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I’m here because I’m stuck on what to use for my birch coasters without having them turn super dark and yellow. I avoid glossy finishes over pyrography as the high sheen can make it hard to see the artwork. Once I put a layer of polycrylic over the image (and the whole front of the tile) I tried Dupli Color clear coat matte spray and gloss spray as a heat resistant sealer. Also looking for something for trivets…apparently general paint makes something for wood A B clear or something like that…green can….not really expensive as it is ready to go out of the can….read comments on woodworking site person has taken hot off the stove onto his trivets (wood) and after 2 years they are still going strong….Will be looking for this in a small can to give it a try. If the coasters are made from a tree branch that was cut into slabs, they will most likely start cracking the minute they experience any sort of extreme temperature change. Answer from the Experts: Keeping the bark on chunks of wood, in my experience, is a hit-and-miss business. Wrapped them all nicely and gave them out at a baby shower. to help seal the colored pencil work what would you suggest to use as I like to get them glossy looking. I always sand my blanks down to at least 220 (grit sandpaper). Pin for later! I’d would venture a guess that it has to do with the glues as I doubt they are archival quality. Makes the wood feel like it is coated with plastic and Brenda doesn’t care for that. He repeats this until the board quits absorbing the oil, and this takes several days or more. Once the wood won’t absorb more oil, then he wipes off the excess, and let’s the board dry for a a couple of days. When collected and handled, they get charcoal all over one’s hands, and leave charcoal smudges on anything they touch. You mention these are coasters, so they will be exposed to wet and a variety of temperatures. You’re welcome. As for the paint that’s a tough one. My recommended protective finish for your paintings, Comparing different finishes for ceramic tiles – part 1, Testing spray finishes for your paintings, https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/dupli-color-autoacrylic-enamel-paint-340-g-0477518p.html, Supplies to Get Started With Acrylic Pouring, The Complete Acrylic Pouring Techniques Guide, 40 Essential Tips for Acrylic Pouring Beginners, Ultimate Guide for Using Silicone to Create Beautiful Cells. The only way to truly "waterproof" something made of wood is to either surround it in a resin of some kind and used as a thick film finish (subject to damage) or to force a resin into the wood structure via pressure/vacuum. Making your own DIY Cricut Coasters is really easy ! I’d prefer a matte finish. I am just beginning to get into pyrography seriously and am studying finishes, as in the past I have burned portraits and left them unfinished. While we’re on the subject, don’t ever use reclaimed wood (old fencing, etc) that has been outdoors or pressure treated wood. Finish and waterproof wood simultaneously with a stain-sealant combo. I hope that’s my help some of you I am new to pouring acrylic but I put the tile upside down in the paint that dripped off the canvas And put two coats on after the paint was dry I am going to be wood burning a friend of mine a door sign, and I will also be using acrylic paint what should I finish it with to keep it from getting weather warped, and keep it from fading since it’s going to be outside. I asked Todd as he is the wood worker, and he is doubtful it would make a good seal. One reason being that it’s rather expensive compared to jars of polycrylic or lacquer, but if it was the only thing I had on hand to seal the wood with then I used it. Here are some earlier trials and tests of other varnishes and products that you might like to check out: In this test, I used 3 previously painted ceramic tiles which had been left to fully cure for 1 month. The first coat is a 50/50 mixture of thinner and lacquer. I’m curious if there is any update to this? thank you for the comment and question. Do 2 tests on your scrap wood. Good luck with your project and thanks again for the question. Without further ado…, Last updated August 2020 – new finish test panel photo. So if you did art, I would keep it very simple like silhouette style of art. Brenda. The frequency depends on how many times I have to wash them due to oops. Brenda, Hi Brenda, this article is fantastic. Some species are reputed to shed their bark regardless of treatment (hickory is one with a bad reputation in this regard), while others are more likely to not shed their skin — walnut and basswood have a good reputation here. Love your videos. I highly recommend doing a small test board where you apply the paint you used and then coat the board with the finish of your choice. Continue until the wood quits absorbing the oil. First off the mineral oil will darken the wood a lot, and the knife will leave cut marks in the wood (and the artwork). Generally speaking, the only time you have to worry about bleeding is if you brush on a finish, so I would use a spray on sealant. Regarding the coasters, I use the Duplicolor engine enamel gloss clear. Be aware, that ALL pyrography on wood loses some of the very subtle tan shades. Good luck with your project, Hello Mam, I carve snakes onto canes and for the first time I used true color pencil for the color. And so far everything sticks to a warm mug. I would use Polycrylic. Lets says I use the mineral oil, but then they use beeswax in 6 months time? Also I’ve found that it’s better to burn a little darker because really pale subtle color tends to get lost after finishing. Regardless here’s what I’d recommend: Keep in mind that depending on how the coaster are made they might crack regardless. Then he wipes it down and lets it sit for a day or two. The quality of the paint might have an impact, but that’s just a guess. Brenda, Hi! Because this is a scrap wood project, I chose from offcuts that I have kept around for turning purposes on my lathe. Hi Rose, Another portion I was going to have one side (burned) to be used as a charcuterie board and the other side (unburned) as a trivet. If it’s going to be a functional cutting board mod podge is not food safe. Mostly he said what he doesn’t like about waxes, and oils for that matter, is that they attract dust and dirt. If you have questions, we have answers! Use food-grade mineral oil. It’s always good to see if the paint will react with the finish. Thanks. Just make sure to get the version for outdoor applications. Polycrylic is nice because it’s durable, stays fairly clear as it ages, and it doesn’t need to be sanded between applied coats. The thinner the wood the more chances for cracking, warping, etc. Another advantage is if a jar gets contaminated, only a little amount of the product is lost. When to use: I have used this for woodworking (jewelry boxes), but I no longer use it. Depending on how fancy the pyrography art is that you’ve done, you might lose some the lighter burn tones (light tans). I was wondering if you have any experience staining your pyrography? I’ve used them all, including doing nothing to the wood and can give a firsthand account of how that worked out over time. Then I applied the appropriate finish to that section following the directions on the can. Fahrenheit for 20 minutes and let them cool in the oven. Exploring the art form of Pyrography with Brenda Wilkie – free tutorials and patterns, This blog is a “how to” or “informational page” on the different products used to seal/finish fine art. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. It’s a wipe on product though. Unlike polyurethanes that really add a yellow hue to the wood. Keep in mind, standard coasters are anywhere from 3 ½ – 4″ wide, so make sure to use enough material. Most of the design will be stippled and deep black so i don’t think the polyurethane will ruin it. If you do want something that will handle very high heat, all I can tell you is to use mineral oil and treat the coasters regularly to keep them up. Thanks so much Brenda! Last thing I want is ruined artwork and it to be not food safe! thanks for the great question. I would use polycrylic. (this photo does not have the TruOil on it). When it came to hot mug testing the Engine enamel worked great except for metal mugs. When to use: I don’t use this product and have no experience with it. Sorry for just a long post and so many questions, but I really do value your great guidance! So far any problems I’ve experienced was due to really low quality color paints, pencils, etc. Maybe that’s the pregnancy talking! To Apply: In a well ventilated area apply a thin layer and let dry a minimum of 45 minutes. Hope that helps. This is a tougher form of Polyurethane with more solids in it and is consequently more durable. I have not used waxes over any of my art. My thoughts on the matter are: Helmsman makes an oil based Spar Urethane that should work perfect for you needs as it is UV resistance (sun protection) and protects against the wet elements. So helpful, clear, and logically done… really appreciate! Hope that helps. He only sands, and very lightly at that with 600 grit sandpaper, if the finish is feeling a little fuzzy or rough. Any resin you recommend? Again we do not have any experience with the spray on glues, so we can’t say for certain how good or bad any brand might be. Thank you for your great question. Which finish would you recommend to resist paints such as water color, acrylic and very rarely oil based paints? Position your arrow right side up on the wood slice and draw around the outline of the arrow to transfer the image to the wood slice. I just tested a finished tile with a cork bottom and everything went fine, there was no sticking. Todd uses a 2” wide brush to apply. If you burn on paper make sure it is 100% cotton. So far any really bad reactions I’ve had with color happened within a day as the finish dried. The next day I baked the tile in the toaster oven at 215-225 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour (just to let you know I experimented with all different times and degrees so I am just posting what time and temperature worked in the end). some of the engine enamel products available on Amazon.co.uk say that it should be baked after it has dried to fully cure the finish. Awesome article. If it’s outdoor sign, then yes Polyurethane should be applied. Have put pans straight from the oven at 400 and never hurt that finish. Once or twice a year it might need to be re-applied, but it is the only finish I would recommend for items that touch food. I’ve yet to see a rolling pin that has a finish on it. If your coasters are for a hot coffee mug, hot chocolate, etc., try Minwax Polycrylic. I have just been using polyurethane Fill the container just over halfway so you can submerge the wooden slice without overflowing the container. Also, make sure to apply in a VERY WELL VENTILATED room! Between the wood working I do and Brenda’s pyrography, we go through a lot of finish, so purchasing jars of finish is more economical for us. WHEN TO USE: Cutting boards and other items that are in contact with food and/or items that be will exposed to extremely high heats. I also keep directing people to your page when they ask questions in a facebook pyrography group that I belong to! The options are to use less light tan colors or burn on paper. Click to see full answer. If you really want to bake them you could use a grill. Hi Robert, If you like a glossy or shiny finish they have Krylon Clear Coat which will impart a touch of sheen. Thanks for the reply! Go to NAPA auto…..they have the same product in glossy finish. For the products that failed for me, some people say those products work perfectly for them and don’t stick. It can age over time, but is fairly easy to repair without sanding down the wood. Do you know how I can get rid of the smell? It sounds like you say food grade mineral oil is the oil to use, as it is not only food safe, but also protects from heat, which is great! Modge-Podge, and dozens of Femina and other home décor magazines collected over the years was enough to get us rolling and get our hands dirty for the decoupage project.Over the next two hours Sunday afternoon, I flipped through Femina/Elle cutting out interesting words and colorful pictures. The one’s i have that cracked i resealed and then did 2 coats of wood glue on and seems to be working. I am looking for the matte finish though…much prefer it to the high gloss….but would like to give customers a choice….this dupli comes in a matte finish more expensive than the gloss but if the gloss works I will spend the extra for the matte finish… We’ve tried Krylon Kamar Varnish Spray and Liquitex High Gloss Varnish, and both turned out great! What do you recommend? I always tell people who buy my art to hang it in a place where it doesn’t receive directly sunlight. thank you for the question. Cut out paper design circles and a carbon paper circle the same size. Thanks again for all the great info I’m excited to try things out! 3 thin coats will provide much better results than trying to apply 1 thick coat. You can still scratch it, dent it, break it, etc. Shellac is a “natural” finish in that it is made out of the secretions of a female Lac bug and a solvent (alcohol). You could also use a piece of felt, or even a few sticky felt or foam dots – just something to keep the bottom of the coasters from scratching up any furniture. For one-off application I’d use boiled linseed oil (least expensive and relatively non-toxic when dry), or preferably tung oil if available. There is an odor. Hi Rose, Mod Podge is a waterbase sealer, glue, and finish. One article said that the acetone and thinners in lacquer can eat through other finishes and really make a mess. I had sticking problems with both the matte and the gloss products but more so with the gloss. If it’s an indoor sign, then I’d recommend polycrlic. While I was experimenting with time and temperature when using the Engine enamel I noticed that, outside of the metal mug, there was one mug that kept sticking. The oil is a “blend of linseed and natural oils.” Can be buffed to achieve a luster finished. Like all artwork, exposure to UV will increase fading. They look like the ones you could probably find at any craft store. Have a wonderful day! You are attempting to protect it against water (spilled or just humidity), oils (from your fingers or anyone else’s fingers who picks it up to look at it), and dirt that can accumulate and then get ground in when touched; giving it a dingy look. Hi Victoria, If you start with a polycrylic, then finish with a polycrylic. I even baked the tiles in a toaster oven in the garage (I bought a second hand toaster oven for $10 to use for crafts) to see if that would help the sealers cure more; it didn’t work, certain hot mugs still stuck when left for more than a few minutes. (Although I’ll probably just add a bottle of mineral oil with the gift.). Continue this process until you reach the number of desired coats. I coated each coaster with Danish Oil, which really brought out the grain and helped seal the wood against the moisture they would inevitably come in contact with. Apply 2 coats of a clear spray sealer to the coasters to seal and waterproof them. Chlorine Bleach and Latex Waterproofing Compound Chlorine bleach is a surprisingly effective option to help waterproof ceramic coasters—mix one-half cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water. Let it sit for several hours and then apply another coat. I am making tile coasters that have paper images on them. I’m guessing that’s because of how plywood is made (lots of glue involved), but I don’t know that for sure. Next warning: there is no “best” finish. Unfortunately when burning on wood you will always experience some fading as the wood ages and continues to oxidize. I am a woodworker/woodturner who recently “discovered” Pyrography. I am looking for something on wood. One that I’ve had great results with is Krylon’s Matte Finish. They will handle extreme temperatures (even items fresh from the oven) and repel water, but I’m not sure how much they will darken the wood. Plus the finish will also help keep the letters adhered to the board. So this will help a lot. On trial this week: Polyurethane is more durable, but it is also a lot more stinky and imparts a yellow hue to the wood. I’ve taken a pan out of a 450 degree oven and placed it on a oil coated trivet with no problems. Todd thinks that the only reason a coast would crack is if it was made out of a tree branch cut into slabs. Todd always uses food grade mineral oil for cutting boards. The chemical properties of the different finish are not always compatible with each other, so mixing finishes can ruin the finish or prevent it from curing properly. I’ve been using polycrylic so far, but like you’ve pointed out.. that plastic-like finish isn’t my favourite. I made a table top easel that i would like to decorate with some pyrography. Hi Stan, Food grade mineral oil is what I use to treat cutting boards and trivets with. Brenda. I didn’t bake it, I wouldn’t in case of any fumes. My local car part supplier yielded three possible spray finishes to try on my tiles. Glad you found the article informative. Hi Adam, Make sure to use the same type of finish for both spraying and brushing on. All thoughts are welcome. Im thankful for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Sand lightly and then brush on another coat. So even if someone were to forget to recoat it once or twice a year, it would still be food safe? To Apply: Pour oil directly from bottle onto properly prepared wood surface in a well ventilated area. I then take a bowl of water and a rag and wet down the wood thoroughly and let it dry. Thanks so much for doing these tests deby. Hi Valerie, Is Resin the way to go if I am wanting to coat coasters that I have acrylic painted and then plan to sell? Once fully cured the manufacturers claim they are food safe, but make sure you purchase one that the label states this. Because the wood is porous, it will leak air bubbles into the resin. Pyrography is a wonderful artform to work in, and my website is a way to share my love of the medium and hopefully encourage others to try the artform. Thanks for doing this! Let sit for a minimum of 24 hours after last coat before placing outdoors. Fully cured in 4 weeks. The reason you’re doing this is because, when you put your finish on, it’s wet and that will raise the nap, so you will then have to sand it to get it smooth. I’m going to order from Amazon right now! God only knows how long the wood has been there being exposed to a host of toxic fungi, molds, etc. If you will be covering the board with vinyl, then I’d use the finish of your choice to seal the wood. These are mostly for things like cutting boards to keep the wood moisturized and to prevent water from penetrating the wood that would causing it to warp, swell, or crack (this is mostly on end grain cutting boards, but you get the idea). Create your design Some woods are worse than others, but I’d put Plywoods at the top of the list for aging. Not to say that natural aromas of wood can’t be toxic as I’ve know of people with allergies to pine trees, so they can’t use “real” christmas trees. 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