2 color stain

I’m back at it, trying to figure out the best method to stain two different colors. I’m making a sign for my friend’s father and I want to make the letters darker than the rest of the sign. Do you have a preferred method? I always get bleeding in the letters.

I made this for a relative. I used semi-gloss black paint in the letters. I then sanded the surface to remove the excess paint. I then used a minwax stain (cherry) and then several coats of clear gloss. I don’t know if this is the type of thing you are looking for.


I am by no means an expert with finishes, but I have had really good success with signs, by preparing the work before carving. I mean go ahead and stain the entire piece, then apply three or four coats of lacquer. So the piece of wood you place in the X-Carve is already nicely finished. Then you carve the letters out.

Now you can use a dark stain or paint in the letter cuts and any paint or stain that is on the surface will just wipe away. Let the letters dry and apply a final coat of lacquer.

The only downside with this method is if you mess up the carve you have wasted a lot of time preparing the work. So you may want to prepare one piece and then do a test carve on a scrap piece first before carving the final finished piece,

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Does the lacquer also work if you want to stain it and carve it to expose the natural wood instead of staining again, just redo the lacquer when its done carving? Also, other posts have mentioned that shellack and lacquers help keep the cuts clean? Lastly, how much thickness is added by three coats or so of lacquer?