How to keep the bark?

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Forum topic by becikeja posted 04-19-2020 12:26 PM 429 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View becikeja's profile


1136 posts in 3733 days

04-19-2020 12:26 PM

Working on a small art project. I want to keep the bark of the live edge intact. Is there any type of finish I should be using. I don’t want it to be shiny, but as natural looking as possible. My fear is if I put nothing on it, it will pop off over time.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

5 replies so far

View Tony1212's profile


463 posts in 2654 days

#1 posted 04-20-2020 01:05 PM

It will pop off over time, but the only way that I’ve seen it done is with resin. Since that is shiny, it doesn’t seem to be the answer you’re looking for. Hopefully someone else will be along to chime in with a better way.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View OSU55's profile


2660 posts in 2909 days

#2 posted 04-20-2020 02:20 PM

I would use satin or matte poly or lacquer. I sprayed about 30 trunk cookies 12-14” dia with matte lacquer, “heavy” coats allowing it to soak in, spray again, again, etc. I dried them for several months before spraying. They looked very natural. Cant speak too well for longevity – they were table settings for a wedding and held together well for that. Relatives kept most of them – will have too if bark held. A lot came off when the wood dried, which was ok for me.

To keep the bark on, whether the wood is dry or not, soak it with thin CA glue. This will leave a shiny finish. After the wood is dry, use the satin or matte finish over it for the sheen reduction as well as protection.

View cracknpop's profile


470 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 04-21-2020 02:19 AM

I’ve only done it once on a live edge apple cribbage board. I did similar as OSU55. I soaked bark with thin CA glue, especially where bark meets wood. I then was able to lightly sand the bark as I did want it smoother and it held tight. Then topcoated with satin lacquer.

-- Rick - I know I am not perfect, but I will keep pressing on toward the goal of becoming all I am called to be.

View OleCuss's profile


25 posts in 296 days

#4 posted 04-21-2020 10:11 AM

I’ve no experience in trying to retain bark so I’m presenting this as a question rather than an answer.

If one had the equipment big enough and were willing to pay the bill for it, would going through the stabilization process with something like “Cactus Juice” work for retaining the bark for the long-term?

I’ve seen where at least one person mentioned that using Polycryl allowed them to retain bark. And again, I’ve not done that and am not saying it works or works well, only that I’ve seen someone say it worked.

View OSU55's profile


2660 posts in 2909 days

#5 posted 04-21-2020 04:03 PM

Havent used cactus juice either, but one of the requirements is for the wood to be very dry. Its recommended “dry” wood be oven baked prior to the juice to get best results. Dry wood typically loose most of the bark on the way to getting dry and baking it will hasten the loss. While I think the juice would help hold it on, I dont think much bark would survive the process.

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