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Pen Staining & Painting

I have been so addicted to pen turning! Its been a lot of fun. When I first started I bought a few acrylic blanks to try out. I liked them a lot but I still love wood so I wanted to make some wooden pens but wanted to see if they would hold the stain/paint well in the finishing process of pen turning. I have a lot of scrap maple so I decided it would be perfect wood to test the various stains and paints. Overall they came out great and I only had to pay for the pen kit since I had all the other supplies already.



Step 1:

I sanded all the pen blanks up to 600 grit so they would be smooth. I used gray minwax stain for the video but I’ve also used rustoleum stain in the past and it worked just as well. What I didn’t show in the video was the blue general finishes stain I used. That one ended up looking the best and is my favorite. The key to staining pen blanks is to build it up. I started with a few light coats and would let the lathe run to dry quickly and to let the stain soak into the wood some. I repeated this process a few times till I had a color I liked. Once it was all dry I took a clean paper towel and wiped off the excess stain.


Step 2:

This part went way better then I expected. I sanded the wood to 600 grit and removed all the dust. I then put the blank on a dowel while making sure the grain still matched up. I have a lot of rustoleum spray paint from different projects so I grabbed my can copper spray paint. Im really into that color right now. I sprayed on light coats until it was fully covered in the paint. I then constantly rolled the dowel for a few minutes to make sure there was no drips from the paint. Once it was dry I chucked it back on the lathe.


Step 3:

I used thin CA glue to finish the pens. It gives it a long life and seals the stain and paint in. I put about 4-6 coats and then wet sanded with micromesh up tp 12,000 grit. I think put these blanks into slimline pen kits.


This experiment turned out way better than I thought it was and the possibilities are endless. I wish I had recorded the blue pen since it ended up being my favorite one. The spray painted pen ended up looking pretty cool as since you could still see some of the wood grain.