I started my website back in 2014 and my YouTube channel in 2017. The website didn’t bother me as I figured no one would find it, but the YouTube channel terrified me. I hear about online trolls and I just knew they would be out in force leaving brutal comments. My fear made me postpone uploading videos, but Todd kept pushing me to take the plunge. I have been so pleasantly surprised with how wonderful most people have been. One of the best parts about the experience are the tips and ideas that get shared. I am almost always learning something new. Occasionally someone will tell me something that I’m not sure about, so I try to test out the information as best as I can. This blog will discuss a tip someone gave me about the need to clean your artwork.
The tip went something like this: you must clean your pyrography artwork with denatured alcohol before you seal it with a brush on finish. If you don’t then the loose carbon will get mixed into the finish and smeared over the artwork. First off, I had never heard of denatured alcohol. Secondly, I had never heard of the need to clean pyrography artwork. This was information I had to test out! Fortunately for me Todd had some denatured alcohol in his shop.
CREATING A TEST PANEL
This is the test panel held at an angle to show the texture difference between the different sections. The sections created with a wood burner are very shiny. The two rightmost sections created with the torch are dull. What comes to mind is how charcoal looks when you apply a thick layer of it.
Denatured alcohol is a liquid, so I think the wood absorbed some of the liquid. During that process the carbon got locked into the wood grain.
I do not recommend this finish for pyrography!
I only used this because when I went into Todd’s shop it was sitting on his work table. As I can never find a thing in his shop, I decided this was good enough for what I was doing.
Once again I’m using a clean q-tip, dipping it into the can, and then applying the finish onto the board. I start applying the finish at the top of each section and pull the q-tip down past the bottom edge of the burn area for that section. I did this because I wanted to see if any carbon would get smeared onto the unburned areas of the wood.
Here’s how the alternately cleaned patch looked after finish was applied to it. I don’t see any additional carbon on the unburned areas. The slight yellowish or wet looking area below the burn patch is the Minwax finish. Yes, I dragged that q-tip down quite a ways.
I went through a lot of q-tips while testing whether or not the board should be cleaned.
I started this blog with a goal of discovering if you should clean pyrography artwork before sealing it. The answer is no; UNLESS you used a torch. Then you should clean that area, but I wouldn’t use denatured alcohol. A paper towel worked better and you don’t have to deal with the toxicity of the alcohol.
That’s it for this blog.
Until the next time,
July 10, 2020
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