All wood burning artists will have this topic cross their mind at some point, how can I make sure my wood burning art doesn’t fade? While sometimes it is a gamble and out of our hands, there are several ways to go about preventing your pyrography work from fading.
In this post, I will go over reasons why your pyrography artwork may fade over time and things you can do to help prevent it. Plus, I will share my favorite wood to burn on and other tips as well! Keep reading for more. 🙂
Does wood burning art actually fade?
Unfortunately, it is possible for pyrography art to fade. There are many ways to try to prevent this, but sometimes it is inevitable. I have MANY wood burning projects I made many years ago that still look freshly done and some projects that have slightly faded as well. It really depends on so many factors.
Fading is usually so slight and while I haven’t seen my work in twenty + years yet, I know that fading is never usually extreme. You just have to be aware of this possibility as you start a wood burning project.
How long does it take for wood burned art to fade?
This can take years, whether that be a few years or ten + years, or never. Once again, it isn’t guaranteed your piece will fade. Don’t read this post afraid that your art will fade. All you need to do is take the precautionary steps to help PREVENT your work from fading, and that’s all you can really do.
When you work with natural materials like wood, anything can happen. Creating art on wood is much different than a piece of paper or a canvas because well, wood is natural! As wood burning artists, this is a part of the process and we have to be aware of it.
What can fade pyrography art?
- Sunlight and high UV rays
- Dirt, air, or oil
- Excessive heat
How To Prevent Wood Burning Art From Fading
Now that you know what can fade wood burning art, let’s discuss steps on how you can prevent fading. These tips are easy, simple, and a must-know for any pyrography artist.
1. Keep your work out of sunlight and UV rays
This is a big must. You don’t want your wood burned sign to be hung in an area of your home where the sun beats on it all day. Sunlight and UV rays are one of the main reasons wood burning art may fade over time.
2. Use darker burns
While this sometimes may not be the look you are going for, a way you can help prevent your work from fading is to do darker burns. If you create a piece that is so light, if it fades, it may be hard to see.
I love to burn darkly and build up my burn layers. Don’t be afraid to do this because the darker the burn, the longer your art will last.
3. Avoid dirt, bad air, and oil
Don’t have your wood burning art displayed in an area where the air may be dirty (garages, warehouses, etc) and where your work is prone to dirt, grime, and more. Also, do not touch your work a lot with your hands. Our hands are oily and any oil from our hands can build up on the wood.
One way to really protect your work from all this is to protect it with glass. Whether that be a glass frame or some sort of glass box, it’s a great idea to keep it safe from all dirt, dust, and all that fun stuff.
4. Seal your work
One way to protect your wood burns from dirt, grime, air, and oil is to seal it. Sealing your pyrography art gives it a layer of protection and I do this for most of my work.
5. Avoid heat, humidity, and moisture
Don’t have your pyrography art near a heat source or hot area of your home. Displaying in a cool, dry, area is preferred to prevent fading, warping, and cracking.
Once again, wood is natural, so a basic way to think about it is what can make wood rot or turn bad? Make sure to avoid anything you think of, and you’re good!
Other thoughts & conclusion
I want to say that it’s not a guarantee that your wood burning work will fade and that do not let this scare you away from creating! Follows these tips and tricks listed above and always test new practices.
My favorite wood to burn on is basswood. I’ve had great success with this wood and have had minimal to no fading on my finished pieces!
If you sell your wood burns at crafts shows or online, it’s always good to educate your customers. On my website, I have a care section for each of my wood burning items. It says this:
This piece of art is created on kiln dried basswood with a live bark edge. Display your sign in a dry area of your home and always keep it out of extreme temperatures and moisture to preserve it.
It’s likely your customer will not know anything about this, so educating them will ensure that they will take care of the art to keep it looking great for years to come.