Woodworking finish order of operations question

So my wife would like me to make something very similar to this.

Scripty text, white background black letters. I’m hoping someone has a “oh why didn’t I think of that suggestion.”

To date I’ve used the ole - carve, paint it black, sand off the top layer and the text is still black method. Which works great so long as you want a natural wood finish.

Here though I’m looking for a painted white look with black text.
So I’m thinking of v-carving in poplar, and possible black tinted epoxy pour in the text. I’ve tried a test cut and pour and its next to impossible not to spill epoxy on the board. Question is, do I paint it white then attempt a pour, or carve, pour, sand, white paint and attempt to wipe the paint off the epoxy?

Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Oramask 813 Stencil Film is what I use paint white let dry well apply mask cut your design clear coat to stop bleeding then paint cut then remove mask works very well for me


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Thanks @timonjkl that’s exactly the type of solution I’m looking for.

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I would be tempted to use a pen attached to the cnc…

I thought about doing that, but I thought using a sharpie wouldn’t quite come across in terms of quality. Sharpie always has that purplish tint - especially on white - maybe that’s just east coast sharpies. I’m sure there’s some artsy black ink pen (like calligraphy) for something like this. Until my laser gets here from China I’m looking for alternate ways.

So I tried a few tests with what I had on hand which was some old contact paper. But it certainly provided some promising results - which might have been better if I had waited for paint to dry.


Gonna throw this out there, but have you thought of doing an inlay? Maple planks for the back and ebony for the text.

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I looked at the tutorial on f-carve about cutting an inlay. The Home Depot here has a wide selection as long as you choose poplar, pine or oak. That might be a project if I can find a local source of decent wood or find a cheap online option for some tests.

woodcraft sells the nicer woods. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a source for nicer lumber. You sometimes have to drive into bigger cities.

Here in Dallas, I have 3 lumber stores that sell exotic woods plus the woodcraft stores. The lumber store are an hour drive, so I typically go every few months with the trailer and stock up. I almost always have at least a few sticks of maple and walnut. Then I’ll get a few pieces of more exotic stuff to play with. It helps that when I’m driving in to work, they’re all a 5 minute drive from work, so I can go on my lunch break.

Not sure it helps, but I use shelf liner to do my masking. Generally works and cheaper I think than OraMask.



Saving monie is always good. Your results look great :+1:

Are you guys just not getting much tear out with your carves? Usually I’m having to go back for some light sanding when I’m just carving in wood? There are usually some fuzzies around the cut I’ve gotta knock down?

Using a v-bit, so I guess I don’t get tear out. But I do get fuzzies. I use mini chisels to clean them out and sometimes dental type picks.

I use a technique I call Quilling, manually laying down paint in the bottom of a flat cut. It goes faster than you’d think. Of course only the bottom of the groove gets painted, not the sides. You could possibly cut, paint white, then lay in the black.

These are the bottles that I use: https://amzn.to/2JAz8HI


I’m using the ones (Vbits) from Ryan’s store, could be just soft wood I suppose. Are you running those or a different type?

Interesting approach. I wonder if using a larger tip I could do the same approach with epxoy?

All great tips guys, learning a lot of new approaches to finishing here.


I think that would work.

Are you you using a final cut? How small is it? That’s usually the best place to clear up the fuzzies.

So I switched from conventional milling to climb milling and that seems to help some. I’m in EstlCam using Carve so the only thing I see for finishing pass on that is Finishing allowance. I’m trying values between 1mm and 10mm and not seeing a great deal of variance. The fuzzies aren’t terrible and on a plain wood finish nothing a quick sanding wouldn’t fix but what I’m wondering about is if there’s already a base layer of paint and adhesive film down I won’t be able to sand it. Perhaps the paint or film helps with the fuzzies. On the photo far left is conventional milling, to the right, switched to climb and progressively increased the finish allowance.