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Black Basswood?

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  • Black Basswood?

    Hey guys, I am an architecture student looking to build a model from basswood. I know this is a woodcarving forum, but I thought I'd ask ya'll for advice about coloring wood. I was wondering how would I get black basswood? Should I stain or paint it? I still want it to have the wood texture and feel. Or is there another type of wood that is cuttable with boxcutters that would work better with stains or paint? I'm all new to this I'm not really sure what I'm doing. Any advice would be helpful!

    I've attached a photo of what I'm going for.

  • #2
    I'm by no means an expert when it comes to finishing, but I've painted a bit of basswood over the years, and if I understand what you are trying to do, this is what I would suggest. Get a small bottle of acrylic paint from most any craft store or most any of the "Dollar Stores " sometimes referred to as "Tole Paint". Dilute it with water to the consistency of milk ( maybe a ratio of 50/50 ) then............AND THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.... try it on a scrap piece of basswood. This should absorb into the wood like a stain would . If this gives you the result that you are looking for, then apply it to your project. Once it is dry, you may want to apply a coat of finish of some sort . Maybe a lacquer spray or something along that line, just to keep the paint from rubbing off when you handle it.
    Hope this helps,
    If you're looking for me, you'll find me in a pile of wood chips somewhere...


    • #3
      I watched a guy refinish an end table. Used India Ink for the black then top coats of shellac.
      Brian T


      • #4
        One of my fellow carvers uses India ink to dye projects. Works great. There is no black basswood, in nature. I hope that this doesn't become a black swan statement.


        • #5
          I would take a piece of scrap and try 5 to 1 dilution of black acrylic pant with water. So, for the test, use 10 drops of water and 2 drops of paint. Then go from there--more water or less. You can also add a little bit of gray to lighten it up if the black is too dark. They key is to test on scraps until you get the formula. Good luck!



          • #6
            I've not tried this with basswood, but with ceder, I was using thin ceder to make shingles for a miniature house and wanted the wood to show through the dark color, like weathered wood. I bought some white pickling stain and had the paint store add some black color to it. They can add as much or little color as you like. Then I wiped it on and wiped off the excess. A good wood grain showed up, as well as variation of color, like weathering. (not sure you want weathering!)


            • #7
              Your photo shows a very even color. I'd first seal the wood with a common sealer, or even a water-based varnish. Couple of coats. Then I'd start with black acrylic from the hobby store, diluted about 4-5 to one with water (4-5 water 1 paint). Try on a scrap piece of basswood first (including sealer). The sealer will allow your paint to darken the wood evenly. If too dark on the scrap, try adding a touch of grey, as BobL suggested.

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