How to Paint on a Saw Blade

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Painting a scene on an old saw blade is a decorative way to preserve a tool that belonged to a loved one. Using acrylic paints means easy clean-up, but you need to prepare the blade to ensure that the paint attaches well and stays on the metal.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dishwashing soap

  • Sanding block or wire brush

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Masking tape

  • Acrylic sealer

  • Graphite transfer paper

  • Paint brushes, including shader and liner

  • Palette or palette papre

  • Extra-fine point permanent marker (optional)

Step 1

Wash the saw blade thoroughly with dishwashing soap and water. Rinse it completely and dry the surface.


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Step 2

Using the sanding block or wire brush, remove any rust on the blade.

Step 3

Wipe the blade with alcohol to remove any grease and leftover rust debris.

Step 4

Mask the handle of the saw with tape to avoid getting paint on it.


Step 5

Brush the entire blade surface, front and back, with sealer and let it dry thoroughly.


If you are going to paint the whole surface, you can use gesso or a primer paint. However, if you want the natural look of the saw to show anywhere, use the clear acrylic sealer.

Step 6

Transfer your design onto the blade using graphite paper. Transfer only the larger sections at this point. You can trace the smaller details after you have the backgrounds based in.


Step 7

Base-coat each part of your picture with the desired colors. You will probably need at least two coats of paint to cover the metal, and it might take more for some colors. Use several thin coats, rather than one heavy one, to make sure the paint doesn't pull away later. Allow the paint to dry in between coats and before starting the detailing.


Step 8

Using smaller brushes, add the traced or free-hand details to your design, including shading and highlights.

Step 9

If you want to outline the design to make the sections clearer, use a liner brush and thinned paint or switch to the marker. Allow all of the paint and the marker to dry completely.


Step 10

Apply two thin coats of sealer to your saw before removing the tape from the handle. If you choose, you can fill in any dings and dents with wood filler and paint the handle, as well.


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