Testing Resin

With one of my earlier projects I had a issue with the color from the resin inlay being wicked up into the wood.
So I made a quick test carve to try different ways of sealing the wood to prevent this.

Carve, seal, fill with resin, sand, finish with a few coats of Tongue Oil

Here are the results:

0 - Raw Wood
1 - Clear Spray Paint
2 - Clear Resin
3 - Wood Hardener
0 - Raw Wood
1 - Clear Resin
2 - Shellac
3 - Raw Wood

The Clear Resin worked best at prevent the color from wicking. However, where the clear resin was wicked up it interfered with the absorption of the Tongue Oil finish. It isn’t very much, and is barely visible. But might be more visible if I was using a darker stain.

The next best sealer was the Shellac. 2 quick coats from a spray can.

I think the best results will be with a 2 stage approach.
Seal with shellac, then a thin layer of clear resin to seal the fibers that the shellac missed.
Hopefully that will prevent wicking wile minimizing interference with finish absorption.


What do you color your resin with?

I use Smooth-on SO-Strong color tints. Just a drop is enough to color a small batch.
I also use their Cast Magic powders.

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This is just an idea, what if you put painters tape over the wood before you carve it?

I’ve tried this. The gum from the adhesive on the tape will foul the bit and make a mess.

Not sure about resin, but I’ve had very good luck using Ceramacote “general purpose sealer” under my paint fills for both the X-Carve and the laser. Doesn’t let ANY paint wick.


Thank you for doing these tests, and, more importantly, sharing the results!

It seems like the clear resin is the best option to prevent the colored resin from wicking into the wood, but how are you applying the clear resin?

I’ve done a good deal of these and have found that sealing the entire blank, cutting, and again sealing the cut is the only way for me to stop the leeching when using poplar. It also worked on Birch ply.

I just poured the resin in the cut and over the surface. (the same way I have been doing the color resin infill)
I just pour less and blot up most of it with a paper towel after.

Though in the future I may use a brush or cloth to dab it on.

I am interested in trying something like this. what kind of resin is this (product name) where do yo get it?

I use epoxy resin from boating supply stores (Whitworths here in Oz). You get a litre for about $50-60 that will last more than a few jobs. Tint it with dye or pigment, some paints work too.

If you use casting resin it will shrink when drying, so its easier to remove from a mould, so I wouldn’t advise for inlays or filling text etc. Poly resin is cheaper but doesn’t stick as well. Epoxy is the winner for me!

Also be careful if filling large areas, as resin cures it heats up, which can warp your timber.