Everything's bigger (and hand-painted) in Texas

I recently took a two week trip down to Houston, TX with fellow sign painter and mentor Stephen Reynolds to work for Pappas Restaurants. They're a family-owned chain with several different brands, and every one of their dozens (hundreds?) of locations is covered in hand-painted details—the perfect client. Stephen has been painting signs for them all around the country for 20 years, but this was my first rodeo! (yuk yuk *snort*)

 One of our temporary nighttime work stations

One of our temporary nighttime work stations

We spent the remaining 5 nights of our trip coming up with graphic solutions on the fly and basically racing to finish before we had to leave again—a night-owl sign painter's dream.

 Climbed up on that ladder for a welcoming sign.

Climbed up on that ladder for a welcoming sign.

We'll be heading back down soon to finish that job we didn't get to. In the meantime, head on over to the gallery to see the finished signs.

 Have brush, will travel.

Have brush, will travel.

 "That's hand-painted??"

"That's hand-painted??"

The plan was to do most of the custom sign painting for a new restaurant opening soon, but when we arrived they weren't ready for us. Luckily they had plenty more for us to do! We headed to two of their established Houston locations for three nights each of graveyard-shift painting before being called in on another special new project: a high-end version of one of their brands was opening in the lobby of a downtown Houston hotel, and they wanted our special touch on the graphics and lettering there.

 Beautiful bull. Don't know about that drop ceiling though.

Beautiful bull. Don't know about that drop ceiling though.

Getting to work next to Stephen was the highlight of the trip. He has a vast collection of invaluable advice and tools for getting a job done, no matter what gets thrown at you. And after 30 years in the business, he still works like a dog, even after 4 a.m.!

 Stephen in front of his work from a previous trip.

Stephen in front of his work from a previous trip.