View Full Version : Adapting scratchboard to bamboo

10-29-2014, 07:28 PM
I have a project underway that uses bamboo for a couple of artistic items. What I would like to know is how to make and apply a scratchboard surface to bamboo. The bamboo is cleaned and dried but otherwise left as nature made it. It should be noted that the natural surface layer of cells of bamboo is very slick and paints do not hold well. I don't mind sanding (I assume the scratch will cover the surface any way) but the bamboo loses something if any of the sanded surface is left exposed.

Application is to be on what is normally the outer surface of the culm. It needs to be relatively tough although it will be sealed with acrylic or polyurethane. Smaller jewelry items will likely get the acrylic as they will not get as rough a treatment that the 4 to 5 ft long pieces might (walking sticks).

Secondly: I would like to see if there is a reverse scratchboard formula that would give me a white surface that scratched to a black line.

The 'art' is simple line art, letters and such, very little shading wanted at this time.

I await the wisdom of those here who may have done something similar - I've never used the traditional board and am seeking to branch out from pyroengraving and paint.

10-30-2014, 04:48 AM
Just a thought from what I have experienced (though I only worked with freshly cut stems): bamboo is quite tough, but if you've got a green type, you could cut lines into the surface (don't know if scratching will really work due to fibres, toughness and the arch), which would leave whitish-beige cuts in the green. The green fades, though, and maybe you could rub the surface after your lines are cut with some colour (ink?). The cuts might take the colour while the smooth outer surface should not.
This could leave the bamboo more in its "natural" state rather than just using it as base.

10-30-2014, 08:17 AM
I haven't a clue how you'll do it, but it will be fun to watch!

02-18-2015, 04:54 PM
Thanks Tigr and Ggart - I am still struggling with this. I already work into the surface of the bamboo, what I want is a scratch board coating that would work like standard boards.

02-24-2015, 10:30 AM

Clear the bamboo with a hard clear. I would use automotive clear. See a body shop.... Scuff with a scotchbrite pad. Airbrush ink. Scratch..... Clear.