Help with wood coloring/finishing!?

Hey guys, Im working on a mini project to make some wooden keychains/items...

the wood i start with is just some home depot paint mixing planks (unlimited supply lol), i cut them down to the size of a dog tag, sand them down and my plan is to stamp letters onto it with my letter stamping kit, the kind that punches into the wood, and give it to friends for fun, the result from stamping is really good (once i get my alignment right), but the problem is im not sure what is the best way to color the letters, i tried a marker, lets just say it didnt work too well lol, and im not really sure what i should be doing since this is a bit new to me

also, once i finish it i plan to seal it in some protective coating so it doesnt get wet and get messed up, the wood is pretty soft as is. Not sure what i should use here either

Thanks for the help and if u got cooler ideas i want to hear them too lol

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Here's something I've done with metal and plastic, and it should work for what your doing. Use crayon to fill in the stamped portion and then you can sand off any that you may have messed up. Then if you wanted you could dip or stain the whole thing and the wax will keep the stain from getting into the letters. Give it a shot and let us know how it works out.
rickharris6 years ago
Food colours - Fabric dyes as well as a whole range of purpose made wood dyes can be used. Practically anything that can/will soak into the wood.
jeff-o6 years ago
What went wrong with the marker? Did it absorb in, and make "roots" into the wood?

One thing you could do is paint the letters with a brush, then sand the face of the wood to remove any paint that isn't inside the lower stamped portion.

There are a number of different wood finishes that will protect the wood. My favourite is Minwax Polycrylic. It's water-clear, reasonably water resistant, and low odour. Oil-based finishes or varathane will probably protect even better though. They can be brushed or sprayed on (with a rattle-can). If spraying, use multiple thin coats to avoid the finish pooling in the stamped letters.

Hope that helps!
holymolys (author)  jeff-o6 years ago
thanks, maybe the maker i use are all water based cuz they seeps right in like you described, and kinda tough to sand out, so i am going to try some real paint next to see how that works, theres plenty of wood to test it on. thanks again haha
Burf6 years ago
Use liquid fabric dye such as Rit, dip the cut pieces in the dye and before the dye dries, stamp the letters. Compressing the wood with the stamp will make them darker than the surround color. When they completely dry, spray with a water based, clear polyurethane spray finish. Oh yeah, wear rubber gloves when handling the dye or the wet pieces.