Chip Carving a Plate #6: Finishing

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Blog entry by MyChipCarving posted 10-05-2011 07:04 PM 18115 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Carving the Border Part 6 of Chip Carving a Plate series Part 7: Post pics of your carved plate HERE! »

The last steps to complete our plate is to apply a finish.
The finishing process gives many carvers headaches and can lead to much frustration.
With this in mind, I’ve created a series of finishing lessons in the My Chip Carving Video Vault.
I won’t create a full-blown finishing video for this class but instead will encourage you to check out the finishing series already created.

Here are the steps to finish your plate.

1. Remove all leftover pattern lines. The following video shows you how this is done.

2. Lightly sand and remove the dust with a vacuum cleaner. Apply one coat of sanding sealer. You can brush this on as it will soak into the wood and not pool in the bottom of your carving. Lightly sand and remove the dust after it has dried (1-2 hours)

3. SPRAY on 3 coats of satin lacquer. Lightly sand and remove the dust in between coats. 1 hour dry time in between coats. DO NOT brush on this finish. If you do it will pool in your carving and make a good carving very ugly.

4. With a small brush, carefully apply a gel stain in the carved areas. Wipe off any excess stain that gets on the surface using a clean cotton rag. Don’t over brush the stain. Just make sure to apply an even coat. Let it dry overnight.

5. Carefully reapply gel stain to areas that are lighter than other areas. Usually this is the with the grain areas of your carving. Let it dry 24 hours.

6. Spray a final top coat of satin lacquer. Let it dry. You’re done!

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

8 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2943 days

#1 posted 10-05-2011 07:39 PM

Awesome! :D Bravo! It was an excellent class!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Woodbutcher3's profile


410 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 10-06-2011 03:58 AM

I’ve been waitng for these tips! What great contrast!

Thanks. I hadn’t figured out the way you got such nice color inside the plate. I had just been using the gel and putting on about 3 coats and pulling the remainder out with a brush. I’ll be adding this to my bag of tricks!

My video ain’t workin’, so, you may already address this. I use graphite lead to do the drawing (as I’m sure you do) so it is easy to remove with the poly erasers you show. What I didn’t see and didn’t know if it it was in the video, is the use of alcohol and a Q-tip on delicate areas like ridges. So – just in case – there it is.

Keep the great stuff comin’

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View MyChipCarving's profile


604 posts in 3148 days

#3 posted 10-06-2011 03:58 PM

Thank you, Sheila, for the encouraging words!

Rod – is the use of alcohol and a Q-tip on delicate areas like ridges.

I’ve not tried alcohol to remove graphite. Does it do the trick?

Most of my pattern lines these days are toner based after applying the pattern with the Pattern Transfer Tool.
It takes the Tombow Sand Eraser or Ink Eraser Pencil to remove those lines. Lacquer thinner will dissolve toner but that would cause it to bleed into the wood.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View Gerry0's profile


14 posts in 2660 days

#4 posted 10-09-2011 07:10 PM

Great class, beautiful job!!!

View Brit's profile


7385 posts in 2865 days

#5 posted 10-14-2011 10:38 AM

Thank you for sharing your knowledge Marty. I will definitely be trying this in the future and placing an order with you. Have youever thought of selling your knives etc. through an outlet in Europe? Not sure if this is practical for you, but it would certainly cut down on the shipping/customs costs for those of us who live this side of the pond.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View MyChipCarving's profile


604 posts in 3148 days

#6 posted 10-14-2011 06:53 PM

Have youever thought of selling your knives etc. through an outlet in Europe?

Hi Andy, glad to share what I know with you and other LJ’ers. I hear what you’re saying about shipping/customs costs for non-US orders. Having a European outlet would be nice. I’d not thought of that yet. I’ll keep it on the back burner and see if it catches on fire!

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View goofy's profile


5 posts in 2478 days

#7 posted 10-27-2011 04:28 AM

I finished my plate a week ago. The instructions were great. Now I’m busy applying the gel stain. Not going real smooth. But I’ll get there.
Chip carving is fun…. applying get stain is not!

-- Jim, Minnesota

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4230 posts in 2584 days

#8 posted 10-27-2011 04:33 AM

Awesome job, thank you for letting us see it.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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