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Using tracing paper for signs

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  • #31
    In making a comparison of what works best (for each of us) I think a laser printer would do a finer job of printing as opposed to an inkjet printer. The wet ink in an inkjet printer would tend to spread in tissue paper obscuring some details while the laser printer would be sharper. However, some "wash-out" in your sign may be what you want.

    I believe you can get some nice tissue paper at a fabric shop. Or possibly at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Or sometimes new clothing has a tissue wrapping on it (shirts and so on) so maybe with Christmas around the corner, you might get a bonus gift in that surprise package. I have been saving some polished tissue paper I came across several years ago for a sign making project.
    This type of quality tissue paper is not to be confused with Kleenex tissue, but I think most folks know that.

    Vellum comes in different weights. Clearprint brand paper is usually 1000H or 1010H. The 1000H, being lighter/thinner, I believe would be my choice if using vellum. Vellum is usually a 100% rag content item and is made to be somewhat durable.

    Tracing paper, sometimes confused with vellum, can be a less than 100% rag.

    Onion skin paper is usually used as a tracing paper due to its low costs. Most onion skin paper I have used has a rough texture and may not work well in an ink jet printer.

    For me, I am going to try the polished tissue paper and the decal paper route.

    Just a little food for thought here. As Dave said......."experimental model railroading". Hope someone finds this info useful.



    • #32
      Hi John, I just re-entered a decal how-to that got lost in the transfer of the new RR-Line software and lost all the text and pictures. If you want to check it out, I just finished reposting the info. See here;

      Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast


      • john_holt
        john_holt commented
        Editing a comment
        I remember when you posted this. Always some good info.

    • #33
      On page 1 of this thread Graffen mentions using a transfer method to add signs to buildings:

      ​​​​​​I'm going to try more of the reverse print and mod podge technique...
      i.e. where you print your sign in reverse, cut it out and glue it to the building with the print towards the surface and when dry wet and rub off the paper, only leaving the print behind.

      Golden makes high quality artist materials including several acrylic mediums that can be used to make transfers. Here's a link to a short (1 1/2 min) Golden video demonstrating the basics of that technique. I's almost like making your own decals, sort of, in a way.
      Note print in reverse using a laser printer.

      Last edited by Bill_Gill; 11-30-2021, 09:34 PM.


      • #34
        Louis, thanks for tracking down and reposting the link to your prior article.

        Thanks to all you've taken time to question, respond, add, or post or repost to this topic. Keep it coming!.
        Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


        • #35
          I opened up the reposting of the link to my prior article this morning, and again all the pictures are missing.

          Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast


          • #36
            Wierd stuff going on the past few days. It WAS there. I saw it. Next time is was gone!
            Home of the HOn3 North Coast Railroad, along the shores of Lake Ontario.


            • #37
              This thread is very helpful! Thanks to all for adding their tests, experience and advice.

              I want to add something, but alas, I have no experience.



              • #38
                If you want some really thin paper, try the paper used for wadding in loading your own shotgun shells.