Any finish you like. After burning, your design is permanent and not affected by wood finishes. Be careful with wipe on finishes and burnt wood smears. We use Odie’s Oil, as it’s a natural, oil/wax combo.
Because the Scorch Marker only burns into the first few layers of the wood, “hot spots” (or burned edges around your design) or mistakes can be removed easily. Simply use a piece of sandpaper like an eraser and watch the problem areas disappear.
The better question is what grain type works best. We prefer to use the marker on endgrain, like wood slices or cookies, but if you can’t do that then go for anything. The burn will always show up better on lighter colored woods. Cheap, rough craft wood is the worst choice. We suggest using woods like basswood, sourwood, pine, aspen, poplar, oak, or even walnut. You might have trouble with dark woods like purple heart, ebony, and wenge. However, it will work great on all woods sold at craft and hobby stores. Don’t forget about paper and cardboard!
A heat gun isn’t the only tool that can get the job done. Large open flames, like a propane torch, can also be used for burning with the Scorch Marker. Smaller flames however, like a lighter, aren’t enough to guarantee the chemical reaction takes place. Our favorite open flame method is using a cigar lighter or a small butane torch. It's so much fun!
No! Wood that has been previously painted or treated releases dangerous fumes when heated. Before ever using your Scorch Marker on painted, treated, or stained wood, it’s important to sand away the finish or chemicals. Scorch Marker liquid must contact raw wood in order to work.
The top reason for a design that never goes black is a heat source that is not hot enough. A heat gun that is at least 1500-watts is recommended for crafting with the Scorch Marker. Preheat the heat gun by leaving it on in a safe place. After a few minutes, blast your design with high heat and it should change color! Some wood is quick, thicker, more wet wood changes slower.
A chemical reaction takes place in the wood between the Scorch Marker liquid and your heat source. This results in a smooth burn into the first few layers of the wood, which can be smelled while crafting.
For this reason, we always recommend that you heat Scorch Marker crafts in a well-ventilated area.
Sometimes, when a piece of wood is exposed to heat, it begins to bow and warp. This happens every once in a while due to moisture evaporation, but it doesn’t mean your project is ruined! Simply flip it upside-down after you’ve finished burning your design, then heat the back side evenly. This will help return your wood back to its original, flat shape.
The Scorch Marker can be used on paper, and so can vinyl stencils!
To prevent your stencils from ripping your paper though, it’s important to reduce their stickiness. This can be done by sticking the stencil onto a cloth or towel once or twice before adhering it to your paper.
See the entire process of using combining stencils with paper onTikTok.
A temperature of at least 350F is required for the chemical reaction to take place, and this can easily be achieved with a home oven. Simply preheat your oven to 350F, place your wood inside, and bake for about 10 minutes. Then, remove carefully and enjoy! On a side note, broilers can also work really well.