I’ve been spending some time putting a finish on the basswood and oak chalice box and have learned a lot from the process.
Basswood doesn’t really stain very nicely, in my opinion. So, I used a method of finishing the basswood that Fred Zavadil has perfected…and I’ve just started to learn how to do. The result is pretty nice, however, I’ll do a few things a bit differently next time that I finish basswood in this fashion.
I started by covering the basswood with a urethane finish, starting with a very thinned version of urethane and ending up with a more concentrated urethane. Although I thought that I had put a lot of urethane on the carving, I could have used more and next time I’ll ensure that the basswood is thoroughly saturated with the urethane before going on to the next step.
And the next step is applying some artists colours right over top of the urethane. With the urethane hardened on the basswood, the artists paints do not soak into the wood and you can manipulate the colouring to your liking. What I found with my first attempt is that the urethane hadn’t completely saturated all of the end grain portions of the carving, so the thinned down artists paints had an opportunity to soak to a minor degree into the wood. This made the process of manipulating the darker artists colours a bit more difficult.
I used a combination of burnt sienna and burnt umber for the colouring and I’m pleased with the way that it turned out. The colour is quite rich and the box has a bit of an antiqued look to it.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this diversion from caricatures as much as I have. Just click on the photos to make them bigger.