and then in turn glue the blocks to their final position. You would need some fairly aggressive double sided tape to hold the characters to position while your silicone or adlock or other industrial type adhesive sets to dry.
The characters in quality content are thick enough to conceal the blocks.
You would need a paper or vinyl template prepositioned to the selected position in order to get ‘register’ between the sign characters.
Adhesives have to be compatible with acrylic materials.
This is a DIY method that would work as long as your materials and adhesives are compatible and of course your design would need to lend itself to the method so to speak.
The acrylic sheet was laser cut to the form of the sign
The two biggest challenges left was the mounting to the wall and the registration of the letters.
In order to attach the sign to the wall we decided to use square spacers made of clear acrylic sheet. We also decided we wanted the spacers to be 10mm thick, however we could not get 10mm thick acrylic sheet nor could our laser cutting supplier safely cut that thick. We then decided to glue two 5mm squares together and purchased a 150x150mm square sheet of clear acrylic 5mm thick:
This was then laser cut into spacers of three different sizes (10,12, & 14mm in diameter) to accommodate both thick and thin lettering:
Two of the same sized squares were then glued together to create a 10mm thick spacer:
We first used a PVC cement to glue the squares together, but that took too long to set:
So we used a super glue instead:
Squares being lined up after they are glued:
A hole was drilled through the 10mm thick spacer to attach it to the wall. Here is the drill bit and drill we used:
Screws and plugs was used to attach the spacer to the wall, we used 6×40 chipboard screws and 5.0x25mm nylon wall plugs:
We made a stencil for registration purposes and traced the outline on the wall using a pencil. The stencil was made using sign vinyl and a vinyl cutter:
We drilled holes in wall where spacers would go to support the lettering and added plugs:
Square spacers was then drilled into the wall using the screws, the lettering was then glued to the spacers using a fast setting epoxy adhesive.
We had lightly sandpapered the acrylic letters where the epoxy will make contact to roughen the surface for better bonding:
We mixed the epoxy and hardener, applied it to the acrylic sheet lettering, stuck the lettering onto the square spacer, then moved and stuck it into place. Best done on a clear day.
Acrylic sheet sign mounted to wall: