Beautifying driftwood - How to clean, dry and polish driftwood
Here are a few steps to help you reveal the inner beauty of driftwood.
The selected piece of driftwood is first soaked and cleaned just using water and brush. A pressure washer can be used too but be aware that a high pressure might damage your piece.
Then all soft or decaying parts are removed. You can use chisels, gouges, screw drivers, knives, box cutters... If you can access a bench grinder, you can reshape your tools or make some with scavenged metal. There is no need to buy any fancy tool if your goal is cleaning and removing decaying parts. You might want to look at garage sales, there are often older chisels and carving gouges, strait and curved that are very handy. I use chisels, medium and small, carving gouges, older screw drivers that I have shaped with the bench grinder and that is about it. If you were to get only one tool I would suggest a chisel, size 1/2 inch flat or if you work with smaller pieces 1/4 inch. Always wear protective gloves.
Depending on the piece, you may want to keep its natural shape or make any changes in such manner that they appear to have occurred naturally.
If needed, sand the wood with succeeding grits levels until a smooth finish is reached.
Then the entire piece of wood is brushed to remove all loose debris and rinsed again.
Let the piece of wood dry in full sun for a few days.
Finally apply a natural beeswax and turpentine mixture for a beautiful protective finish. if you apply a ready to use wax, it seems better to choose a light color, it might darken over time. Wood stain can also be used, followed by a polyurethane finish. As for me, I prefer wax.
Keep the natural bleached appearance for an outdoor decoration or sculpture. A few pieces of driftwood might be a great addition to your flowerbeds.
I like wood to look as natural as possible, therefore I do not use a base to present a piece. It is up to you , of course, to complement your piece with a good base if you like it.
Your finished decoration or sculpture will be a true original, unique piece of Nature's art.
Visit my Image Gallery for my most recent collection.
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