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Signwriting is a highly specialised art form used to advertise products or services, create directional signage and produce custom artwork. Selecting the appropriate signwriting paint is crucial since it must be durable, weather-resistant and have good adhesion properties. 

Although the best paint for signwriting will ultimately depend on the specific project, some paints have gained a reputation for delivering top-notch results. In this article, we provide handy tips for surface preparation and explore the best paints for signwriting.

Preparing the surface

Prior to painting, it’s essential to ensure substrates and surfaces are free of dust, dirt and contaminants. 

A dry and still environment is ideal when working on a signage project. Moisture or humidity in the air can affect the paint's drying time and lead to flaking or peeling over time. 

If the temperature is too high, the paint is forced to dry too quickly, often leading to cracking. If it is too cold, the new paint will struggle to bond to the surface, resulting in an uneven finish. Similarly, too much wind can cause debris to settle on the surface and create imperfections. 

Whether you’re making the sign from scratch using Viponds’ premium signwriting paint brushes or applying a self-adhesive vinyl, our surface prep solvents can help keep surfaces clean and dry. We have fast-evaporating solvents containing isopropyl alcohol, ideal for sanitising signwriting surfaces.

Once the surface is cleaned and prepped, apply an even layer of primer on the surface using a high-quality brush. The primer will serve as a base coat and sealer before you apply the top coat. It ensures the paint adheres to the surface, resulting in a more durable and long-lasting sign.

The best paints for signwriting


Enamel is popular among signwriters due to its high opacity and full-gloss durable finish. It can be seamlessly applied to wood, plastic, metal, glass and canvas. Enamel is fast-drying, heavily pigmented and long-lasting, making it suitable for signage and background work.

Most enamel paints are alkyd resin based, made by mixing varnish with oil paint, producing an opaque substance. 

Gold size

Gold size is a quick-drying, non-pigmented adhesive that holds gold leaf and metal leaf work in place. Once gold size varnish is applied onto the base, it creates a tacky surface for the gold leaf to adhere to. The result is a gorgeous and shiny metallic finish. It’s also suitable for sign lettering.

At Viponds, we carry acrylic-based and oil-based gold size varnishes that can be used for various applications. Viponds oil-based gold size can be used as a medium to add gold, silver and copper metallic pastes to produce enamel paint.

Drop black

Viponds Drop Black is a fast-drying flat enamel with high opacity. Traditional signwriters frequently use it for gold leaf gilding on glass.

Gloss paints

Gloss paints are best used for the background colours of your signs. In some cases, they're used for lettering and graphics depending on the product's flow, coverage and durability. It's worth noting that gloss paints tend to have a longer drying time than other paint types.

Coach enamel

Typically used for automotive panel painting, coach enamels provide a high-gloss, full-bodied finish. Automotive enamels are generally harder-wearing and more pliable than most decorative high-gloss paints.

Fluorescent enamel

Fluorescent paints change strength under various light conditions. These paints are inherently transparent. They absorb light and then emit it in a different hue, making the colours appear livelier and more vivid than organic pigments.

Flamboyant enamel

Flamboyant enamels are known for their vibrant colours and high-gloss finishes. They're commonly used by signwriters alongside aluminium leaf. The resulting coating is highly resilient and long-lasting.

Digital liquid laminates

While not technically a type of paint, laminates play a vital role in signwriting. Viponds Liquid Laminates create a protective barrier over the surface of your digital prints. Our water-based clear coats are highly resistant to weathering, scratching and fading from UV. When used alongside surface cleaning products, they can extend the life of digital prints by two years.

Reach out to Viponds Paints — Australia’s premier signwriting paint supplier

Choosing the right signwriting paint can make a massive difference in the result of your project. Whether you're a beginner or a professional signwriter, using high-quality paint is key to creating beautiful and long-lasting signs.

Wondering where to buy signwriters' paintbrushes and materials? At Viponds Paints, we boast a vast selection of top quality signwriting paint supplies and materials across Australia, particularly in VIC, SA, NSW, QLD and WA. 

Our team at Viponds is dedicated to providing the best signwriting paint in Australia. We take pride in being a trusted signwriting paint supplier in Australia since 1954, stocking products for various applications and niche specialties, including TautFlex, strippable coatings and chalkboard paints that can be tinted to most colours. 

Please feel free to reach out to our team for any questions. We'll be more than happy to help you select the most suitable materials for your project.