Painting a Wood Carving
Painting a Wood Carving
Many carvings need to be painted before they are finished. After putting in the time and effort to get your curving right it only make since to finish it correctly. Properly done finishing and painting will enhance the work you have done in the carving.
Don't let colors intimidate you to the point you don't paint just because the color isn't right. I struggled and still do. Keep notes to help you get back to a color you like. During this issue the paints will be acrylics. I use different brands of acrylics depending on the use of the finished object. The main reasons I change is when water is involved. Golden paints have proven themselves when I do decoys that go in the water. I also like Jo Sonya for the out of tube variety of colors available and flatness of the paint. I will try to tackle the things that I found hard.
Kelly's variation starts with a base coat of Danish Oil finish, then thinned acrylics are applied for the coloring with a finishing coat of clear acrylic spray sealer. As this was a painting style I had not done, acrylics over oil stain, I wanted to give it a try. Of course, not being able to keep my fingers out of the technique, I have made a few minor changes in the original suggestion as posted by Kelly Winn.
I have been asked many times for the painting secrets that I use on my many characters and caricatures. The techniques that I have developed over the years are really quite simple. If you will follow these simple directions you will produce superior carvings every time.
Painting a woodcarving, if you choose to paint it at all, is often a "make or break" final step. A bad paint job can ruin an otherwise great woodcarving, just as a great paint job can enhance an otherwise mediocre woodcarving. Below I let you in on my techniques for painting a woodcarving using oil based paints.
Wood carvings require prep work before they can be properly painted. This is because the wood tends to absorb any paint that's applied to it, creating blotches, bubbles and unattractive streaks. Even the best looking carving can be completely ruined by a poor paint job, so you'll have to properly prepare it first, which involves using sandpaper to clean it and using certain chemicals to seal off the wood so that it does not absorb any paint.
Most of the questions I get on regular basis are about finishing on my carvings and about stains / paints used. A lot of us struggle with this part and we all know that bad stain or paint can ruin the best carving. From my experience, it is really not the ‘bad stain or paint’, but in most cases the damage is caused by non existing or inadequate wood preparation before painting / staining. Most of you probably know about that nice green (on paper) which would look so good on your carving and which would change your wonderful little sculpture into a green plastic toy and no matter what you do, in the best case you can only change it into a brown plastic monster.
Let the carving dry and store the left over glue in a glass or plastic container, not metal. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. I freeze the leftover and use it many times until gone.
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