Dry Brushed Acrylics over Oil Stain for Wood Carvings

Wood carved, whittled bird decoy by Lora IrishThis free online wood carving project by Lora Irish will take you through the simple steps of adding a stained dry bushed finish to your carvings.

Working a water based acrylic paint over an oil based sealer or stain sound counterproductive. Everyone knows that water and oil don’t mix so the the acrylic can never adhere to the oil , but it does when it comes to painting wood carvings.

In this Whittle Bird project I am using acrylic craft paints over two oil steps – one sealer step and one antiquing step. As I add the acrylics they take on an oil paint look.




Wood carved, whittled bird decoy by Lora IrishSupplies:

1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ x 3″ basswood block
bench knife

linseed oil
burn umber artist oil paint
soft, dry rags for antiquing

Acrylic craft colors:
Summer Sunset – pale burnt orange
Cardinal Red – red
Alizarin Crimson – maroon
Honey brown – golden brown
Carbon black

large brush for antiquing
medium sized #4 filbert round

mixing pan for the oil

Working with oil stains in your wood carvingsStep 1: Begin by carving the body of your Whittle Bird from the basswood block using your bench knife. With a v-gouge add fine detailing lines for the beast on the underside and finely packed short lines along the top back for feathers. Buff the carving with a dry cloth to bring it to a soft sheen.



Working with oil stains in your wood carvingsStep 2: Pretreat the Whittle Bird with a mix of one part linseed oil and one part turpentine. Brush this mix over the wood and allow it to sit for 10 minutes to soak into the wood. Wipe with a clean cloth. Repeat. This linseed/turpentine mix can be used as a final finish for your carvings if you want a natural wood look.



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