How to Shade Wood Burning

As an artist, you want your wood-burning pieces to look their best. One way to do this is by shading them. Shading can add depth and dimension to your work, making it look more realistic. Shading is the key if you’re looking to up your wood-burning game.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to shade wood burning your designs without making them look too complicated and how to shade wood-burning pieces. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces that will amaze your friends and family! Let’s get started!

How to Shade Wood Burning

Summary: Shading wood burning stoves can be a bit tricky, but with a bit of practice it can be easy to do. Follow these steps to shade your stove:

1. Place a piece of plywood or other lightweight material over the top of your stove. This will help to block the direct sunlight from shining directly onto the wood.

2. Position the stove so that the shadow cast by the object blocking the light is at an angle towards the wood.

3. Use a paintbrush, a piece of cardboard, or your fingers to shade the wood in the area where the sunlight is shining.

8 Necessary Tools to Shade Wood Burning

If you’re interested in learning how to shade wood burning, there are a few tools you’ll need to get started. Here are 10 of the most essential:

1. Wood burning pen

This is the most crucial tool you’ll need for shading. Look for one that has a fine tip and adjustable temperature control.

2. Wood-burning stencils

These can help create consistent shapes and patterns.

3. Carbon paper

Carbon paper will be handy for tracing your design onto the wood.

4. Sandpaper

You’ll need sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges on your woodburning project.

5. Safety glasses

Protecting your eyes from fumes and fly debris while wood burning is essential.

6. Fire extinguisher

This is always a good idea to have on hand, just in case.

7. Stencil brushes

You can apply shading mediums like paint or ink to your stencils.

8. Shading mediums

Shading mediums include things like paint, ink, and pastels. They can be used to add color and depth to your wood-burning project.

With these eight tools, you’ll be well to becoming a shading master!

Step by Step Guideline on How to Shade Wood Burning

The art of wood burning- or pyrography- is a fantastic way to add unique details and embellishments to woodworking projects. But one of the challenges of this craft is learning how to shade your burned designs properly. If you don’t shade properly, your wood-burning designs can look flat and one-dimensional. Shading adds depth and dimensionality to your work, making it more visually interesting and pleasing to the eye.

There are a few different steps that you can shade your wood-burning projects.

Shade Your Burned Designs Properly

Step 1: Determine the Direction of the Grain 

First, you need to determine the direction of the grain. then, you need to figure out which way the wood will burn. You can do this by running your hand along the wood. The direction of the grain will dictate how you shade the wood burning.

Step 2: The Right Tools 

The first thing you need to do is gather the right tools. You’ll need a wood burning pen, some paper, a pencil, and a few other things. Once you have all of your supplies, you can start shading your wood burning.

Step 3: Preparing the Wood 

The next step is to prepare the wood. You will need to find a piece of wood that is large enough to fit your design and then sand it down until it is smooth. Once the wood is smooth, you can begin to burn your design into it.

Step 4: Sketching the Design 

When you’re ready to start shading your wood burning, you must first sketch out the design you want to create. This will help you plan where to place the darkest and lightest shading areas and ensure the overall design looks balanced.

Step 5: Tracing the Design 

Now that your design is transferred onto the wood, it’s time to start tracing. If you’re using a pencil, make sure it’s nice and sharp so you can get clean lines. For this project, we are going to be using a black pen. Start by slowly tracing over your bars with the pen.

Once the entire design is traced, go back over the lines a second time to make them friendly and bold if you make a mistake while outlining, no worries! You can simply erase the pen and start over. Now that your design is all traced, it’s time to start shading!

Step 6: Shading the Design 

Shading is integral to wood burning and can make your design pop. There are a few different ways that you can shade your design, so experiment to see what works best for you.

One way to shade is by using a pencil or writing utensil to draw lines that are close together. The closer the lines are, the darker shade will be. You can also use a pen or sharp object to make dots in your design.

Another way to shade is by using a piece of sandpaper. Rub the sandpaper over the area that you want to be shaded. The more you rub, the darker the shade will be.

Rub the Sandpaper Over the Area

Step 7: Adding Details 

Now that the basic shape of your design is complete, it’s time to add some detail and texture. Again, this can be done using wood-burning techniques, such as hatching, crosshatching, stippling, and tracing.

To add hatching, simply use the tip of your wood-burning pen to draw a series of parallel lines. To create crosshatching, draw a series of intersecting lines. Dots make stippling, and tracing is done by following the edge of an object.

Step 8: Finishing the Wood 

After the wood burning is complete, it’s time to finish the project with a clear top coat. This will protect the wood and ensure that the design lasts for years.

Brush on a thin layer of clear polyurethane or varnish to finish. Allow this to dry completely before using or displaying the piece. Have fun and experiment with different techniques to create unique works of art.

Step 9: Displaying the Wood Burning 

Once you have completed your wood-burning project, it is time to display it. You can hang it on the wall or place it on a shelf. If you want to protect your wood burning, you can seal it with a clear coat of varnish.

Experiment with these steps to see what looks best on your project. You can also use a combination of techniques to add more interest and depth to your design.

You Can Check It Out To Refinish a Teak Dining Table

Use a Combination of Techniques

Things You Need to Keep in Mind Before Shading Wood Burning

  1. Keep in mind the direction of the grain when shading. The darker areas should permanently be colored in the same direction as the grain.
  2. Use a light touch when shading. Heavy pressure will cause the wood to burn more deeply, making the shading look uneven.
  3. Work slowly and methodically to avoid mistakes. Rushing the shading process will only lead to frustration and subpar results.
  4. Make sure the area you’re working in is well-ventilated. The fumes from burning wood can be harmful if inhaled for too long.
  5. Use a piece of scrap wood to practice your shading technique before tackling the main project.
  6. Choose the correct type of shading tool for the job. A pencil or charcoal is best for detailed work, while a brush can be used for larger areas.
  7. Start with light shades of color and gradually build up to darker hues. This will give you more control over the final result.
  8. Use a fixative to protect your work once you’re finished. This will help to prevent the shading from smudging or fading over time.
  9. If you’re not happy with the results of your shading, don’t be afraid to start over. Practice makes perfect, so keep it until you’re satisfied with the results.

Shading wood burning can be a relaxing and therapeutic activity. Enjoy the process, and take your time to create something beautiful.

Which Color is the Best to Shade Wood Burning?

Many colors can be used to Shade Wood Burning, but the best depends on the desired effect. Of course, black and white are the most popular choices, but other colors, such as green, blue, and even pink, can be used to create different shades.

For example, black is often used to create a smoldering effect, while white can be used to brighten up the wood burning. Pink and blue are popular choices for shading wood burning, as they can create a more calming effect. Green is another popular choice, as it can help to blend colors and create a more natural look.

Ultimately, the best color to use for shading wood burning is the one that best suits the desired effect. Black and white are the most popular choices, but other colors, such as green, blue, and even pink, can be used to create different shades. Each color has unique properties that can be exploited to create different looks.

Many Colors Can Be Used


Shading is an essential skill for any wood burner. By following these simple steps, you can create beautiful pieces that stand out from the crowd.

Now that you know how to shade wood burning, it’s time to put your skills into practice! Remember to use a light touch until you get the hang of it, then gradually increase the pressure as needed. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to create beautiful pieces of art that will last a lifetime.

If you read this entire post, you should have a pretty good understanding of How to Shade Wood Burning. If not, feel free to comment below, and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

I hope this has been helpful, and thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

Leave a Comment