September 28, 2023


Make Some Fun

Layers & layers: Methods to get began with paint carving

4 min read

Have you ever heard of paint carving? Your suave life is about to alter FOREVER! Paint carving is a novel strategy to create textured and layered artwork items. I first noticed this methodology on Instagram and knew I wished to strive it. It’s about portray layers and layers of acrylic paints (craft paints will work too) after which carving out a design.

All of these layers of paint create a basis of colours to be revealed as you carve your design. I’ll stroll you thru the method!

Paint carving provides:

A wooden panel, plank, or a flat piece of wood. I purchased wooden plaques on the craft retailer. You need to use any onerous floor, so long as it’s straightforward to show as you’re employed.

Craft paints in multiple colors. No oil paint, persist with craft paints in your first strive. You’ll want a pair rounds to get used to the method.

Paintbrushes or rollers. I used giant spherical paint brushes to use the coats of paint. Much less brush strokes confirmed by.

Linocut tool (with multiple blade shapes, if available).

Clear varnish or spray sealer. I used a excessive gloss spray sealer.

Mud masks and goggles for security. 

Good lighting!

Sandpaper (elective)

Paper towel for clear up

Desk fan (elective)

TIPS: It is a lengthy course of since you are actually watching paint dry. Due to this fact I recommend beginning with a pair smaller items so you will get the hold of the method. Work on different initiatives whilst you wait in your paint layers to dry. It took a number of hours for these two items to completely dry.

Paint carving finished pieces.
My completed paint carving items.

Paint carving instructions

Put together your workspace

This course of may be messy, so cowl your workspace with newspapers or a drop fabric. Collect all of your supplies and ensure your workspace is well-ventilated. Brush away any mud. You don’t need it to get in your piece, it should make it tough to carve!

Put together your wooden

Sand the floor of your wooden to make it easy and take away any dust, mud, or free particles. Wipe it down with a humid fabric and let it dry utterly. This particularly goes for in case you are utilizing outdated or recycled wooden. The smoother the floor the higher!

Resolve in your design:

It is a little tough. nearly like reverse glass portray. Consider what you wish to carve and the colours. You’ll want about 30-40 layers of every shade (or extra relying on the look you need), then the subsequent colours. I began with darkish within the background and went lighter for the center and high layers. As soon as you work this out, you might be prepared so as to add the layers of acrylic paint.

First layer of paint

Paint carving: Adding a layer of paint to wood plaque.

Apply a base coat of white paint, simply to function a layer to prime the wooden. Add your first shade layer of craft paint to the wooden. It doesn’t need to be excellent – unevenness can add to the feel. Sure, it may be heavy (not too heavy although)! Let it dry utterly. I positioned my objects in entrance of a desk fan, it helped them dry a lot quicker.

Extra layers

Paint carving process.

Apply further layers of various colours of craft paint, letting every layer dry utterly earlier than including the subsequent. The extra layers you will have, the extra depth your carving can have. You don’t wish to add an excessive amount of paint to every layer, it should take method longer to dry. So what number of layers? The extra the higher if you would like totally different colours to indicate. I’d say not less than 40-50 layers of every shade. If you’re solely utilizing one shade, then about 60-80 layers will work superb. 

Useful tip:

Actually be sure that every layer is dry. Belief me. It’s terrible to carve into damp paint, it should destroy your challenge! Maintain the piece to your face and if it feels chilly, it nonetheless must dry longer.


No want to fret concerning the wooden grain, it doesn’t matter. It’s lined! As soon as your final layer is totally dry, you can begin carving your design into the paint layers utilizing your linocut software. 

Hint your design onto the floor, or simply sketch utilizing a pencil. Carve rigorously and slowly. You’ll be able to carve right down to the wooden in some locations, and fewer deeply in others, to disclose the totally different layers of shade and create a layered impact.

To be secure at first, persist with pure acrylic paint. Don’t combine and match varieties of paints till you might be extra assured along with your course of.

For future reference, take notes of what number of layers you used. That method you’ll know how one can change it up for the subsequent piece!

Paint carving process.
This was my first paint carving piece and I carved too onerous! The wooden confirmed by! However I kinda favored it, so I left it.


Keep in mind to put on your mud masks and goggles when carving to guard your self from paint mud. Use a large brush to take away any particles. Save the carvings to make use of for different initiatives!

Ending touches

Paint carving process.

When you’re completely satisfied along with your carving, you may apply a layer of clear varnish to seal and defend your work. Or you need to use spray varnish as nicely. Glittered varnish too! Let it dry utterly earlier than hanging or displaying your art work.

Clear-up: Clear your linocut instruments completely after use to maintain them in fine condition for future initiatives.

Associated concepts about portray and linocut artwork:

lino cut designs

Linocuts and block printing tutorial

Linocut sugar cranium greeting playing cards

Linocuts, my 1st time

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