Suggestions on how to finish woodland animals

I carved a few woodland animals for a friend to use to decorate their new baby’s nursery. I’m looking for some suggestions on how to “finish” them to make the carving/features pop. I don’t want to paint them. So, I was thinking I would stain them - but I’m nervous about bleeding and that my hand might not be steady enough for the finer lines.

Thanks for any ideas!


No specific input, but whatever you choose make sure its food safe, a toddler chew on everything :slight_smile:

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mineral oil or salad bowl finish would be a food safe option. From what I’ve heard, most finishes would be safe once cured, but it would be good not to risk it especially if this is for toddlers.

Shellac, the Non Toxic - Child Safe Finish!
I often use Zinsser Clear Aerosol.
It dries quickly and it is child safe.
The engraved parts will look a bit darker to enhance your design.
The kids are gonna love those!
Great work.

Food safe is the way to go. So in that category is mineral oil you can get at any drug store. Do not use any plant based oils because they can go rancid like vegetable, olive or any nut oils You could leave them natural or wax them with parafin. I would stay away from paste wax because many have silicon in them. Beeswax is a good natural finish but you have to melt it and apply several coats.

The mineral oil is easiest because you put some in a sandwich bag and put the items in side and let them soak for an hour or so then remove them and wipe them dry. Let dry overnight and wipe any excess mineral oil off or repeat the process.