Author Topic: painting birch bark what to use ?  (Read 920 times)

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Online stuckinthemud

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painting birch bark what to use ?
« on: July 01, 2019, 09:32:03 am »
Hi Guys,
I need to paint a birch backing black all over and then patterns on top like a faux snake-skin sort of effect meaning the bark is completely covered in several layers of paint. Initially I thought to use acrylics but acrylics are water based and birch bark is full of oil, so long term would oil paints be the correct choice?  I've no experience with birch bark so do I need to sand the bark smooth and can I apply the paints directly to the bark or do I need an undercoat or even a gesso or other foundation layer?  Thanks in advance,
Andrew
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 09:44:30 am by stuckinthemud »

Online Pat B

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Re: painting birch bark what to use ?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 12:40:50 pm »
I've never tried to paint birch bark. I'd do a test to see how well the acrylic paint worked and lasted. If incompatible you could seal the bark with shellac first then use the acrylic paint. You could also try a test with oil based paint.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline bjrogg

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Re: painting birch bark what to use ?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 02:00:06 pm »
I have a birch bark backed osage bow from Greg aka Badly Bent. I really like how he colored it. I was always wondering exactly how he did it. I say colored because that's almost the effect. Like colors rubbed on some on top of others.
Bjrogg
A hot cup of coffee and a beautiful sunrise

Online stuckinthemud

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Re: painting birch bark what to use ?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 10:12:39 am »
Thanks both, I spent a good while searching painter's sites /blogs/forums and came up with nada but Pat's advice on patch testing was excellent especially as I have a small set of oil paint. Turns out that oil mixed with a tiny amount of boiled linseed oil as a drier works really well painted straight on the bark :D :OK

Offline GlisGlis

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Re: painting birch bark what to use ?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2019, 01:56:16 am »
as long as the bark is dry and lightily sanded acrilic should do a good work especially if you seal with a last protective layer
you may use fish or sinew glue mixed with pigments if you wanna stay primitive
I would use a good amount of lineseed oil if you choose that way. With more lineseed oil you will have a golden tint but it will grip stronger on the bark than common oil
I would avoid gesso

Online stuckinthemud

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Re: painting birch bark what to use ?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2019, 08:34:06 am »
Thanks GlisGlis I'll be sure to make use of boiled linseed oil