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22 Finishing

This swag of flowers has many deep crevices and grooves, which my normal way of applying beeswax is sure to clog. So I'm adapting my method to make sure the carving remains sharp.

Subscriber download: Swag of Flowers - Working Drawings


| 22 March 2019 20:42

Thanks Chris,

From your helpful comments I conclude that for waxing, as shown in this video, you do not need to seal the wood first.

Best wishes

| 19 March 2019 09:57

Martin - I wonder if you are confusing two words here? - and possibly haven't picked up the right word?

Glue 'size' is a tacky liquid which comes in a variety of drying speeds and is used for oil gilding - sticking the gold leaf to a surface.

I've never heard of penetrative 'seizing', but 'size' in this context would be some sort of sealer, thinned shellac for example. The problem with staining or oiling wood is that open/cut end fibres are more absorbent that the sides of the fibres and thus you get a darker stain or more oil absorbed in these parts. So, sealing, which is really only partial sealing, inhibits this excessive makeup and gives you a more uniform finish.

That's my take on it. Does it help?
I keep all my finishes simple and the best advice I can give you is always to experiment on spare wood first with anything you are unsure of, and once you have a few good finishes you like stick to them!

| 17 March 2019 09:56

Dear Chris,

Sealing before waxing or oiling a wood carving is often suggested (using sealants based on shellac or acrylic).

It is said to both prevent oil/wax being absorbed rather than remaining on the surface and to avoid substances from inside the wood penetrating to the surface.
The term "penetrating seizing" is also used and might mean the same as sealing, not sure.

Before painting or gilding a carving,or part of it, priming is suggested for similar reasons and to improve adhesion of the final coating to the surface. Gesso for paint and clay for gilding?
Gold than needs a seizing layer to adhere (which seems to be different to penetrating seizing - I get a bit lost in the terminology)

Your waxing technique looks less complicated. It also seems to alter the natural colour of the wood less than when I used shellac sealer before oiling.

A brief reply would be helpful if you find the time.



| 25 September 2018 07:37

Larry - Yes, I use wax thinned with turpentine on carvings to prevent clogging up the details.

You'll find lessons on making and applying the stuff here: videos > carving matters > finishing > wax.
Or just put 'wax' in the search box, top left.

| 21 September 2018 12:43

Is the wax thinned with turpentine to make it thin?

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