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Several questions about wood finishes

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  • Several questions about wood finishes


    I found on youtube and in here a simple procedure for painting and finishing my carvings:

    1. Dunk in minwax 209
    2. Paint
    3. 2 layers of polycrilic
    4. Dunk in another oil based stain and wipe off

    Obviously let things cure after each step.

    I have some questions about wood finishing and working with this category of substances.

    1. Wood stains are not wood finishes. They do not protect, they just color. They are just fancy paints. Correct?

    2. If not, I have also read that they can seal the wood fibers so you can paint over it with acrylics and have the color be more even and not soak into the wood. Is this correct?

    3. As I understand it, wood stains applied over paints should not change "base substances". E.g. do not apply an oil finish over water based paints or a water based stain over oil paints. So if I have water based acrylics then minwax is off-limits unless I have a layer of something else like polycrilic between them because minwax is mainly oil based, and I need to look into water based stains. Is this correct?

    4. Are any paints are ok? My girlfriend is an artist so she has lots of water based acrylic tubes from painter shops. There won't be any issue using these paints on wood or water based stains right?

    5. I read that oil based stains are better for antiquing because they start to harden as soon as you put them on the wood so even if you wipe it off, there will be some left. Is this also true for water based stains? Or oil stains are just so good that I'll use some clear finish on top of the paints to be able to use oil stains?​

    6. I read that wood stains need to be used outside because of the toxic fumes. Is this true? Unfortunately I only have a 4ft x 7ft "room" as a workshop. It does have a large window to the outside but the room is small and winter is coming. What would be best to use in my situation to mimic the procedure above? I'd like to avoid having to mix things myself.

    Last edited by Seckar; 09-22-2022, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    I moved your topic to this forum as a more appropriate place for it.

    I use acrylics most of the time on my painted carvings. When I'm using the paint straight from the bottle, I don't bother with sealing the wood first. If I want to use the paints as thin washes, I will usually coat the carving with a matte water based varnish first, applying 2-4 coats on the end grains so the paint doesn't soak right in.

    Water-based paint and stains do not need to be used outside. Oil-based ones probably ought to be used outside, depending. If it's a 2" tall carving, probably doesn't matter. If it's a foot tall, better take it outside.

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