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Methods > Wood > Inlaid Wood
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Inlaid Wood

Because Modellos allow us to use either a positive or negative approach, we can use a Modello in which the negative areas have been removed as a "resist" or "mask" to protect and preserve the background color. This allows us to create the look of a lighter, inlaid design in wood. You can use either water-based or oil-based gel stains for this technique. Oil-based stains require a much longer drying time, however. Water-based stains will dry quickly.

Sand  the wood and wipe clean with a tack cloth. For a more professional finish, you may wish to apply a Sanding Sealer first to seal the grain and allow for a more even stain application. Follow manufacturer's instructions.

Apply your first, lighter stain color with a brush, always brushing in the direction of the grain.

Remove excess stain with cheesecloth, again going with the direction of the grain. Allow the stained background to dry completely before applying the resist Modello.


Apply the resist Modello according to the Basic Modello Installation instructions. Be sure to burnish the Modello well after removing the transfer paper. Please note that this technique works only on wood that has a tight grain and smooth surface. Otherwise you will not get a clean print.

Apply a darker color of stain over the Modello pattern, again brushing with the grain. Aim for a smooth, even finish.

It is always best to apply multiple thin coats to build up depth of color, rather than one thick, heavy coat.

Carefully wipe the excess stain off, again going with the direction of the grain.



Carefully remove the Modello with a weeding or picking tool, taking care not to dig it into the surface of the wood. If you wish to add more depth, apply a thinned layer of the first color of stain over the entire surface to blend the colors and add a richer look. Finish with wax or the topcoat of your choice.

Here us another example of an inlaid wood effect, done with a border design. This would be a beautiful "frame" for a wood floor or large table. The wood was first stained a Golden Oak color. A dark Ebony stain was used over the Modello resist to create a dramatic effect.

Copyright © 2003 Modello Design Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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