Mill out the text, and instead of filling it with wood or another material, you paint something in.
I have made a variety of posts on my blog that mostly capture my shame and failure. I will summarize my successful results here so you don't have to dig through everything. There are lots of pictures and detail explanations for those interested.
Liquid Inlay Failure
Inlay Experiment Part 1
Inlay Issues Part 2
The winning recipe seems to be the following:
- 1. Mill out text or design to around 0.05". You will see the whole shape of the pocket, so round or vee bottoms could be interesting.
- 2. Seal wood with spray lacquer. It can be found at hardware stores and is cheap. You don't need much, just a light coating.
- 3. Mix acrylic craft paint with water to thin, and coat all inside surfaces of the pocket. Leave to dry overnight
- 4. Sand off surface to remove any paint that remains on top surface. A hand plane does a really stellar job here if you have one.
My other failed experiments included different dying techniques in both two part epoxy and polyester resin. That and I tried to completely fill the pocket with acrylic paint, then sand smooth. It shrinks waaaay too much. Now get out there and make some holiday presents!