Asked on Oct 19, 2017

How to glue and stain Balsa Wood



I just returned from Paris, France and brought home a 3-D Puzzle of Notre Dame - it was easy to transport since is was just 10 sheets of thin Balsa wood in a box that easily fit in my luggage - there were very limited instructions (In French) so it was a challenge and tooks us several days to complete - it is very fragile and some of the pieces easily fall off - I want to secure the entire piece and also stain it a light grey instead of the brown Balsa - to make it look more like stones - So i need your great inspiration on how to stain, paint, spray paint - and then glue it so I can easily move it without pieces falling off - See Photo - It's approx 6 inches wide X 12 inches long - once secured and permanent - I plan on putting some colorful gels in the windows inside and put an LED light so the windows glow

Thank you in advance - Looking forward to your Ideas - Ted B in Fort Lauderdale
q how to glue and stain balsa wood
5 answers
  • Nancy Turner
    on Oct 19, 2017

    In the past my hubby was really into R/C airplains. We use CA glue to secure the pieces together. I would use a fast acting one so that you don't have to hold it together until the medium or slow would set. Just watch out so that you don't get it stuck to your fingers! I stain or paint before you glue it, just be careful that the space where they are put together is not narrowed to much or you may not be able to get them together very well. I would also do the windows and the lights before the final put together, as once glued you will not be able to get into the nooks and crannies very well and would just be easier. A stain may be easier to do than paint as the stain will be thinner, if you can find one that would give the stone look you want. Spray paint would be thinner coats than brushing it on. The CA glue is available in craft stores or you could use crazy glue or gorilla glue, CA is just more heavy duty and comes in fast, medium and slow, depending on what your needs are in how quickly you can place the piece. I hope this helps you complete your Notre Dame puzzle!
  • Tbo29368191
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Thank you Nancy - you are an Angel - Unfortunately there are over 1000 pieces of Balsa wood from every where from 1 inch to 1/4 inch pieces - it would take days if not months of gluing all the pieces together - have you ever used spray glue in a can? The base is completely open, so gluing in the gels to the windows inside won't be an issue - I don't know if you can see it in the picture, but there are existing black lines and accents to make them stand out from the brown Balsa Wood - My idea is to use a sharpie pen to highlight the already black lines - then use your idea of painting a light stain over it all - any thoughts?? Glad to see there are more of us "hobbie" folks out there

    Thanks in advance - Ted B - Fort Lauderdale
  • DP
    on Oct 22, 2017

    would it work to stain the entire piece then use a mod podge over it which would seal and glue it? or even use a polyurethane which would help keep all the pieces together
  • Dai14251300
    on Oct 22, 2017

    very carefuly
Your comment...