So I have just stumbled on this forum while looking around for advice on Christmas cutouts. So I figured I would go ahead and introduce myself.
I am no stranger to cutouts, growing up we had a set of Santa/Sleigh and Reindeer that my grandfather cut out and painted. I always enjoyed setting it up remembering that my grandfather put his time into creating them made them special. So I guess that's when I started to enjoy the prospect of cutouts. To me the season has been filled with blow ups and plenty of off the shelf products and I wanted to be different. So about 2 years ago I started my first cutouts. They are of your typical Disney Characters and all the neighbors just loved them. (I am the only cutout owner on my block and probably very few in the neighborhood all together) Below are some photos of them on display the first year. (sorry for crappy camera large pictures)
I learned a lot from this first attempt. This year I have decided to change the display up all together and lend these out to friends. So starting soon I will create my next set of cutouts and would like some advice going forward.
1) What would be your recommendation for the plywood type? (I live in Houston for weather info) I believe I used 1/2" BC grade SYP, it seems to hold up well.
2) Do you use a paint sprayer to prime your boards? If so any recommendations, probably electric not too expensive.
3) I personally buy from the Big Box stores their "sample" paint, typically Behr Interior/exterior flat with primer. These pint size containers come in handy and usually don't have a lot left over. Is there anything wrong with this?
4) Do you paint the rear white or black? How about the edge, do you color match the front? I did black all around and was wondering if white would make the characters "pop" a bit more.
5) What kind of sealer do you use? I cannot recall but I used a spray can matte finish outdoor acrylic sealant on those, any other recommendation?
6) How do you secure your cutouts to the ground? Right now I have 1/2" EMT conduit strapped to the back and I auger out a hole and drop them in. (first year i just pounded them in) This year I am thinking of cutting the EMT flush and using rebar to pound in the ground and slip the EMT over it. Any other suggestions welcome.
7) How do you typically brace your cutouts? Mine after 2 years have started to slightly bow in, just curious if there is something I do not know to do to prevent this.
And 2 off the wall questions:
This year I am going to make a santa falling off the roof being held up by a reindeer similar to this http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/store/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=29_CYD34 How would you attach this to the roof edge?
Also this year I am thinking of creating little 2' max height gingerbread man to line the walkway and was wondering if ya'll have any recommendation for mini spot lights to light them up and not much else. Would like to keep the lights no more then maybe a foot in front of them.
I am sorry for my long winded post and all my questions (I am sure they are answered elsewhere but I have not stumbled on them all yet) Anyways I hope to update this thread later with progress pictures of my next cutout build. Thanks for your time.