Before starting a wood burning project, it is important to make sure the wood is prepped for your pyrography art.
This post goes over how to prep wood for pyrography along with some tips and tricks to make your project a success.
Here on the Green Artist Blog, I write a lot of posts and tutorials all about wood burning art to help others with this fun craft.
Check out a few of my related pyrography blog posts below and make sure to take a look at my original wood burning art for sale here. Now let’s get into how to prep wood for pyrography art!
How To Transfer A Pattern Onto Wood
Recommended Beginner Wood Burning Tools
Check out my favorite wood burning tools here!
How To Prep Wood For Pyrography
Sand Your Wood (if needed)
When preparing wood for pyrography, everyone’s process may differ based on what your wood slice is like before you start.
You will want to work on a sanded piece of wood so you can get crisp and even burn lines. If your piece of wood is not sanded, you can sand it by using individual sandpaper sheets or with an electric sander.
When sanding, always start with a higher grit to start and go from there.
I hate sanding wood so I buy all of the wood I use for my wood burning art pre-sanded. This saves you so much time and headaches. Plus I know the wood is properly dried and ready for my project.
My FAVORITE type of wood to use for wood burning is basswood. Walnut Hollow has such an awesome selection of gorgeous high-quality wood slices.
I also recommend using basswood for beginners as it’s a soft wood that’s easy to burn.
Dust Off Wood
Whether you just sanded or bought a piece of pre-sanded wood, make sure to brush it off with a cloth to remove all dust and debris. It’s good to work with a clean surface so you get clean burn lines as this is an important step in prepping wood for pyrography art.
Transfer Or Sketch Design
Now that your wood is all ready to be burned, it’s time to add your design. If you like to sketch out your design before taking out the wood burning pen, now is when you can transfer a pattern or design onto a slice of wood. You can also free-hand your design as well.
For projects I have no plan for, I just go for it and don’t usually do much of a sketch. For commissions and projects where I have a specific layout, I always transfer my design onto the wood so I have an easy guide when burning.
Want to learn an easy way to transfer a design onto wood? Check out this post: How To Transfer A Pattern Onto Wood Without Graphite Paper
Sealing Your Wood Burning Project
After your project is done, depending on what it is and the desired result, you may want to seal your work.
Polyurethane or polycrylic are my favorites to finish my wood burning work. I do this for most wood signs and coasters I make to protect them for years to come.
I have a whole post that goes over sealing wood burning art, so if you’re interested in a tutorial, check out my How To Seal Wood Burning Art post here.
Do You Stain Before Or After Wood Burning?
Always AFTER the project is done! Once you seal or stain your project, you CANNOT go back over it and add any wood burning details. Before you stain your project with your desired sealant, you need to make sure it is 100% complete. Sealing is literally the last final step to completing a wood burning project.
I hope this post gave some helpful insight into prepping wood for wood burning art. Once you start this hobby and keep practicing, you will get the hang of it quickly to see what works for you.
Let me know in the comments if you have any further questions, I will gladly help the best I can!
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