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Woodburning Basics

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Use simple woodburning tools and easy-to-learn techniques to help you add distinctive designs to a variety of bare-wood projects.

Woodburning technique

Wood Burning Tool Kit

Transfer patterns to wood

Woodburning Success Tips

  1. Soft woods with minimal grain, such as pine or aspen, are easier to burn than hardwoods. 
  2. As you work, use 320-grit sandpaper on a solid block to lightly brush away any residue or buildup from the tip of the woodburning pen. If you do this while the tip is hot, avoid holding the sandpaper in your hands or touching the paper more than a second.
  3. Use a small pair of pliers to remove hot tips safely and easily. Place hot tips in a small glass or metal dish to cool. Even though cool tips can be handled safely, use pliers to insert them into the barrel of a hot tool.
  4. Let the woodburning pen do the work -- don't force it. Too much pressure can bend hot tips.
  5. Try out new steps and techniques on a sample board cut from the same material you're burning. Practice with different tips to see how they burn and what types of lines and patterns they create.
  6. Keep the woodburning pen out of the reach of children and away from flammable materials.

Create Woodburning Designs

To transfer a design, first download, print, and (if necessary) assemble the paper pattern. Place transfer paper between the pattern on top and the wood below, and trace the lines of the pattern with a pencil or ballpoint pen to create the design on the wood.

 Burn patterns into wood

Use a woodburning tool to burn the design into the wood with the appropriate tip. To prevent fire or injury, follow all safety instructions that came with the kit.

 Paint shapes within the woodburned pattern

If desired, add color to the design by applying a water-base wood stain. The product we used can be tinted more than 50 custom colors at the Lowe's paint counter.

 Paint shapes within the woodburned pattern

Tool Tip Options

A woodburning tool kit includes a pen-like tool you plug into an electrical outlet, plus several tips that attach to the tool to create different effects. Check out the quick guides to the basic tips at right.

More Tool Tip Options