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Janel

Masking when staining

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Hi all, I am considering how to mask the mini-pumpkin to add variation to its surface. I have thoughts on what to use, but am wondering if anyone has had experience with masking the surface of the wood, or in other cases other materials, to enable one to create complex coloration?

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Thanks Doug,

 

What is heptane? Do you use wax hot? (Potters use hot wax or a water based liquid wax as a resist when glazing pots, but both burn off during the firing)

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Heptane's a solvent. I dip the brush in the solvent, then squiggle it over a block of beeswax to solubilize some and then brush it on the wood. Once dyed, you can just remove it with a swab dipped in solvent. I think naptha or odorless turpentine might work too. I'm really awful when it comes to knowing these solubility things. I have the luxury of a lab at work with a whole host of smelly liquids to try- blindly sometimes :unsure: .

 

Does the potter's wax resist solubilize with anything? As you say, it's normally burnt off.

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Some carvers I know have used frisket (flat artist's masking fluid, as used for watercolors, etc) with some pretty spectacular success. I haven't tried it myself.

 

Maybe rubber cement? Of course, this advice is worth every penny you paid for it, so a wise person would experiment on scrap first...

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Some carvers I know have used frisket (flat artist's masking fluid, as used for watercolors, etc) with some pretty spectacular success. I haven't tried it myself.

 

Maybe rubber cement? Of course, this advice is worth every penny you paid for it, so a wise person would experiment on scrap first...

 

Liquid frisket works well, if you are staining "locally" and being careful about how much stain you use.

 

For me the problem with staining is getting it where I don't want it to be via capillary action, no matter what I use as a mask. This will be less of a problem with boxwood than with many other woods, but I don't know how well frisket would prevent it if you're going to immerse the object in stain or dye. I imagine a wax based formula might work better for that. Turps is fine as a solvent for beeswax, as is odorless mineral spirits.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I thought about what was available today without shopping, and tried clear fingernail polish, or nail lacquer, and removed it with the standard nail polish remover. It worked as a resist, but I did not like how the wood did and did not take the stains. Now I will not be using a resist on the piece awaiting completion. I've got time enough for oil to do its thing before the convention, so no experimentation this time.

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