Leaf inlay to cover up paint stain

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Project by ic3ss posted 12-28-2010 08:30 AM 5269 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I picked up this solid oak desk for my daughter last August for $25 at a garage sale. It had a few paint stains on the top, so I decided I wanted to try inlay. After reading everything I could on it, I knew what I wanted to do. I found a video from the wood whisperer that does this leaf inlay and It was the perfect solution. I drew out my picture on tracing paper on the desk in a design that covered up all of the spots. I picked up some chisels and wood strips from Rockler and set to work. I used zebrawood for the leafs and wenge for the twig. A great idea from the video was to burn the leaf halves to shade it.

I just finished it tonight, and after scraping smooth, I put on a couple of coats of wipe on poly. And to my surprise the wipe on poly just wiped off of the existing oak finish leaving nothing behind so it ended up looking really good. The only snag is of course there are several gaps in the inlay. A couple are at the tips of the leafs where the burnt zebrawood broke off, so I filled them in with the wood scrapings and glue. This is the first time I’ve used wood working chisels. I was at Rockler looking at them, they had two brands. One made in China and the other made in Germany. In keeping with my reluctance to buy Chinese, I picked up a couple of Kirschen (Two Cherries) chisels. While buying only USA made tools is pretty much impossible unless you have a lot of money, refusing Chinese made tools is still an option, and I’d rather buy European before Asian. I like the Two Cherries chisels, and I bought their scraper and burnishing tool also.

I can’t wait for my next inlay project, this one was pretty fun and my daughter is happy to have her desk back.

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

7 comments so far

View RayCurtis's profile


128 posts in 3192 days

#1 posted 12-28-2010 09:16 AM

Really good job for a first try. What a great way to recover a good piece of furniture. It came out beautiful.

-- RayCurtis

View bvdon's profile


482 posts in 3043 days

#2 posted 12-28-2010 10:04 AM

That’s really nice. Never done it myself, but want to try it out someday.

View beatlefan's profile


56 posts in 3127 days

#3 posted 12-28-2010 04:12 PM

That is some nice work—looks great !!

-- Tony --

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3796 days

#4 posted 12-28-2010 10:47 PM

Thanks for sharing. I think a lot of us can think of an area of our homes that we can use this ‘cover-up’. Also, I go to auctions and the next time I see a good piece of furniture that has a bad place on it I will think of doing this.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Vicki's profile


1099 posts in 3373 days

#5 posted 12-30-2010 06:22 PM

Beautiful and artistic. It looks perfect to me.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View SawDustJack's profile


28 posts in 2690 days

#6 posted 02-15-2011 12:26 AM

not my thing but very nicely done

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3317 days

#7 posted 02-15-2011 02:27 AM

Oh man that came out perfect.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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