Painting an inlay


never really done a project which has involved painting before. i want to paint in the area carved out on my design. how do i stop the paint from soaking in and ruining the piece?

should i varnish the whole thing then come back and paint in the black and then sand an revarnish?


I have tried many methods and sanding sealer seems to be the most effective. Remember the “before carving” and “after carving” part and you should be able to sand away your over-paint.

ANother key is to allow both the sanding sealer and your paint to cure. I let it cure for a day each. I use water based paints for easy cleanup.

I have used two thick coats of sanding sealer underneath enamel and acrylic paint with no problems. I prefer to use a scraper to remove the excess paint so I don’t grind it into the wood, but it’s not necessary if you’re careful.

If you want to see what the process looks like, I showed a quick version of it in my Sudoku video starting at about 4:04: That project used enamel paint with a couple topcoats of polyurethane.

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Cheers guys, i’ll order up some sanding sealer and give it a try.

Getting this sort of stuff is tricky in the UK, lucky Amazon seems to have everything so should arrive next day.

I’m over in Seattle for a 2 week holiday, got a list of shops to go visit to look at tools. Like Harbor Freight and home depot. Yep the Girl friends going to love it! :slight_smile:

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I haven’t tried the wipedown method yet, may try it next time I paint something. I usually have an uneven surface from all the sanding sealer though, and the scraper removes the excess sealer in just a swipe or two. I just need to get a larger scraper, the little one is too small for something as large as my sign… :smile:

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Got it finished this morning. Hopefully this little gift will endear me to the girl friends mother.



Hey Alex, I live south of Seattle, I frequent the Rockler store store in Tukwilla often. It’s a great place for everything wood working.Careful, it’s really easy to lose track of time in that store, luckily there is the South Center mall nearby if your girlfriend gets bored…:grinning:

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Hello all, my question regarding an inlay is the multiple colors. I have done inlays. then spray painted the inlay and sanded off the top and clear coated. but I would like to do an inlay carve where there is multiple colors on the raised letters as well as the border. any tips would be appreciated.