The thickness of our slate

June 5th, 2019|Tags: , , |

The thickness of our slate.

When I visit the quarry to buy our Cornish Slate, the slabs are in variable thicknesses from 17-32mm. We can get slate cut to a specific thickness but that adds significantly to the cost.

I always try to get slate in the 22-30mm range. An optimum size is 25mm. 300mm is bulky and heavy so I do try and avoid it if possible purely for those reasons alone.

Try riven slate for that rustic look

Riven slate is around the 6mm thickness. These are roofing slates that offer a very rustic look to say, a cottage. The riven slate can be hand cut so it can have a chipped edge. This edge is uneven and corners may not always be square due to how the slate fractures when it is cut. This slate cannot be polished and may be uneven due to it being hand split.

Imported slate is usually 20 or 25mm thick.

Countries outside the UK tend to work in metric terms so imported slate is usually sized in increments of 5 mm. So 20, 25, 30 etc are the sizes that you will be offer ed off the shelf. If you are talking to another sign maker, ask where their slate comes from andd ask how thick it is. The size is usually an indicator that it is imported slate.

Imported slate is not necessarily inferior, but it isn’t #CornishSlate

Ask where your slate comes from

To ensure you get the slate you want for your slate house sign, do remember to ask the supplier that one very important question.

Always read the small print.

Before buying a slate house sign, read the small print on the website. Does it specify where their slate comes from? If you are not buying from #StevensCornishSlate then you cannot be sure that your slate is Cornish – so ask.

We only use Cornish slate from the Delabole quarry.

Stevens Cornish Slate only uses slate that we have personally selected from the quarry by visiting it and choosing the very material we want. That way we aim to get the very best we can.

If you want a #CornishSlateHouseSign then be sure top talk to Stevens Cornish Slate. You know right from the outset that you are guaranteed that your slate will be from the ground in Cornwall.

Contact us for more information. Or call Pat on 07854-953088


  • a natural finish, unpainted cornish slate house sign

Non painted slate house signs

May 24th, 2019|Tags: , , |

Non painted slate house signs

Non painted slate house signs are a great alternative to the generally accepted norm of a painted letter finish.

The cornish slate house sign is then a completely natural product that will still stand the test of time.

A rustic look

The non-painted finish gives the sign a very rustic look and feel and your sign will almost certainly be different to any others around you. The lighter coloured slate is revealed when the lettering is engraved into the #CornishSlate.

The unpainted slate house sign is great for older style cottages and houses or those in maybe more rural settings, however, if you live in a modern town house, you can also consider this option.

How do we achieve this look?

The cornish slate is cut and polished but before the lettering is engraved, we apply a colour enhancer / sealer to the slate which darkens it. When the lettering is engraved, the lighter natural colour of the slate is revealed.

The lettering is then sealed with a plain sealer to protect it but keep the natural colour.

This can be seen in the pictured example on this page.

For more information look on the galleries or contact us for more information.

#StevensCornishSlate #CornishSlateHouseSigns

  • the delabole slate quarry in cornwall

Delabole slate

May 8th, 2019|Tags: |

Delabole slate house signs

We only use Delabole Slate for our house signs and Cornish slate tableware and gifts. The Cornish slate we use is all sourced by us from the Delabole slate quarry. We visit the quarry regularly to stock up on supplies so we can make our house signs.

Delabole slate is a quality slate

Slate has been quarried at the Delabole site for hundreds of years and has earned a reputation of being one of the best slates that you can buy for roofing, flooring, kitchen worktops and of course, slate house signs.

Delabole slate has unique qualities

Slate from the Delabole quarry is easily identified amongst slate types by its colour and texture. This is quite different from slate quarried in other parts of the UK and certainly from abroad.

The mineral composition gives it its unique feel and quality and that is why it such a sought after slate.

Why is it so good for house signs?

#DelaboleSlate is extremely hard wearing yet ‘soft’ enough to be workable and have a superb finish. Many other slates feel ‘brittle’ in comparison – it’s why slate is such a tactile product.

Make sure that your slate house sign is made from the best Cornish slate there is – Delabole slate. Visit our HOUSE SIGN PAGE to submit an order enquiry. You can call us direct on 07854-953088. It does get noisy in the workshop so if we don’t answer please call back.

  • one shot paint for slate house signs

Paints for slate house signs

April 23rd, 2019|Tags: , |

Paints for slate house signs.

Using the right paint for slate house signs is really important as it affects the quality of the finished product.

Why choose and great material to work with, like #CornishSlate and finish it with an inferior product?

One Shot Professional Paints

When we started the business we tried a number of different paint types to see which ones were the best. After a fair bit of research we found that the One-Shot range of paints were one of the top brands. We chose to use their undercoat and professional signwriter range of enamels as our paints for slate house signs..

The paints give a really nice finish and they have a great lifespan when applied correctly. In good conditions paint should last for many years.

The painting process.

Painting the signs correctly is fundamental to them looking good and staying looking good. After finishing the lettering the painted area is made completely dust free. Dust would stop the undercoat taking to the surface of the slate.

Undercoat is needed to ‘key’ the slate for the top coats of paint.

Once the undercoat is dry, 4-6 topcoats of the chosen colour are applied, one day apart, to ensure each coat of paint is dry. Each piece of slate is different and some will coat in 4, others need 6.

We cannot rush the painting process.

Customers are sometimes surprised that it can take one week to paint a sign even if it is just  a single number. It is not the number of characters that determine the length of time, but the drying time of the paint and the coverage required.

Painting on top of paint that is not dry will cause the paint to peel and whilst that will not happen immediately, the finish will deteriorate much sooner than it otherwise would.

So it is important to do the job properly.

Do a job once and do it right.

We hope you have found this article interesting and see that making a #CornishSlateHouseSign requires time and the use of great materials.

Contact us for further details and all sign enquiries.



  • gill sans and artificer fonts on cornish slate house signs

Font styles on house signs

April 17th, 2019|

Font styles on house signs

In the main there are 3 types of font styles on house signs chosen by customers more than any other. These meet most customers needs BUT we can use many hundreds of different font styles so even if you want something quirky, we can usually help out.

(The picture on this post features signs with Artificer and Gill sans fonts).

The three most common are –

Time New Roman – a classical font with pointy bits (serifs) on the letters. I would say this is a stylish and very traditional font style. It is a very common font.

Artifiker – A blocky but quite nice font that sits between Times and Gill sans. This font is quite a bit larger that either of the others so it tends to make a sign quite a lot larger. The serifs are very blocky.

Gill sans – A very straight line font with no serfs or character in the lettering. As a ‘go to no fuss’ font, this makes a great choice and is one of the reasons it is so popular.

Fonts equal individual style

Stevens Cornish Slate do not make a standard house sign because we can offer customers such a huge range of styles. When enquiring about a cornish slate house sign, if you want a specific font, put it in the ‘other information’ section on the form and we will do our best to help out.

Can we use any font?

Lots of fonts are free so we can usually get one if we don’t have it. If you want a font that is not free, then we can buy it but the cost will be added to the cost of your sign.

Want to know more.. contact us via the HOUSE SIGNS page.

  • hand cut cornish slate hearts

How Its Made

April 8th, 2019|Tags: , |

How Its Made

#HowItsMade is a very well known show on the Discovery Channel and we were absolutely thrilled to be asked to take part in a show.


The team flew over from Canada and met us in our workshop where the majority of this video was shot.

This is a highly professional video that shows how we make our cornish slate products and #SlateHouseSigns

Do please enjoy this video that shows what we can do and how we do it.