mdo and paint questions

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Andrew Paul
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:34 am

mdo and paint questions

Post by Andrew Paul » Wed May 14, 2014 12:23 pm

Hey guys -

Just got the opportunity to do an interior hanging sign inside a restaurant. I was thinking of using MDO, and so I've been looking around for some advice on paints to use, as I've never worked with it before.

The design of the sign involves a matte black background, with white/cream letters, and gilded shadows/embellishments.

My question is - I've searched the boards and found the Benjamin Moore primer that was favored, but for the matte finish? Can I use some japan color? I definitely like it's finish, but haven't used it on anything but glass. If it will work for the background, does it hold up for surface gilding?

And finally, if the sign will be somewhere that people can run their hands across it (ooh shiny!) should I varnish the gold?

thanks a lot,

Roderick Treece
Posts: 1048
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2004 8:04 pm
Location: San deigo Calif

Re: mdo and paint questions

Post by Roderick Treece » Wed May 14, 2014 1:52 pm

Hi Andrew,
MDO will work fine for that. Any type of paint will work and yes that means Japans as well. If you want it to have a matt finish you can always add a flattner to it to get it matt. If your gilding I would put a clear coat over it which means you could do the final finish in a satin Varathene.

Good luck

Posts: 231
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:28 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: mdo and paint questions

Post by BruceJackson » Wed May 14, 2014 10:24 pm

the question of when you should apply a clear over gold is an age-old one of course.

You need to make a judgement about just how much handling and or abrasion is will be subject to. My feeling is if in doubt, leave it raw.

If it's just the odd person who wants a feel, I wouldn't worry about it. Naked gold will cope with the occasional caress. This is a sign after all, not many people will actually touch it.

I'd only put a clear on if it was subject to constant handling or regular washing.

Andrew Paul
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:34 am

Re: mdo and paint questions

Post by Andrew Paul » Wed May 14, 2014 11:15 pm

Thanks Guys...

I'm always torn between "just do it" and "but will it last?".

thanks for the advice.


Tony Segale
Posts: 633
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:20 am

Re: mdo and paint questions

Post by Tony Segale » Thu May 15, 2014 9:27 am


MDO and Benjamin Moore Fresh Start Primer...good choice.
I now paint 90% of my signwork with Benjamin Moore paints, also.
Since you're looking for a matte finish, use the flat latex, holds up very well.
Yes, you can gild on top. I've created several interior and exterior MDO signs with the exterior flat paints,
for a wee bit of sheen, use the eggshell. The signs have held up very well. Excellent on walls as well.

I'm currently making a new sidewalk sign for my gallery. All the paints will be Benny Moore's
Advanced High Gloss with 23K gold leaf letters. The Advanced high gloss flows like oils,
beautiful to work with. Perhaps I'll add a couple photos of a few....
and he took that golden hair and made a sweater for baby bear.

Andrew Lawrence
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm

Re: mdo and paint questions

Post by Andrew Lawrence » Sat May 17, 2014 3:29 pm

Had a job come up recently where I was painting on stucco... over elastomeric paint. It's this hybrid waterborne siliconized type paint that they use for houses and typically on stucco - the advantage is that it's good in areas that get a lot of rain/hurricanes/tsunamis and such.

The point of the story is that I used Benjamin Moore's Aura line of paint for the job and it was stellar. One coat coverage, computer matched colors, easy clean up etc. I'd second Tony, on the BM products. You can always add flattening paste/corn starch to one shot to make it flat too if that's your go to paint. Good luck!

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