Best ways to paint fill?

I’ve done a few projects now and my normal process after carving is to spray paint the piece, let it dry, then sand off the paint so only paint is in the carved out areas.

I am blowing through sandpaper as it gums up so much doing this.

Any other ideas?

Here are some ideas from another thread. I have been using shellac with pretty good success. It’s good to coat with shellac, sand perfectly smooth, coat with shellac, sand to almost glass, then, paint.

interesting idea with using paint thinner (just hope you don’t get it into the carving). I’m using lacquer but do have a can of shellac so maybe will give it a shot

I tape off as much of the area that doesn’t need to be painted so that I don’t have any more sanding than what is needed. I also use the lacquer to close the grain before painting. I just happened to publish a video of me making a plaque using this technique. Making a Team RWB Plaque


great video. Thanks, @MikeMerzke

Excellent video. I’ve used a similar process and your video shows good variations.

If you haven’t already, do a search for vinyl mask. It’s another method for creating plaques & signs.

this is what i use

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am I thinking crazy thoughts, or has anyone every gotten a dispenser, like a syringe, with a fine tip, filled it with paint, and squeezed that into their carving areas? I’m working on a few pieces that have multiple colors, and got my brain thinking of easy ways to do multiple colors without waiting on others to dry and re-taping and re-sanding

Those syringes they use for babies to deliver antibiotics would be great. Good idear.


I’ve done that if the interior of the carve is rough and I don’t feel like sanding it. By injecting enough paint to flood the interior, it creates a smooth surface, which you can even bring flush to the top if you want. Just make sure you account for the longer drying time.

Various epoxy companies sell syringes. I used these to squirt silica thickened epoxy into the seams of the 8’ pram I built.

Yep, the “TOY YOT”! Want to cut the next one out at half scale with my XC1000 for a coffee table! :sunglasses:!Eastport-Pram-Build-1-I’m-Getting-a-Little-Dinghy…/c1kw6/55b5467a0cf24f011b67e345

I’ve tried a really small paint brush to get in the tiny spaces. It works but takes patience.

A much easier way to do it is paint the whole thing and let it dry. Then tape over it. Then carve. Then paint the tape area that was carved away. Let that dry.

Then peel off all the tape.

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I figured you were going there, I just played along… :wink:

Was just doing some googling, and found this:

Looks like a nice solution for those really small carves (1/16 or 1/32 bit stuff). May go by the hobby store in town and see if they have something similar

I’ve done color fill using an eyedropper and enamel paint. It came out great in the end.

Check it out here: Color Fill using Enamel Paint