How can I paint this?

Hi folks! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on here… I have some stuff I should be sharing, I’ve just been busy! I am working on a design that I am going to cut out of hard maple and want to paint. The problem is, I have some colors that will be touching edges and I’m not sure how!

I have a roll of oramask and planned on doing an advanced v-carve on the lettering, with the inner (yellow) part to be a little deeper than the red part.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Hi Jordan,

Good to hear from you again.
I’m sure the masters of painting will come up with a smart idea based on masking, but I would maybe consider a different approach to cheat:

  • vcarve the red letters normally
  • one or two layers of transparent coat on the whole piece to seal the wood
  • paint the whole piece red
  • sand away the red paint to reveal the surface
  • now vcarve inner pockets corresponding to the inner yellow letters, at the bottom of the red letters
  • mill the inner yellow inlays separately, paint them yellow, and glue them into the vcarved pockets at the bottom of the red letters.

Depending on the size of that sign, you could even get away with regular pocketing and regular contour cuts with a small square endmills, for the yellow inlay parts.

Alternatively, consider making the yellow parts raised above the surface rather than sunk ? And then you can paint their top yellow with a roller. I think it wouldn’t look as good though.


That would look really nice with filled letters. A colored epoxy fill, or alternate material. I’ve used polyester resin (Bondo) in lieu of epoxy & got nice results

Carve the red letters
Fill with red & let harden
Carve the yellow letters into the red filler
Fill with yellow & let harden
Surface the entire piece until the excess is gone. I mill it off close, then use a sanding disc

Maple holds edges very well & doesn’t bleed much, but you could use a light coat of sealer after carving the wood to prevent end grain from sucking up the colored material.


Thanks for the suggestions folks! I’ll give it a think through and see if I can pull any of these methods off.

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