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Stop the Bleeding

This page describes a technique to keep paints from bleeding and to highlight low relief features.

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Where two different colors meet, for example, arms and sleeves, beard and chest, and so forth, make a knife cut at the dividing point.

This figure shows how this works.

  1. A normal cut (A) allows the paint to bleed into this area.
  2. A knife cut (B)  helps stop the paint from spreading onto the next surface.

This cut does two things:

  1. fibers the wood, thus preventing one color from bleeding into another
  2. provides a channel for the finish to flow into, thus distinguishing the two features.

Relief carvers could use this technique to highlight low reliefs after the stain or finish is applied.


cut-pnt.jpg (3569 bytes)



  1. Make a cut by doing only a simple stop cut. Do not make a notch by doing a V-cut.

  2. Make these cuts after sealing the carving. This opens the channel for the thinned paint (wash).

UPDATED: 03.08.2001


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