Do it yourself Photo finish

Written by Stewart Schooley, compiled by Patrick Franzis

Black and White Prints, Oil Paints

You can easily do up to 11" x 17" by using prints from a copy machine. End-match pieces and you can make wood grains that are very large.

This method works best for medium-dark to darkest straight grain woods. You can use oil paints alone or you can add oil based stains to the paint for color adjustment. Oil based stains alone will not provide the richness and depth of color you need.

First, you need black and white prints that have been edited so the grain lines are as dark as you want and the rest of the paper is white. I believe that a B&W print from an ink jet that will be covered with oil paint and lacquer will be permanent. Copy machines have permanent ink.

IMPORTANT-If you don't get a good strong black from the editing program you have in your computer, take your prints to a copy machine where you can set it to get a good strong black. Also, use the copy machine if you have to enlarge your ink jet print.

First, you need a "base coat". This is usually a yellow or mustard yellow. Follow these steps;
1-Wet your paper with paint thinner and let it soak in for a few minutes.
2- Apply your base coat directly on the dampened paper using a brush or rag. You can use color taken directly from the tube. Slop it on and then smooth gently with a rag or tissue. The white of the paper should be well colored, but with the grain lines visible. If the base coat color looks too weak, apply more color right away.
3- After this, additional layers of color are toners. Usually, you'll need another layer, maybe two, of oil color. The base coat should be completely dry before oil paint toners are rubbed on. Spray can toners can also be used.

NOTE- COLOR COPIER PRINTS. If you are going to use your DIY print to get a color copier print, you can speed up your time considerably because oil paint doesn't have to be totally dry to put Polycrylic over it. Try this:

After you rub on a layer of oil color and smooth it, it will feel almost dry to the touch. Brush on a coat of Polycrylic on it. It dries fast.
Rub a thin even oil color toner on it. Give it another coat of Polycrylic

Repeat this as many times as you need to get the color you want.

By themselves, color pencils are not as good as oil paint for coloring black and white prints. They can be useful for some colors and toners can be put over them to enrich the color. You can't rub oil color toners directly over pencil, but you can seal it with Polycrylic and then rub on an oil paint toner. Spray toners can be used over color pencil

See the Ink Jet Prints section for directions on using color pencils.

The photo below gives you an example of what your paper looks like when you are coloring the print.

Coloring the image