Making a Statement with a Wood Grain Tumbler: The Alcohol Ink Technique

Making a Statement with a Wood Grain Tumbler: The Alcohol Ink Technique

Hello there, art enthusiasts! Have you ever tried painting a wood grain design on your tumbler with alcohol inks? It's a fascinating and easy way to create a natural wood look that's full of depth and texture. And the best part? You can achieve this effect with just a few simple steps. So, let's get started!


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Step 1: Prep your tumbler. Clean and dry your tumbler thoroughly before you begin. I typically clean my tumbler with alcohol and a paper towel.

Step 2: Apply the base coat of spray paint. Lightly spray your tumbler until you get an even white coat. Pro tip: I spray a light coat and then wait 10 minutes to give it a chance to air dry. I do three rounds of this. 

Step 3: Start by applying the alcohol ink to the tumbler with a large makeup brush. First dampen the brush with alcohol. It only needs to be damp. A brush that is too wet will not produce the desired look. Add a few drops of alcohol ink to your brush in a mixture of your desired colors. Use a swiping motion up and down the tumbler to spread the ink around the surface. It should start to look like a wood grain pattern.

Step 4: Create the wood grain knot. Use a small brush and push the alcohol around to create the desired shape of the knot. Once you have the outer shape, repeat the process to make the inner rings of the knot. As you close into the center, you may have to also change the size of your brush.

Step 5: Add highlights. To add depth and dimension to your design, use a small brush to create more defined wood grain lines. Dip the brush into the alcohol and knock off all of the excess until the brush is lightly damp. Run the brush down the tumbler and around your newly created knots.

Step 6: Seal the tumbler.  Once the ink is completely dry, seal your tumbler with a clear epoxy. There are some people that seal the alcohol ink before adding the epoxy. I have not found this to be a necessary step. This will protect your design and make it more durable. 

Congratulations! You've now learned how to paint a wood grain tumbler with alcohol inks. Experiment with different shades and techniques to create your own unique design. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and have fun with it. Happy painting!

Visual learner? Watch step by step directions here...

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