Turning Archive 2006

Subject:
Help with stencil process

Dave Belser
>I'm trying to paint letters and graphics on some turnings. I've got a method that is working OK but still gives me trouble. Here is what I'm currently doing:

Apply sanding sealer or 2# cut of shellac - this prevents reduces bleed around the mask edges.

I'm using a stickon vinyl mask that I cut on a sign cutter, this is applied to the sealed wood.

Spray paint over the mask / stencil, I'm currently using a cheap can of semi-gloss or flat black which may be one of my problems.

Apply several coats of wipe on poly. After I remove the mask there is an "edge" where the black paint stops. I've chosen wipe on poly as a final finish because I need something durable and resistant to alcohol.

The final piece is buffed to a high gloss.

What I seem to be fighting the most is that I need to build up the finish over the edge of the lettering. I have to be very careful with the first coat of poly as it's easy to make the paint bleed or run. I lightly sand between coats of poly. This reduces the edge on the lettering and is supposed to help the poly coats stick together - but it's also easy to sand the letters off!

The only part of this process that I'm locked into is using a vinyl stick on mask - my hand writing is so bad that I often can't read it!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

- Dave

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