Anyone got some tips on resin filled lettering & shapes?

I’m slowly getting better with using resin to fill carved shapes and letters, but I’m still struggling to get a good finish on surfaces that need to be sanded or cut down. Has anyone got any suggestions on how to sand or machine two-part resin and to get a reasonable finish?

I’ve learned I need to seal the surface & cuts to prevent coloured resins from being absorbed into soft woods, and providing the level of the resin is below the surface of the wood, it’s relatively simple to clean up the finished product (see below).

However sometimes, I’ll need to sand down part of the work that includes the resin and I’ve found its almost impossible to get a good finish back afterwards.

Using ultra fine wet & dry with water gets me partway there, but the resin finish is still matt and inevitably, some of the water & dust gets absorbed into the surrounding wood. I’ve tried steel wool, a low angle block plane, scrapers etc, all to no avail.

Spraying the work with gloss varnish makes it shiny again, but that’s not ideal for things like cutting boards & cheese boards which I’d prefer to oil.

Suggestions would be appreciated…

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I’d stick with the extra fine and water and then oil the board and try a buffing/polishing compound with a polisher. It works really well on resin. I’ve just never tried on an area with wood included in the mix.


Don’t know if this will work for you but I have done it for the same reason. Put masking tape on the hole piece, cut your design out but not too deep. The cnc will cut the masking tape too of course. Spray paint in the lettering and then fill the cuts with clear resin. You can sand to your hearts content and it will not affect the wood. Like Jamie said the buffing compound will really put a shine on the resin, just make sure the wood is sealed first or the compound will likely stain the wood.

Thanks @GlennHitt, rather than using paint & clear resin, I’m using coloured resin.

Generally, I’ll fill the carving & then use a scraper to skim off any overfill. When hardened, the resin surface is usually slightly concave, allowing me to sand/scrape the wood surface, without touching the resin face.

Sometimes though, I’ll get a couple of high spots which are touched by the sanding. Sanding & polishing gets these bits nice and smooth, but it’s more of a matt surface than the high-gloss surface surrounding it.

No probs, just thought I’d ask in case someone had a simple trick that worked.

The resin I use tends to be a duller and softer finish if it dried in air rather than against a flat surface e.g. a mold. They sell a wax additive that fixes the issue and it works well.

I’m wondering if this is a similar issue?

Anyway, the resin hardens in an hour or so but have found it can be nearly a week before the surface can be worked/polished to a high shine. Maybe your lettering is still soft when you start sanding?



@IanWatkins - worth a try. Thanks.

what are you using to color your resin? those are beautiful colors.

@FrankGraffagnino I’m using some old resin I’ve had for years, but the colours came with some resin I bought recently called the “West System” . I’m not sure if the colours are the same brand as the resin, but I’ll check when I can.

I’m pretty sure this (or something like this) should be available in most countries.

It sets to an amazing gloss. The clear can be poured over anything flat & roughly spread as it will self level before it hardens. Bubbles are an issue in the clear resin but they can be fixed by careful mixing and then the judicious use of a gently blowtorch (or blowing by mouth through a straw) on the resin before it sets.

Painting inside lettering or carvings with bright acrylics & craft paints and then covering with clear works really well as well.