Tips on finishing with oil and paint on one piece please

As the title says really.
I’ve got an external sign to make out of ash and I’d like to use something like osmo oil (don’t know if it’s available in the US, it’s a thick oil that takes about half a day to dry).
The customer would like the v carved lettering to be in black too, what’s the best way to go about this?

Oil + sticky backed plastic stuff + carve + spray black?
My main worry is bleed from the black, (it’s a lovely cut of wood so I can’t waste it) and being unable to sand the top if there’s a problem as it’s already had the finish (the oil) applied.

Any help would be appreciated.

Will the oil eat the paint you’re going to use? If not, you could oil last.

Otherwise, your stated order of operations should be correct. Just make sure that the oil has completely dried/cured before applying the mask, and you want to get the mask, carve, paint, and peel all done within a single day. Look around the forum for tips on paint masking and using Oramask, lots of helpful advice.

I carried out some trial and error on a scrap piece of wood and the oil must be solvent based as it began to remove the paint I’d applied first.
Once it’s had its second coat of oil, I’ll use something similar to oramask and then spray on the paint.
I didn’t want to initially do this as I was a little worried about any paint bleed or any messy edges with the v bit as it would be trickier to rectify.

I’ve been alright in the past with ash, so fingers crossed it does bleed through this time.

I’ve had really good luck with Oramask. Just make sure you’ve got it down really well before starting your carve (use a vinyl applicator if you’ve got one). If you want a little extra peace of mind, you can hit it with a light spray of clear coat before spraying the black.

As usual, if you’ve got the material and time, do a small test piece first. :slight_smile:

Good tip about the clear coat, thanks!

For anyone reading this and thinking of attempting to use an exterior oil (in this case Osmo, maybe a Europe thing) and an oramask/sticky backed plastic approach… I wouldn’t do it how I suggested above, it didn’t work.
The oil doesn’t give a smooth enough finish for the paint mask to adhere to, the “greasy” finish means that once you start carving, it’ll flap up immediately.
Instead, apply the oil last, after the carving, painting etc has been done. In this case I applied it with a rag.
It was obvious really, shouldn’t over think things sometimes.

The finished sign.


I carved a small sign yesterday and spray painted the lettering with Rustoleum 2x oil based paint and gave it about 20 hours to dry/cure. Then sanded the overspray and applied Danish oil to the surrounding area not trying to but also not worrying about getting oil into the carve. Came back awhile later and all the letters were bleeding paint into the surrounding wood (Poplar). I hate Poplar but was using it because it’s relatively cheap. Resanded the bleeding and lost a little detail in the process. Sprayed with Rustoleum 2x clear Lacquer and 10 minutes later…more paint bleeding.
What the hell

I’m having good results with the following process.

  1. after the carve, seal the complete project with Bulls eye shellac.
  2. paint the carve (not being careful)
  3. sand the excess paint
  4. spray with water based polyurethane

the key is to seal the wood before you paint.
this will prevent the bleeding.

I use Oramask only when doing multi colored pieces. Usually I just run a naked piece of wood into the machine, then spraypaint the entire piece black (or whatever the inlay color is, then run it though a planer, then I’ll put a sealer on it, right over everything. Saves me a ton of time. I end up with super sharp lines, no wasted time.

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Your problem might be danish oil getting into the paint. They both have mineral spirits as an ingredient, some paint also has linseed oil in there.
The oil will be loosening the paint, turning it back into a liquid again. I wasn’t sure what my oil would do when it came into contact with the paint (it would probably start to remove it) so I made sure to just go up to the edge of the lettering.

All good tips. It didn’t occur to me that commercial oil finishes have a thinner as a carrier and I knew that. So would spray on lacquer. I saw a video from a guy who soaks his piece in a mineral oil bath for 24 hours then waits a few days to carve and paint. Actually he was using colored epoxy but I imagine the results would be the same with paint inside the carve. The grain popped as much as any expensive oil finish.