I get asked a lot what’s the best way to paint raised letters?

There are as many different ways to do it as there are old machines …. I have used an artist brush, made a stamp out of cork, used a sponge, paint marker, etc. but this is what I’ve found gives me the best results.

First thing is prep the raised letters for paint by going over it with a sanding block and fine sand paper.

(Click on the pics for a larger image)

Then take a paper towel and tightly roll it up, fold it in half and tape the halves together, then flatten the end at the fold.

Now dip the end into some paint and dabb it on some paper to get the excess paint off of it.

Then start dabbing it on the letters.

The more pressure ya push down with the more it will paint around the sides of the letters, just don’t push to hard or you’ll paint parts ya don’t want too.

I push hard enough so it just starts to roll over the top of the letters on to the sides.

Painting all the letters took maybe 3 or 4 minutes. A lot quicker than trying to do it with a brush.

and clean up couldn’t be easier … just toss it in the garbage when you’re done.

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4 Comments on Painting Raised Letters

  1. Jim says:


    That’s a great idea using the paper towel. I’ve used those small sponges on sticks and essentially “drybrushed” paint on similar.

    What’s the door from?



  2. That is a great technique, and the first time I have seen it posted anywhere. I guess the sanding makes the color take evenly when you dab it. It looks fantastic.


  3. J says:

    Can you tell me what type of paint works best for this method? In particular, what brand/type of paint are you using for your gold in this tutorial?

    Thank you.

  4. Shane says:

    I like using 1-shot paint.

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