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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the second owl topper I have started in the last week and a half. I am not even going to post a pic of the first one. When am I going to learn to test a finish on a scrap piece? Basswood does not take oil based stain worth spit, at least not for me any way. The piece I stained was a blotchy mess, fit for the fire pit.

Round two. The attached pics are my second owl roughed out of 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 6" basswood block. This one, after details, will be colored with acrylic antiquing solution, hopefully to match the stained silver maple staff it is being attached to.
 

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Lookin good, don't worry about the first one just appreciate you have the best looking firewood in the area :)
 

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Altho many woods are better painted than stained, blotchy stain can be avoided with a pre-seal. The ones I've seen have gelatin (protein) in them which fills the uneven pores, yet takes the color of the stain placed on top. I've also read that particulates mixed w.shellac can be used. I tried "french polishing" a few times (w. no success) and the base layers are superfine pumice rubbed in w. and oil and shellac mixture. If I recall correctly, boiled sugar or honey syrups can also be used.
 

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Looking good. On some scarp you might try wet paining, dipping your basswood Into water shaking off the excess water or spraying it with water and painting with acrilic paint thinned to a stain. Like Lynn Doughty does. You can see it on his web the damp wood draws the paint into the wood giving a more even color. But use this on some scrap to see if it works for you. It took me a few try's to find how it worked for me. I like it . It makes it easy to blend colors too. Lynn separates his colors by pre burned lines with his wood burner. To see his videos, search
Out West Woodcarving painting Videos
 
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It looks good to me, a very nice carving. I wish I saw this when I could carve. Definitly would have asked to copy yours.
 

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I've pretty much given up on oil stains for just that reason. The stuff in the hardware stores is pretty much all pigment based. The pigment is trapped in the pores and scratches in the surface to give the wood color. They're good for open grained woods and not much else IMO.

These days I use dye stains instead. Dyes color all the wood more or less evenly while still letting the grain show. Aniline dyes can be either alcohol or water based and are available at woodworking specialty stores and online. Fiebing's leather dye is used by pipe makers with good results. It's alcohol based. I've even had good results from RIT dyes for fabric. That stuff is available in pretty much any larger store with a laundry soap section.

Rodney
 

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.

These days I use dye stains instead. Dyes color all the wood more or less evenly while still letting the grain show. Aniline dyes can be either alcohol or water based and are available at woodworking specialty stores and online.
I've used Transtint dyes several times. They are somewhat expensive, about $10/oz, but are very intense and can be diluted w. alcohol. W. sufficient dilution, they can be applied like watercolors. I haven't tried them on porous woods, but they work well for very dense woods that prevent most other stains and colors from penetrating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A little more texturing work with a 3/8 gouge and the v-tool.
 

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Wondering if it would colour varnish so I could use it like paint and keep the grain of the wood showing. maybe a bit expensive as trial and error on test pieces with dyes wastes a lot of materials and trying to duplicate what your done often goes wrong.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dunked it on the stain, LilysDad. Not worth trying to salvage the piece.
 

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Looks like it soaked into the end grain more than the sides. That's a shame. You could try dyeing over it but it will be really dark by the time the color is evened out.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Owl update: wood burning done and eyes added.

Next step,color with acrylic antiquing solution. Hopefully I won't ruin this one.........
 

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He will look good on a stick! If you still have the one with the stain you may want to go a head and use the varnish on it. From the back the colors do not look much different than you you see in the nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Owl topper is as far as I can go till it gets mated to a stick and that's not going to happen anytime soon as the garage isn't heated. (The wife doesn't mind me carving at the table creating chips that are easy to vac, but draws the line at drilling/sanding and creating dust)

Used the "wet" into wet" method with acrylic craft paint that CV3 suggested and I like the way it turned out. (Tx Randy)

Using this method the paint pigments absorb into the wood rather than dry on top and therefore the burned/carved details don't get "buried" under the paint. Put one coat of satin spar urethane on the piece to protect it from handling. After it gets its maple staff I will apply 2 more to the entire stick.

You know every time I finish a piece I see things that I could have improved or imperfections I should have worked out but i suppose that's the nature of the wood carver.

Thanks for lookin'

Mark
 

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It is in all our nature to do this mark

All of us look and either see fault or make them up so dont knock your self its fine Just take on board what you think
 

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Every time I do something I am seeing things I could have done before the finish is dry!! I do not think that will change.Being satisfied with what I have done does not mean I can't make it better next time.
 
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