My Friend Hal Reynolds of Atlantic Scale Modelers sent me a link showing how to use your ink jet printer to make a "decal" from an image and then transfer the image to wood. This process has a ton of applications for modelers especially those want to add signage directly to the side of a building.
I tried the process with this sign I copied from the Internet (above.) I clipped the black edge from the sign in Photoshop and then printed it on the prepared paper as shown in the video.
Here's the first sign applied to a wood base which has a crinkled or cracking surface.
You can see how the ink jet ink has bled into the wet matte medium gel but the sign is useable and looks weathered.
I tried making smaller signs and I applied them to different wood bases. Here's two different sized signs applied to ship's deck planking.
I think they may look better on a white or light gray background.
I'm going to experiment with different sign on different wood backgrounds. I may even try a few on plastic or plaster.
Follow the steps in the link and you'll be making good looking signs in no time.