Accentuate Carving with Color
Creative use of milk paint gives textured surfaces
Synopsis: Carver Michael Cullen uses milk paint to give the textured surfaces of his furniture new dimensions and patterns. Learn how he uses the paint, burnishing, and topcoats to highlight the different surfaces of his carved pieces, from a simple burnished look to a two- or three-toned mottled look.
from Fine Woodworking #221
The majority of my carving ends up under several coats of milk paint. This may seem strange to woodworkers used to “bringing out the natural beauty of the wood,” but adding color to a carving is one of best ways to highlight the design and to define the pattern (see master class, p. 84).
Because wood grain is a pattern in itself, there is always the potential for it either to compete with the carved pattern or to wholly overwhelm it. What I like best about milk paint is how it combines with the wood to form more of…