Safety Equipment

Before we go over how to wood burn designs with color, let’s talk safety. It’s always a good idea to wear a mask and have your gloves or finger guards ready. I also typically have a fan nearby to pull the smoke away from face.

These are three products I use when I’m burning. I’ve tried other masks, but the 3M mask with Vapor Filters have worked the best for me.

The Jatai Finger Guards are actually for use with curling wands, but of everything I’ve tried these keep the heat off my fingers the best.

Materials I used:


In Part One of this blog, I took an old piece of artwork I drew years ago and recreated it as a wood burned piece. Now in part two, we are going to learn how to wood burn designs with color by adding India Inks to the wood.

You can use any wood burned piece you’ve created that you want to add color to. If you aren’t experienced with painting, that’s okay. We are going to be really loose with the color here and let it go where it wants to go. 

Please make sure you want to add color to your piece before trying it out. If you aren’t sure, try this experiment with a scrap piece of wood to give yourself the experience of how the inks will work. 

Let’s get started with the setup.


You’ll need your water, brush, inks and palette to get started. 

Coloring the Eyes

The first thing I did was add a touch of water to the open space in the eyes. The water will provide a wet surface for the ink to spread. Then I used the brush to add small amounts of pink ink to the water. 

While it’s still wet, I added very little blue ink to the edges. I want the pink color to fill the majority of the space and have the blue ink be an accent color. Once I added the blue ink, I let it dry for the next step.

Adding color to the wood burning.
Adding a little bit of blue to the pink.

Watering the Canvas

The steps to adding the ink here, will be very similar to how we added the ink in the eyes. The first thing I did was add water to the wood’s surface. I like this water technique because it allows me to add color without a lot of painting skills. The water wets the wood and it acts as a vehicle for the ink to spread. 

I’m just took my brush and spread the water over the wood, but I left a dry spot in the center. I wanted the ink color to fade from the outer edges toward the inside. 

Adding water to the canvas.

Adding the Pink Ink

I added the pink ink using the ink dropper. This wass such an easy way to add the ink. I just took the dropper and squeezed the ink out along all four sides. 

Once the ink was on the board, I grabbed my brush and helped the ink spread. I wanted the heavier color on the outer edge and it to fade toward the center. 

Use the dropper to add ink to the watered canvas.
Using my brush to spread the ink.

Adding the Blue Ink

While the pink ink was still wet, I added a few drops of blue ink only in the corners. I wanted the pink color to dominate the pallete, with the blue acting as an accent. The wood was still really wet from the pink ink, so the blue had an easier time of spreading on its own. I just let it sit and let the color do it’s magic of filling in toward the center. 

I left it alone to dry so I could move onto the next step of adding color to the sides. 

Adding blue ink to the corners using the dropper.
Moving the ink around.

The Sides

Adding color to the sides works exactly the same way as the surface. I added water, then I dropped in pink ink first, and then I used my brush to spread it. While it was still wet I added a few small drop of the blue ink. They mix really well and create a pretty purple ink. 

I had to wait for each side to dry in order to finish each one. 

Once it’s all dry and done, I sprayed the piece with a satin lacquer. It will have a bit of a sheen without being a full on gloss. 

Adding ink to the corners.

All Done!!

I hope you enjoyed my version of how to wood burn designs with color.

All done!

Watch the Video!


This FREE (and highly detailed) digital packet is overflowing with information for getting started in pyrography.

  • 14 tools supply list – the best tools in pyrography
  • 5 pyrography patterns to use in burning
  • 2 step-by-step pyro projects with templates

I put together a digital download packet that highlights wood burning tools and projects perfect for pyro beginners.

“what burner should I use?”

“what’s the best wood to burn?”

“what are my safety options?”

“where can I get these tools?”

“where can I get pyrography patterns?”

“what should I burn?”


Pyro Pack Digital Download

* indicates required

We hate spam too! We will never sell your info. We will only use it to send you downloads and update you on Pyrocrafters news and events.