Color filling a v-carve

I have been working on some coasters that I have cut out a pattern in using a bit. I have been cutting out to a depth of about 1/16". I would like to color-fill the entire cutout to flush with the surrounding wood.

I have tried acrylic paint that once dried just colored the cutout and didn’t fill in.

I have also tried colored epoxy but is a pain to sand back flush, get all of the bubbles out, get glossy again after sanding.

Is there anyone out there that has done something similar with success? I have researching it and all I’m coming up with doesn’t fit what I’m trying to do.

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With epoxy you can degas the resin in a vacuum chamber to get the bubbles out and then maybe you could try a clear coat or a thin layer of clear resin over the top after sanding to get a gloss look.

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You could go with an inlay. Once you get it set up, it is a breeze. Still requires lots of sanding to make flush.


a heat gun or small torch will also take care of any surface bubbles, just make sure you have an epoxy that doesnt have a quick set time. if it does set quickly, you have to use a pressure chamber rather than a vacuum chamber

This is what I use for a coating and the bubbles can be taken out using a blow dryer.
Use a pigment or acrylic paint to color.
After sanding you can put on a clear coat and this stuff is amazing it will look like is one solid piece. no seams. Make sure you clean off any small particles before adding your next coat. :slight_smile: Also you can heat it up a bit to help.
Make sure you seal the wood first or you will get a trail of bubbles coming from the air in the wood.
Also when pouring this onto your project make sure you do it slow with a long and thin line leaving the container. This will keep most of the large bubbles out. I would pour it at 9 to 12 inches away.

I have been racing sailboats for the last 20 years so I’m pretty invested the West System line of products. I’m going to go buy the super long hardener to try, I had been using the long hardener. I was using a torch but I think that was a mistake. I have a heat gun and I’m going to give it a try next. I have been sealing the wood by dipping them in a 2lb cut of Shellac (2 coats) and letting them dry 18hours before color filling. I was just thinking there was an easier answer out there than epoxy but I think that is what everyone else is using also, I just have to refine my technique. Thank you for the response Stephen.


man Earwigger I have been trying to successfully get a v carve inlay but so far have not had any luck. I’m using carve pro and had to put it aside for a little while while I got some other things done. If you are vcarving and getting good results what settings are you using?

George my next two projects after I finish my new Kitchen table are a steam box for bending wood and vacuum chamber just for stuff like this.

A process I’ve used is to apply a couple coats of sealer to the wood before carving. Then, carve a bit deeper than your desired end depth. Apply a color coat to the entire piece and let cure. Then, sand the color coat off the surface and apply a clear coat.

Check these guys out for some good techniques.(Colored hot glue for inlay?)

I’ve had luck pouring a super thin stream of epoxy out of the mixing cup to eliminate bubbles when the stream lands. I use slow cure for everything.

Hey @JeffAnderson, I won ASA Instructor of the Year twice while living in San Francisco. What do you race? One of my most fun projects was a 1m RC version of the AC45.

I follow the attached directions precisely. I tried messing with the settings and it never works as well as following this PDF to the letter. I even found a Japanese style pull saw at my local True Value Hardware and it works great for cutting off the inlay. Band saw works best, but sometimes your piece is too thick (like with the cutting boards). Your 60 degree v-bit needs to be sharp as well.

VCarve_Inlay_Description_and_Procedure.pdf (1.1 MB)

weird. I never had that problem with any of my v-bits. But, the PDF describes a 1mm gap between the bottom of the pocket and the depth of the inlay. So, I am guessing it is not relevant to either the procedure in the PDF or v-carve pro.

You can make F engrave do the same thing if you can adjust your start depth (or trick your z-axis and re-zero).

OHHHH… I get it. So you can’t set flat depths like on V-carve? Bummer. Maybe that should be a feature request.

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Phil I have this really nice set from Amana Tool, I’m positive the is no flat at the tip. I’ve only tried one design I really wanted like 10 times and failed each time. I had to get some other things done so I put it aside.

Try an epoxy putty like milliput, @JoeWhittaker has experience there

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Thanks for the tip, I just tried a wood filler that I have that shrank to much. I’ve ordered some Milliput after checking it out and hopefully I get better results.


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I did this by mixing copper powered in epoxy and then filling it in and sanding it upto 400 grit and clear coating it.


Here is a quick method that I do and it seems to work great

cut/engrave that part
sand to 180 grit
Apply spray paint to the entire piece
let dry
take to 60 grit sand paper remove all of the paint minus the paint in the engraving
sand down to 220
then seal with poly

thats how I made these: