Tips For Finishing With Paint Please

V bit carving for the first time yesterday and I’m really pleased. Second pass was on target too.

My finished project isnt quite what i wanted.
Once I carved the lettering onto the oak with a 90 degree bit (dont have a 60 yet), I wiped it over with shellac (one coat), then later brushed over the letters with water based paint. Once dry I then sanded off the surrounding paint.

I’d like some advice on making the insides of the letters smooth. At the moment they look bitty, but they didnt look like that pre paint. Is it just a question of too much paint? I’ve got a spray can but I’m a total novice with it.
Any tips would be lovely.


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Wire brush will help to get most of the fuzzies out. There are a lot of videos on this. Here’s one of mine

Thanks. I’d forgotten about using a wire brush. I think spray paint might be the best way of doing it too, v bit is a fine tool so you want a fine finish. If it was “homestead” font, a brush would’ve work as it’s not too intricate.

I wonder if a couple coats of shellac would be a better barrier? Shellac isn’t waterproof but it is water resistant. I wonder if it got through and raised your grain some?

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You might be right. I was impatient and didn’t bother with anymore than one coat. I also do french polishing, where you apply plenty of coats of shellac and rub it down between each coat. I didn’t do either!

Don’t use latex paint for painting your carvings!
This causing the grain to raise due to the water in the paint.
Use an oil based paint, or lacquer based.

Another thing to help with the final finishing is to use a vinyl mask, applied before the carve, which will cover the body of the project. After carving, the only areas exposed are the ones carved.

Great tips there, thank you very much!