Basics on Finishing steps

Howdy… Newbie here… just finished the carve… turned out great. Next steps for finishing. I am interested in staining the wood… But using contrasting colors for the truck and the Christmas tree. I believe that some people suggested putting a poly finish on first… And then follow up by using acrylic paints for the cuts. If I understand it right… The acrylic paint will wipe off of the face if any stain gets on the face of the project. Or… Should I stain the project first… Then spray it with a couple coats of poly… And then followed up with acrylic paint in the cuts area of the Christmas tree in the truck. Hopefully your next word out there can give me the step-by-step procedures in order to finish this. Really happy the way the Xcarve is working… But I am really ignorant of how to finish a piece. Any assistance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


Stain penetrates into the wood. You should apply stain to the clean bare wood then allow it to dry before applying a sealing coat (poly, shellac, etc), dry again, followed by the paint for the recesses.

You should do a test first to make sure your paint will adhere to the sealing coat.

Edit: just wanted to add that plaque looks amazing.

I have several videos with different methods

That came out really nice. Well done!

There are several ways to finish your project. The method I use and what works for me is to apply a coat of shellac, let it dry. Then I use water based acrylic paints. And yes, it does wipe off pretty easy. Maybe create a test project with multiple shapes (or designs) then paint that using different techniques.

That is a very nice design and carve. Maple I assume.
You will find that the painting is not as much fun as the designing and carving but the results are usually rewarding. Just plan out your steps. Some good feedback in this string.
Is that art work available publicly?

Howdy Mark… Here is the link to that project…Sorry it took so long

Chuck Lyons Akron, Ohio

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Thanks I appreciate it