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Are yard signs waterproof?

Yard signs are a popular way to display messages, advertise businesses, support political candidates, announce events, and more. They are an effective marketing tool because they are inexpensive, easy to make, and allow you to communicate with people right in your neighborhood.

One consideration when using yard signs is whether or not they are waterproof. Yard signs are often placed outside and exposed to the elements. Rain, sprinklers, morning dew, and other sources of moisture can damage paper signs and cause the ink to run. So are yard signs waterproof?

The short answer is: some are, and some aren’t. Traditional paper yard signs are not waterproof. However, there are now many types of weatherproof and waterproof yard sign materials available. The key is choosing the right materials if you need your signs to withstand wet weather.

In this article, we’ll look at the factors that determine if a yard sign is waterproof. We’ll compare different yard sign materials, including paper, coroplast, poly bag signs, acrylic signs, and more. We’ll also provide tips on how to make your signs as water resistant as possible.

What Makes a Sign Waterproof?

For a yard sign to be waterproof, it needs to be made from materials that repel water and prevent moisture absorption. The key factors that make a sign waterproof are:

  • The substrate material – This is the main surface of the sign. Waterproof options include plastic, acrylic, vinyl banners, etc.
  • The ink/print material – Waterproof inks like UV printing, vinyl lettering, or digital prints are used.
  • Any protective coatings – A waterproof laminate or UV coating can protect paper from moisture.

Traditional paper yard signs have none of these waterproof properties. The porous paper absorbs moisture, while normal printing inks bleed and run when wet. However, there are now many good waterproof options available.

Waterproof Yard Sign Materials

Here are some of the most popular waterproof materials used for yard signs:

Plastic – Coroplast, PVC, etc.

Coroplast is one of the most popular modern yard sign materials. Coroplast signs are made of two thin plastic sheets sandwiching a hollow corrugated plastic core. The corrugated ridges make coroplast signs very rigid and durable.

Coroplast is 100% waterproof. The plastic surface repels moisture, while the hollow core prevents water absorption. Coroplast signs maintain their vibrant colors and crisp text when wet. They can withstand total submersion in water.

Coroplast is also lightweight, making these signs easy to install with basic lawn stakes or H-frames. It provides an excellent balance of durability, weather-resistance, and cost-effectiveness. Coroplast signs work great for short-term political campaigns or longer term business signage.

Other plastics like PVC and polypropylene are also completely waterproof options for yard signs. Plastic substrates can be paired with digital printing or vinyl lettering.


Acrylic signs provide the highest level of durability and weather-resistance. Acrylic is an advanced plastic polymer that is optically clear. It is the same material that plexiglass is made from.

When printed on, acrylic allows vivid colors and crystal clear graphics. The smooth non-porous surface prevents any moisture absorption or bleeding. Acrylic signs can withstand all types of weather conditions over long periods.

The only downside is acrylic is more expensive than other options. But for a permanent high-end yard sign, acrylic can’t be beaten. Many local print shops offer custom acrylic sign printing.

Poly Bag Signs

Poly bag yard signs provide a cost-effective way to waterproof standard paper signs. The signs are printed on cardstock or glossy photo paper. They are then inserted into resealable plastic poly bags.

The poly bag forms a waterproof barrier around the sign. As long as the bag is sealed properly, the paper sign inside will remain dry. The inks and colors won’t run even in heavy rain.

Poly bag signs are also highly visible and easy to install with common lawn stakes. Just slide the top of the stake through the bag opening. The bags tend to last longer than the signs inside, so new paper inserts can be swapped in.

Vinyl Banners

Vinyl banners utilize a reinforced scrim vinyl material. This flexible substrate is paired with waterproof solvent inks or digital prints. It creates custom banners that are tear resistant and completely weatherproof.

Vinyl banners make excellent temporary yard signs. Their lightweight fabric material allows wind to pass through, preventing sail damage. Grommets make it easy to mount vinyl banners on posts or fences. And the waterproof properties keep vinyl yard signs looking great through any conditions.

Other Options

There are a few other waterproof yard sign options like:

  • Aluminum composite signs – Aluminum sheets bonded to plastic cores retain vivid digital prints even when wet.
  • Yard sign paint/stencils – Special exterior latex paints and stencils allow painting designs directly on windows, sidewalks, etc.
  • A-frame signs – Chalkboard A-frames can display handwritten messages that won’t wash away in rain.

So those are some of the best waterproof materials to choose from for yard signs. Using any of these options is recommended for signs that will be exposed to sprinklers, rain and other wet conditions.

How to Waterproof Paper Yard Signs

Traditional paper yard signs by themselves are not waterproof. However, there are ways to treat them to improve water resistance:

  • Use weatherproof posters – Specialty outdoor poster paper is coated to repel moisture better than basic paper.
  • Apply clear sealants – Spraying with acrylic sealers or brushing with decoupage can protect paper from moisture.
  • Use UV print inks – They bond to paper better than standard inks and resist fading or bleeding when wet.
  • Laminate with adhesive vinyl – Self-adhesive vinyl sheets keep moisture from contacting the paper.
  • Coat with WD-40 – The oil lubricant beads up water and slows absorption into porous paper.

However, these paper protection options are less reliable than proper waterproof yard sign materials. For best results, consider switching to plastic, vinyl or acrylic signs.

Tips for Waterproofing Yard Signs

Here are some additional tips for maximizing the water resistance of your yard signs:

  • Seal all edges of coroplast signs with exterior-grade caulk or silicone. This prevents moisture from seeping in.
  • Use grommets when hanging vinyl banners. They prevent rain pooling in pockets and stretching the vinyl.
  • Store paper signs flat and indoors until installation. Limit their early exposure to moisture.
  • Print on matte laminated paper so inks don’t sit on an absorbent surface.
  • Choose exterior grade inks, and allow proper drying time before displaying signs.
  • Consider clear UV sprays or coatings for added protection from sun and rain.
  • Check poly bag signs frequently for moisture buildup and reseal as needed.
  • Take down paper signs at night or during wet weather if possible.

Choosing the right materials is the best way to ensure waterproof yard signs. But taking some extra care and precautions will also help paper signs withstand wet conditions.

Do Yard Signs Have to be Waterproof?

Waterproofing is not an absolute necessity for all yard signs. Here are some factors to consider:

  • If yard signs will be under cover or only displayed in dry weather, waterproofing is less important.
  • For very temporary use like a single day or weekend, non-waterproof materials may be fine.
  • Indoor window signs don’t require weatherproofing.
  • If your message needs to change frequently, a wipeable surface like acrylic or dry erase may work better than permanent waterproof prints.
  • In arid climates with rare rainfall, moisture damage is less of a concern.

But for signs that will be exposed to sprinklers, rain, morning water, or other wet conditions, waterproof materials are highly recommended. The investment is worth it for long-lasting yard signs.

Consider Your Local Climate

Your local weather and climate is the most important factor in deciding if yard signs need to be waterproof.

In hot and humid regions with frequent thunderstorms, waterproofing is critical. Paper signs will quickly get soaked, stained and ruined in these conditions. Plastic or vinyl are better options.

In cooler and drier regions, standard paper may hold up just fine over a full political campaign season. The ink likely won’t run or smear due to less moisture.

Think about typical rainfall, sprinkler usage, humidity and dew points in your area. If moisture is common, spend a little more for waterproof signs that will last.

Waterproof Yard Sign Costs

Here are rough price ranges for different waterproof yard sign materials:

Material Typical Price Range
Basic Paper Sign $1 – $5 per sign
Coroplast $2 – $12 per sign
PVC $4 – $15 per sign
Acrylic $15 – $30 per sign
Vinyl Banner $15 – $35 per banner
Poly Bag $2 – $8 per sign

Prices vary based on size, quantity, print method, customization and local provider rates. But this gives a general idea of the cost differences.

Plastic and vinyl solutions are more expensive than basic paper. But they make up for it with greater durability that protects your investment in signs and messaging. Acrylic is the premium option for permanent yard signs.

For temporary use, poly bag and coroplast signs provide a good middle ground. They add waterproofing at a reasonable cost compared to paper alone.


Yard signs are a versatile and effective form of communication. To determine if your signs need to be waterproof, assess the climate conditions and sign placement. For long-lasting signs, the top waterproof materials are coroplast, vinyl, acrylic or poly bag wraps.

With the right selection of materials and protective treatments, you can create yard signs that maintain their visual impact rain or shine. Waterproofing helps your messaging withstand the elements and stay attractive looking as long as needed. While it costs more initially, it prevents the need to replace soggy, stained signs after the first rain.

Consider your specific needs and budget when deciding on waterproof yard signs. And take advantage of the wide range of options now available for keeping yard signs looking their best in any weather.