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Leprechaun topper

3263 Views 18 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rad
My aunt will be 90 years young shortly.

Her grandfather came from county Down in Ireland and her grandmother came from county Kerry. I thought a fitting gift for her birthday would be something with an Irish theme so I started on a Leprechaun topped walking stick for her. Attached pic


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Great idea! And looking good -- are you going to paint?
Nice job MJC4. Your carving gets better with very project. I am sure your Aunt will be thrilled.
Rainy humid day, good day to stay inside and whittle. A little more done on the leprechaun today.


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Got some paint on the leprechaun today.

Now that it's painted the green I chose seems kinda bright, but leprechaun's are supposed to be bright aren't they? I carved him with his hands in his pockets as I had seen on Gene Messer's video's, made it a bit easier that way. As my carving improves I'd like to carve one with a shillelagh in his hand.


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He looks like he has a pot of gold some where near. Good job
Its not a pot of gold its guinness.you can tell by the expression on his face
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Do any of you paint the staff?

I am mulling over making a staff from a 2x4 then painting it, what else, a green. I'm thinking if I use an acrylic based paint and thin it with a lot of water the wood grain will still show through. Has anyone tried this or have any experience with such?
There are a number of goo wood stains in different shades a green your can buy. Just google green wood stains. But I have used paints as stains. But only on small projects. Hats,coats, leaves and skin tones. my choice is oil paints. I found it took a lot of testing and something I do not do often.
I have used water colour and acrylic on small pieces and found it needs a lot of testing ,i mixed some with a water based varnish ,wouldnt recomend it .like CV3 says wood stains are much better
Making some progress, got the staff attached to the topper, it's a rounded out of a 2x4.


I have researched the Minwax colored wood stains. I even went to the local big box stores looking for them. Seems you can't get the colored stains in the pint container as they have to mix it to order so a quart is the least amount you can buy. Also all of it is water based. I really have no use for an entire quart as after all how many Leprechaun sticks am I going to make? I do have a ton of acrylic water based craft paints around here from my wife's past hobbies so I started experimenting last night on some scraps to see if I can achieve the results I want. Looks promising at this point. Besides if I don't like the results on the stick I can always sand it off, right?


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Go for it let us know how you got on with it,

Thats the trouble with material you want on odd occasions you cant get small amounts

Its suprising how strong some colour pigments are i got to dense a colour when i tried it.
I needed to get this Leprechaun stick finished or pretty near done before we headed out on our extended Rocky Mountain trip. It will need to be delivered a week after we get back for my aunt's 90th birthday.

Painting is done, needs polyurethane, light sanding and a wrist strap. I will use MInwax Satin Polycrylic as the finish as all the paint work is water based acrylic. This whole piece, topper and staff is made from a 2x4. I rounded out the staff then added the dings so the stick has some imperfections in it. I also diluted the staff's paint so the natural wood grain could bleed through. Progress pics to date.


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Well done .nice bright stick . the colours worked pretty well

Looks like you lime washed the shank? Hope your pleased with it
Not a lime wash, Cobalt. It's water based acrylic paint thinned down to the consistency of skim milk. I wanted the natural pine wood grain to show through the paint, more of a tint than paint.

The key to the paint's pigments absorbing into the wood rather than drying on top was the sanding. Normally I sand to a 220 grit. I only sanded this staff to 100 grit so it left the wood's pores more open to absorb the paint pigments rather than have it dry on top. I think it turned out well.

After the first coat of polycrylic (water based polyurethane) I will sand to 220 to smooth out the wood grain raised by the water, then apply a second coat for the finish.

I did some research on the web about finishing. I didn't realize how much of a difference sanding to different grits makes on how much paint or stain is absorbed into the wood. Also how different woods should be sanded to different grits. Softer woods such as pines or maples require sanding to a lower (coarse) grits to help avoid blotchy finishes and harder woods need finer grits for proper finish. Every stick I make is a learning experience. That's what makes this hobby so much fun.

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Leprechaun is finished. The two coats of polycrylic really make the stick pop, hope the pic does it justice.

My aunt will receive this for her 90th birthday when we return from our trip.


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