I have been looking for a "better and faster" way of printing signs onto clapboard siding. The traditional method is to sand off the back of the paper sign until it is transparent, then glue it to the siding. This method works well, but is time consuming and you can never get the paper thin enough to really look like a painted sign.
After some research while framing some pictures, I noticed the technique of printing a photograph on paper and then directly transferring it to a canvas of wooden board. I have experimented with using this technique using this series of steps. Follow along and see if you can apply this to your models.
First you have to find a image you would like to use and then flip it horizontally using your favourite photo editing tool.
Then lay the siding on a flat surface. I am using 6" clapboard siding for the experiment.
Go get some Artist Regular Gel (matte is preferred) and a foam brush. I'm sure you can use Mod Podge also.
Coat the siding, or the back of the sign, with a liberal even layer of the Regular Gel.
You will need some sort of burnishing tools. Your finger is a good substitute initially, but some round smooth object like a back of pen cap, match stick, etc. Anything that will NOT scratch the paper.
The press the sign facedown into the Regular Gel and lightly begin the process of smoothing it out with your finger.
Then start to work the paper into the cracks and crevices of the siding. Avoid scratching the paper like I did in this experiment. Let it dry overnight, or until there the paper is dry and the gel is not tacky. When it has dried, then brush some plain old water onto the paper backing and let it soak in for a minute.
Then using your finger, start rubbing the paper off the siding. Be patient and avoid pressing too hard. The pape will start rolling off the siding leaving the painted wood.
When all is said and done, all that should be left is the ink from the ink-jet printer.
This technique is a great self-weathering method for putting faded signs on structures. Give it a try and you will be surprised how easy it is to do.