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I had issues when painting toppers or other catvings. I could not like the way the paint went on it never realy looked good to me. I have become a big fan of the painting system Lynn Doughty demonstrates on his site, http://outwestwoodcarving.blogspot.com/ . On the upper s right side of the home page click on Out West Videos. At the bottom of the next page you will see small numbered squares go to # 35 "Carving a Cowboy bust" watch Parts #9 and #10. He explains and demonstrates his painting system for his bass wood carvings. I like its versatility and the end results. if you like it practice on some scrap to see if it will work for you. I have used it on other woods dose not work as well on more opem grain woods. Just sharing, this may not be for you.
 

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I too have been using Lynn's wet method. Saw his work (fantastic) at the Dayton show a cpl years ago and after seeing his paint work I was sold on his method.

I also wet maple, pine and aspen before applying acrylic gel stains. Wetting the wood opens the pores and allows the gel stains to soak in rather than lay on top of the wood. Great link, Tx Randy
 

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Have watched most of his video's, a very talented man and his take on painting is a good basis for all who paint toppers. The best advice is to use multiple layers of thin paint, initial coats look like nothing is happening but as you progress the colour starts to deepen, this way shading is easier as you can vary the depth of colour in different areas by using less or more coats. Starting with a dmpened topper allows easier blending, just have to be careful colours don't mix to give a diff colour. I personally use a airbrush for painting and this again I uses multiple layers of thin paint and blending and dusting is a lot easier.

p.s. The use of thin layers prevents the filling up of texture especially in feather detail. - a good set of instructional video's for airbrushing can be found on youtube - "Airbrushing Wildfowl Carvings" by Toolman Billy Carr, 7 vid's in set.
 

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My painting set up - Airbrush, the booth is a portable one folds up to a small case and has a extractor fan and filter built in and a flex extension tube is inc if venting through a window required ( for the smelly stuff), good for pyro as well.

Gas Machine Auto part Cylinder Metal Wood Flooring Machine Metal Art

Jaw Sculpture Wood Art Creative arts Jaw Dinosaur Terrestrial animal Snout Extinction
 

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Will be looking at Lynn,s videos over the coming days as its educational for us stick makers who paint toppers.
 
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