How To Add Color To Wood Burning 2021

In this article, we will discuss “How to add color to wood burning” in detail and you will know about many interesting facts about wood colors and how to add those colors.

Can you burn color into wood?

Wood burning and coloring both always makes a perfect match. The theory of wood burning, also known as pyrography, which takes itself to different varieties of techniques and every high level of skill. Coloring can also bring surprising life to most of the natural tones of wood. For most of the people, it is an amazing stress reliever, whereas for others, it can also be known as an exercise of autonomy. I’ll choose any color of my choice. Many researches also indicate that coloring can also help the brain to disconnect from many anxious thoughts and focus on the moment. But it is not too necessary to color a wood burning project, and no need to put the two techniques together for some magical results. Unfortunately, most of the experiments of coloring a wood burning project mainly use water-based paints. But this is not a right choice, because water can result in raising the grain of the wood.

How To Add Color To Wood Burning

Tools needed:

  • Pencil, brush, rubbing alcohol
  • Colwood Detailer
  • Blue tape, container for alcohol
  • Carbon paper, dried-out rollerball pen, eraser
  • Box and tracing paper.

Recommended Supplies

  • Wood Burning Unit: I have used the Colwood Detailer. It costs by $150.00 and also includes a different variety of tips. It can be highly recommended if you want to become serious about wood burning.
  • Natural Wood Box: They’re usually available from Hobby Lobby in $1.99 each.
  • Tracing Paper
  • Carbon Paper
  • Scribing Tool: You can use this to transfer your design on the wood. A dried-out rollerball pen really works very well.
  • Inktense Watercolor Pencils: Though it is hardly used for watercolor techniques on paper, and such pencil works are drawn very well on wood.
  • White Acrylic Paint
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Small Artist’s Brush
  • Blue Tape
  • Ruler

Can you stain over wood-burning?

When you are done with burning out your design you can easily stop here and let it be done. Whereas, there are a few steps which you can follow to make your piece much better. Your first option should be to stain your piece. If you want some parts of wood to remain lighter, so you will have to just avoid them as you stain.

  • Pick any color wood stain of your choice and just cover the whole piece of wood.
  • Don’t worry – it would not mess up your art.
  • If you want some parts of wood to remain lighter, so you will have to just avoid them as you stain.

You can also use some acrylic paints to add a little pop of color:

  • So, when you’re painting, you will have to be a bit more careful when using the paint than you would be with the stain.
  • If you will get your paint into the grooves of your design, it can usually cover them up and you’ll have to try much more and easily clean them out.

When the stain or paint has dried, after that you can add another coat of wood varnish to make it shiner and protected!

How do you use pyrography color?

Pyrography usually refers to a monochromatic art. Most of the best artists put many shades of brown in their own pyro artwork to make more depth, shading, highlights, and add detail, and after that you will find the results are really very beautiful.

Whereas, some pyrographers want their work to look more like Kodachrome than a sepia tone. They have also been experimenting with adding color to their projects earlier a lot, a little, vibrant, and they also shared their techniques in our 2012 Pyrography special issues forms.

  • Cindy Adams usually colors her wood pieces with some felt-tip pens. “You can also blend the color very easily and make it swim in the wood with a little flow of water,”. And, she also said confirmly, “Pens don’t usually detract from the contrast when they are burned.” In “Color-Full Burns,” Cindy easily explains the technique and also offers an easy pattern to practice on the same.
  • Deborah Pompano always used colored pencils to cover a pair of swans with a soft sunset glow in Soul Mates. “By using light pressure, applying many layers of color,” Deborah easily advises in her article, “And also creating a decorative platter.” Deborah’s pattern always includes bonus instructions for a double layered border by using many beautiful images and also an inspirational quotation.
  • Doris Lindsey usually wants to add a little amount of color in her landscapes by using acrylics.

How do you fill in wood-burning?

  1. Design Stage
  • An amazing and unique design for your wood burning project is very important. Refrain from corner cutting in this stage as it usually reflects in the final production. that makes for a beautiful design? St. Thomas Aquinas’ meaning became true for me: “Beauty is that which is beautiful to the eye of the creator.” Yes, beauty may be easy and tastes vary among creators, yet a universal meaning usually exists as what is lastly attractive.
  • Realizing that topic, the ancient Greeks developed a form of design principle to help artists. The most important of these basically include balance, repetition, harmony, proportion, contrast, and unity. Except for one’s subject matter, these topics often help create a good sense of classic beauty.
  • When searching for a new design, I first searched in a sketchbook until I arrived at something that suppose me. It usually takes several tries to smooth out the clumps. After the designing, I need to refine and perfect the same design, I proceed to make it transfer on the tracing papers. By using tracing paper is more useful because it is much easier to make it transfer the design on the desired wood. You can also want to practice the color combinations on most of the scrap wood or paper before making it into a good surface.
  1. Design Transfer
  • When you are going to transfer the design, then it would be a very good idea to go to the wooden surface at the very first adding with some of the light sanding papers. Generally, it is the best, but something coarse may be essential by using the damaged wood.
  • After that, remove the particles with tough cloth, do not use a cloth damped with water, as this will already raise the grain of the wood. If you need a border for a design, it will result in best to draw this on the wood very first. I will cut the paper to confirm the size of the top of the box, and you will also use blue tape on four corners to keep it more stable.
  • To make the design transferrable, I usually place an old piece of carbon paper between the drawing and the wood. New carbon paper will tend to transfer the lines on it very intensely, but it is also possible to use a very light touch as well. Some of the creators may not like to use carbon paper at all since it has a very stable greaseiness, which may also affect the color of the wood burning. Here is one other option is to rub the back of the design with a colored chalk pencil.
  • The method which is preferred, you will usually need to go on the lines on top of the drawing with some issues of scrubbing tools, like a dried-out rolling ball pen. When the design is transferable, you can easily don’t remove the tape entirely as it may happen that you missed sometimes.
  1. Burning the Design
  • When transferred to the design, the moment of joy has also arrived. Yes, the preparation may seem tough, but it is well spent. It is especially rewarding if you are spending time into the design and feel more confident about it. Patience is more useful when wood burning, as Michelangelo said, “Genius is eternal patience.”
  • Cheaper wood burning tools will take some time to warm up, so you may wish to plug it in before transferring the design. The boxes which come from Hobby Lobby are pinewood, which is tolerable, and not ideal.
  • On soft woods such as pine or basswood, a bad sign mark will usually occur if you are holding the tip on the wood for so long. It is very useful to having a scrapped wood for practicing more and testing the effect of that hot tip. I have usually worked on basswood, aromatic cedar, cherry, and oak. Birch is here highly recommended.
  1. Cleaning
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When the design is burned, so go to your piece of wood with an eraser to clean any of the carbon lines. Make sure you are not using a pink eraser, and it may leave streaks. I can use a white eraser called Staedtler.

  1. Coloring
  • To adding the colors to a burned wood, I want to use Derwent Inktense watercolor paints. The 24-pencil selection is more sufficient for my needs, more larger assortments are basically available. When applying, those pencils appear as a regular colored pencil both on paper or wood. When moisturized with alcohol, wherever, the color automatically dissolves in the paint. And most of the ordinary colored pencils can also tint the wood surface, so this method explained here usually allows the color to concentrate the wood fibers.
  • It will usually color everything with some of the dry pencils before moisturized by using a brush. To mix better with the wood, I usually prefer colors that are mainly transparent, but others may basically prefer intenses, opaque applications. After applying some colors, put most of the rubbing alcohol in such a small dish and soak a soft artist’s brush in it.
  • Why do you want to using a rubbing alcohol instead of water? Basically the watercolor pencils usually requires some amount of water, but water will always raise the grain of the wood. To avoid the unpleasant effect, it will be best to use rubbing alcohol in some place of water. When adding, the white watercolor pencil is very fine for making some more shades, but for a very strong white, the best option is acrylic paint mixed with rubbing alcohol. I have already used a gold paint pen, which can also help in giving just the right touch on some desired projects. Whereas, so make sure to use good ventilation when you are using toxic paint pens.
  1. Varnishing
  • When you are completed the color stage and letting it dry, it is really wise to varnish your project. This will already bring out the colors more and will basically protect from scratches. I have usually tried several varnishes on wood burnings, including linseed oil, polyurethane, and shellac. Whereas, my preferred varnish is more liquor, which is basically available at most of the hardware stores. It doesn’t seem yellowing,quickly dries, and also gives a very good finish. Even more, if the application seems too glossy, it can also be removed easily.
  • It is a box with metal hinges and clasps, it is really best to remove them before vanishing. Make sure to using good ventilation when using lacquer.
  1. Felt Padding
  • The inside of the box used in this demonstration is designed for holding playing cards, but it can easily be used for storing jewelry or other strings. There you will find an extra touch to make it much more presentable and unique and you will have to add felt to the inside of the box.
  • It usually comes in a variety of colors, but usually, I think red looks much better. Dark green usually looks good.That’s why I am recommending you to use felt with a peel-away back instead of felt that usually requires glue.
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Add Color To Wood Burning

Watercolor On Wood Burning

Wiping the burning with a slightly soft cloth, After that allow it to dry neatly. Fill a small amount of every watercolor that you will always be using on a tile or any color palette. So you will have to work each color thin instead of that color mixed with a few drops of water. As more water you will add the more paler or more transparent the color which will appear on your desired board.

When you are not liking painting on paper, the wooden surface does not usually warped out when touched with watercolor paints. Whereas, the colors can also scatter around if the required wood is not permanently sanded or primed, so after making the painting it will look like a mess of colors. And to make the paint stay at a single place, you will have to make it very thick after adding a little amount of water.

So, there are so many different ways of adding color to wood, but watercolor is my favorite one.

There are also a lot of things which you are going to know before you will start adding watercolour on a wooden surface.

It basically does not act in the same way that watercolor paper used to do so. Where you will place it, it will soak in the colors and stick to it. You will not be able to blend as easily as you can do on paper. Specially if you are adding colors to a dried piece on a wooden surface, that wood will usually soak it right up because it is always being very thirsty.

Be careful while using too much water or you can split the wood:

You can also think that you can create more blending by adding some more water, which you can easily do, but it can also be at the area of the entire piece of the wood.

I prefer to use water brush pens for my paint brushes:

These are some paint brushes that usually hold the water or water color in the handles of the wooden surface, and you will easily squeeze them to get water on your brush. I love doing so, because I usually have much more control on the amount of water which I am using, and it also saves my lot of time from having to dip back in the water placed in the glass. There are also some preferred watercolor manufacturers that I usually love most like Arteza and Winsor & Newton, but here also a very cheap pallet of color from your local store will basically do just fine. If you are looking for some metallic pigments, then i will not gonna recommend you any of the Fine-Tec Paints enough.

Wood Burning Project

Pyrography refers to the art of burning images in wooden surfaces. As it can also take many years to become a master in pyrography, even most beginners can also make some beautiful items to keep or sell.

Wood burned items are highly marketable and can be sold at many craft fairs and online. There are some following projects that are more appropriate for beginners who are looking to sell and trying to make a little profit.

  1. Harry Potter Cutting Board

This project is basically proved perfect for Harry Potter fans and can also be customized according to the different Hogwarts Houses!

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In the beginning of this project, most of the artist sketches out the design of the Gryffindor crest on a huge cutting board, after that they will burn the outlines of the entire design and adding light shading to some of the elements of the crest. The shading is basically optional for this project, but can also add visual interest to the piece of that art.

  1. Decorative Spoons

At the very first, you have to begin with some plain wooden spoons and sketch or stencil your desired design on the surface of the spoon. Stencils, stamps, and free-hand drawings will usually work best for the small surface areas of spoons and on some other utensils. You will have to use a light hand when burning the outline of your pattern.

Most of the artists also use letter pen tips that usually burn initials on the surface in seconds. So please try to consider investing in some of the tips of pens if you are interested in personalizing your own designs.

  1. Celtic Knot Box

In the beginning of this project by sanding down your wooden box. When you are using a stencil or a free hand design, you will have to trace Celtic knots vertically to the top and sides of the desired box. After that burn the linework at a very medium temperature by using a knife-edge pen tip.

To achieve a very smooth, consistent pen stroke, so you have to burn a long, constant stroke, and after turning the box as you work. Make it complete shade with a spoon-shaped pen to add a 3-D effect to the knots of your artworks. So you will have to use a high temperature of brush strokes to shade in the background of the knots. Then shade in small circular motions to create an unique and amazing texture.

  1. Floral Picture Frame

In the beginning of this project, you will go for a free hand draw or can also use a stencil to create a desired floral design in the opposite corners of the frame. So you will burn all the lineworks of the flowers and then you will have to fill in the flowers with shading as desired.

Then you have to use a finished product to complete this as an easy task, yet it is a beautiful project which would work great as an amazing gift for your anniversary, birthday, special occasion or for someone special.

How to Prepare Wood for Burning & Finishing

1) You have to put your finishing product in a container before applying

When you are dipping your brush directly into the can of color finish will dominate the entire product. If your brush has also been used on wood previously, then some of the wood’s color may also have soaked into the tips of the brush and will always cause discoloration at the finish if it was dipped in the can directly.

So you will have to work with some small amounts in a very clean bowl to prevent spreading of your entire paint of finish.

2) You have to make sure that your work environment, finishing product, and wooden surface should be warm.

Most of the sealants will always require warm temperatures to properly set and to make it dry. You will have to read the label of your given product to see what temperature is to be required. So, you will have to make sure that the place where you are working is to be warm, as well as the paint can dry and finish itself.

By warming your desired wooden surface will also be too beneficial in the setting process and prevent all the cramps from forming on your work.

3) Work in a well-ventilated area.

Most of the finished products are usually made of some strong chemicals that are potentially damaging when inhaled by most of the paints. So you will have to work in an airy, open space to avoid many health risks.

Add Color To Wood Burning

Spraying products vs Brushing Products – Which is Best?

You can also this for spraying on products but it can also cause pooling and unevenness sometimes when sprayed incorrectly. Even, steady sprays will also prevent these types of issues. Overall, the money that you will have to save can also make the process of brushing much slower on finishing worth it in the long run.

Spray On Advantages: 

  • Convenient
  • Good for small projects

Spray On Disadvantages:

  • Less cost-effective
  • It always requires good technique to avoid pooling

Brush On Advantages

  • Cost effective
  • It is very easy to control application and amount of product used

Brush On Disadvantages

  • Time consuming to apply


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