I have a A&W Root Beer kit from Twin Whistle that has numerous microscale paper signs.  I am attaching them using Super 77 spray adhesive.
My question is should these paper signs then be covered with a spray of dullcoat?  Is there anything else modelers have done to protect these paper signs from aging and wear on the model?

Original Post


If this are paper signs (i.e. printed on normal paper) below is the procedure I use:

1. Using 150 grit paper sand the back side until you can see the image coming through the paper. This take practice so make copies of the signs and play with them first. Some people even sand so holes appear to make the sign appear worn.

2. Spread white wood glue on the back and place the sign where you want it to go. Placement must be exact - no redoes. Then gently press the sign into the surface.

You find the sign has the feel of a painted on look.


By way of comparison the Coca cola sign was left as is, glued to a piece of styrene then to the wall. the other signs were applied using the above sanding technique.



You can get an idea how the sign blends into the clap board siding above


These are signs on board and batten.



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I dullcoat over them.... 2 reasons:

Dullcoat gives the model a bit of "tooth" so you can do weathering with chalks. Also, it makes the finish even. 


After weathering, the whole thing gets hit again with dullcoat to fix the chalks.


I don’t sand them, I just white glue them on (white glue softens the paper so you can press it into the building details), but it depends on the paper, I suppose....





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Last edited by Boilermaker1
EmpireBuilderDave posted:

Thanks Joe.  But after you install the signs do you spray it with dullcoat or something to protect the paper of the sign?

Yep - just like boilermaker says

Beverage buiildings rear

Pilzner Urguell and Lucky Strike were cut from newspapers. The bonding is 1:1 Elmer's White Glue and water. After pressing the paper into the indentations another coat of bonding was applied


Beverage Buiilding Rear Sign

Coca-Cola sign is from a newspaper, the Popsicle sign is a magnet.



The blue sign above the right window on the left building is from a sheet of 'ghost' signs.  Various signs on the sheet, all look as if they have been in place for many seasons.  John in Lansing, ILL


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Last edited by rattler21

You could use hairspray too. We used it in graphics sometimes, the camera wouldn't see light glare off  wavey gloss cuts/photos, etc. If you're not too sure about placement, rubber cemented paper comes off most things by a blade lift, smooth pull, and rub traces off with your thumb. Usually the print is fine too unless you rub one side only until it curls.

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