If you are looking for a way to create a very beautiful and professional looking burning, I have some tips to assist you along the way.
What you will need:
- TRUArt pyrography pen
- Wood of your choice
- Colored ballpoint pen
- Carbon tracing paper
- Image/design to burn
- Magic eraser
- Sand paper
Take the time to find the right image to burn. Make sure the size of the image works well with the piece of wood you choose. Be mindful of the type of wood you choose. Try sticking to a soft wood such as birch wood, basswood or even a simple plywood. Sand your wood surface down prior to use to ensure that the image you use will burn evenly. Do not burn on treated or painted wood. This can be harmful to your health if the fumes are inhaled.
Get some tape, carbon paper and a colored pen. Find the center of your wood and place your image on the desired location. Tape the top of your image onto the wood to prevent it from shifting. Slide the carbon paper underneath your image (glossy side down). Take out your pen and trace the image. I like using a pen because I feel like I don’t have to add as much pressure while I’m tracing the image. It is useful to use a colored pen so that you can see the area that was already traced.
Once the image has been completely transferred, gently lift the bottom portion of the design to ensure that you have traced the whole image onto the wood. If so, remove the paper. When burning the image, start at a lower heat and slowly increase the temperature as needed. If you start too hot, you will get an uneven burn and possible burn marks outside your design. Do not press down hard while burning. If you feel the need to push down hard on the wood with the pen in order to get the desired darkness/shade, your temperature is too low and needs to be increased.
Once you have completed the burning, you may have some marks left on your wood from where you traced your design. These markings can’t simply be erased with a regular eraser. Get a magic eraser. Add only a little water to the eraser and gently rub in a circular motion evenly across the wood. If you don’t, you will have splotchy marks on your wood when you stain. If that happens, simply sand the wood down on those areas. If the image smears with the eraser, you may be rubbing too hard. Gently rub the eraser on the smudges until they’re gone. Let the wood completely dry. To give the wood a finished look, add a little stain on it. Be sure not to add too much stain or too dark of a stain or the image will fade into the wood. To protect the image from darkening over time, varnish the wood with polyurethane or resin.
Now, all you have to do is enjoy all your hard work. Keep practicing and be patient with yourself. Hang in there, you’ll get it. I wish you the best of luck and I will see next time with some more tips to help you along the way.