How to Inlay Turquoise Into Wood

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A wood furnishing that has a pronounced crack might look as though it's ready to be tossed to the curb. However, the offending crack might offer an opportunity for artistic flair. Consider filling the crack with turquoise to create a stunning inlay that will pop against the wooden background.

Things You'll Need

  • Turquoise scraps
  • 2 sheets of steel, about 8-inches square
  • Ball point hammer
  • Plumber's aluminum tape
  • Disposable cup
  • High-strength 5-minute epoxy glue
  • Wooden craft stick
  • Course, medium and fine sandpaper

Step 1: Prepare the Crack

Inspect the crack and determine if it breaks through to the backside of the furniture. If it does, adhere plumber's tape that extends just beyond the entire length of the crack. This will keep your turquoise inlay in place. If the crack involves an edge, cover it with tape. Run your fingers over the tape to adhere it securely to the wood.

Step 2: Prepare the Turquoise

Choose a handful of small stone scraps and sandwich them between two sheets of steel. Place the steel on a hard surface and pound the top sheet with your hammer to shatter the stone shards. Continue striking the steel, checking at intervals, until the turquoise is the consistency of gritty sand. Repeat this process using small quantities of stones until you have enough turquoise to fill the crack.

Step 3: Prepare the Inlay Filler

Mix the epoxy glue, according to the manufacturer's instructions, in a disposable cup and add the pulverized turquoise. Use a wooden craft stick to stir the mixture until it becomes the consistency of paste.

Warning

  • The fumes from epoxy are toxic, so use it in a well-ventilated area.

Step 4: Apply Turquoise to the Crack

Use a craft stick to scoop the stone mixture from the cup and place it into the crack. Fill the crack with turquoise. The mixture should spill over the edges of the crack slightly. It will look slightly messy. Allow the epoxy to cure completely according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tip

  • Leave a small amount of the turquoise mixture in the cup so you can check its readiness to be sanded. This will help ensure the inlay is completely hardened before sanding.

Step 5: Finishing

Sand your cured turquoise inlay following the grain of the wood. Begin with coarse paper, followed by a medium paper and finish with a fine grit sandpaper. Your beautiful inlay should completely fill the crack and feel as smooth as the surface of the wood.

Tip

  • If you prefer to use a more budget-friendly substitute for turquoise, use liquid turquoise, which will create a similar effect. This alternative is resin that is dyed a turquoise color. It's mixed in two equal parts, stirred and poured into the crack. The same preparation of the crack and finishing of the dried inlay are required as described above.

Warning

  • Marble and calcite are often dyed to imitate turquoise, but have a white interior. Their color, when shattered, will be pale.

References

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