Question on painting 3D carving

So I’ve carved a few 3D carvings, most recently a blue heron with a fish. But I have not painted any yet and I’m a total newbie. So what paints r best to use and a preferred brand. Same with brush’s. Also I’ve seen where a few have used a primer or a sanding sealer, any suggestion on that. Thanks for your help

Here is a great document written by Tim Merrill in 2009 about how to finish a 3D carving. The instructions are full of great ideas.

Finishing and Glazing 3D carvings .pdf (1.2 MB)

Note: Mr Merril’s document has been published many time on the web in many places, the place I first found it was on the Vectic site.

Here is the disclaimer that appears at the end of the document

Tim’s Disclaimer:
Everything presented here is offered free for your personal use. If you do use any of the techniques, products or tools mentioned, it is at your own risk. It is your responsibility to use your CNC and other power tools safely, including wearing the proper personal safety gear. Also, please take the time to read the MSDS sheets for all finishing products and observe the necessary safety precautions. To make the process easier for you, specific products are mentioned by name and manufacturer as appropriate. This is to provide you a starting point, assuming if you use these products, you should be able to achieve the same results as shown. I am not saying these are the only products to use or even the best products available, just the ones I like. I do not have any financial connection with any of these companies and will not benefit financially if you choose to use them. You probably do not want to try this process for the first time using that unique piece of wood you have been saving for that special project. Please start by doing some samples and practice, practice, practice.

Thanks, I saw that one. I was looking more for paints- do use acrylic paints, or oil paints.

I usually seal the wood with either a sanding sealer or polyurethane then use acrylic paints. For MDF I seal it with a clear glue.

can you give an example of clear glue?


I use this for MDF: