Which paints are best for wood crafts? It can be balsa wood, popsicle sticks, or something similar that you’re working with. If you enjoy woodcrafting, this post is for you. let’s say you have a jewelry or trinket box, balsa wood sculpture, or wall plaque you’re seeking to paint and display.
Because wood is semi-porous, it will “grab” paint more quickly and you won’t be bogged down with applying multiple coats. Maybe two. It is still a good idea to apply primer to hide the natural flaws that show up in wood such as the grain lines. I don’t work with wood very extensively, but I like things that have a natural look to them.
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My Favorite Paints….
But first, let me tell you all about my favorite paints. I have always had a large collection of what’s known as ‘all purpose” craft paints. You may have seen these before. They come in 2 oz bottles and are known by many names, like DecoArt, Folk Art or Apple barrel, all of these are under the subsidiary name Plaid – that part’s not so important, but what is , is these paints’ wide range of colors and fun applications.
As a “low viscosity” kind of acrylic paint, I don’t recommend them for serious work on canvas, but they do great on finished wood projects. Here are a few of mine, a tissue box (I later on stenciled the sides) a jewelry holder and a mini drawer thingy (used to store knickknacks, no doubt)
All of these items I have painted with one of these. Correction – the jewelry rack in the middle, I mean the base. The “other” part is actually a cardboard tube from a paper towel roll that I adorned with colored tape – but that is neither here nor there, I know 🙂
Because of the low viscosity factor, it’s also ideal for embellishments too after you have put down your base coat color. This paint works great with stamping, stenciling or splatter effects, as you can see with this other jewelry corral here, how I added a stencil accent to the middle of it for a little bit of added flair.
Yes, I did add a little “bling” to it as well, in the form of faux rhinestones. Fun, fun.
There’s a wide range of colors to choose from, and effects too – such as glitter, metallic (my favs!) neons, or pearlescent looks. Rather than a la carte, it’s cheaper to get them in small bundles of 3-8, so if you have a particular project to tackle, you can get a set with different colors all in that style.
Also, they come in different finishes, matte, satin and gloss…so if you’re seeking a certain look, you can get that too. I prefer the Satin look.
How to Use
In addition to the wide range of colors, you won’t need to spend a lot of time mixing them. They all have a flip-top so you can dispense them easily into a palette. Also, many of them have a circle sticker on top that indicates the color, so when you store them, that helps to locate which one(s) you need.
Now when I get all the way to the bottom, usually they won’t squirt out as easily and I just remove the top, and dip with my brush, no biggie.
Also, these kinds of paints would be great for kids to work with, as they’re non-toxic as well as easy to use. So they would be ideal for classrooms, with a little supervision.
The speed at which acrylics dry is always an issue, but there are ways you can “buy a little time” so to speak, including times when you are painting woodcrafts. Because of the quick drying issue, I would also suggest you look into a blending gel too, there is also a proprietary brand that is made for adding a little more resiliency to drying as quickly, so you can create some unique special effects.
After you have dispensed your chosen colors, dab a little into them, this will enable you to mix colors together, because of the vast color selection I don’t do this much, but sometimes I want to create a tint or shade, by adding white or black to a color. This product does help with that, and makes it easier to get the “right” shade.
Well, one thing I want to stress is that it can separate a good deal. You may have to shake up the bottles from time to time – the contents tend to settle. Also, I don’t think they were made to accumulate and stockpile for later, as they don’t age well (they’re probably not “archival”)
I’ve found older bottles (stored for more than 5 years) tend to get a funky smell to them after awhile. It’s tempting to get as many as you can but it’s a good idea to use what you do have within a few years.
Well, that’s about it….Now go find some of these and have fun!