Layers & layers: The right way to get began with paint carving

Have you ever heard of paint carving? Your suave life is about to alter FOREVER! Paint carving is a novel method to create textured and layered artwork items. I first noticed this methodology on Instagram and knew I needed 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 arduous floor, so long as it’s straightforward to show as you’re employed.

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

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

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 (non-compulsory)

Paper towel for clear up

Desk fan (non-compulsory)

TIPS: This can be a lengthy course of since you are actually watching paint dry. Subsequently I recommend beginning with a pair smaller items so you may get the grasp of the method. Work on different tasks when you wait to your paint layers to dry. It took a number of hours for these two items to totally dry.

Paint carving finished pieces.
My completed paint carving items.

Paint carving instructions

Try my paint carving video here!

Put together your workspace

This course of may be messy, so cowl your workspace with newspapers or a drop material. 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 would make it troublesome to carve!

Put together your wooden

Sand the floor of your wooden to make it clean and take away any filth, mud, or unfastened particles. Wipe it down with a moist material and let it dry fully. This particularly goes for if you’re utilizing previous or recycled wooden. The smoother the floor the higher!

Determine in your design:

This can be a little difficult. virtually like reverse glass portray. Consider what you wish to carve and the colours. You’ll want about 30-40 layers of every colour (or extra relying on the look you need), then the following 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 colour 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 fully. I positioned my gadgets in entrance of a desk fan, it helped them dry a lot sooner.

Further layers

Paint carving process.

Apply extra layers of various colours of craft paint, letting every layer dry fully earlier than including the following. The extra layers you’ve gotten, the extra depth your carving can have. You don’t wish to add an excessive amount of paint to every layer, it would take manner longer to dry. So what number of layers? The extra the higher in order for you totally different colours to indicate. I’d say at the very least 40-50 layers of every colour. In case you are solely utilizing one colour, then about 60-80 layers will work wonderful. 

Useful tip:

Actually be certain that every layer is dry. Belief me. It’s terrible to carve into damp paint, it would break your mission! 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 coated! As soon as your final layer is totally dry, you can begin carving your design into the paint layers utilizing your linocut instrument. 

Hint your design onto the floor, or simply sketch utilizing a pencil. Carve fastidiously and slowly. You may carve all the way down to the wooden in some locations, and fewer deeply in others, to disclose the totally different layers of colour and create a layered impact.

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

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

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


Bear 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 tasks!

Ending touches

Add different painted design components or go away as is. I added dots and designs across the border of my items, as a result of that’s my fashion! You do you, boo.

Paint carving process.

When you’re comfortable together with your carving, you’ll be able to apply a layer of clear varnish to seal and shield your work. Or you should use spray varnish as effectively. Glittered varnish too! Let it dry fully earlier than hanging or displaying your art work.

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

Isn’t paint carving such a twist on lino reducing and even conventional portray? I’m excited to create extra and larger items! Bear in mind, the great thing about this method lies in its unpredictability. Every layer of colour that you simply carve away reveals a brand new facet of your artwork piece, and even errors can add to its uniqueness. Benefit from the course of and comfortable creating!

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