Those two are very nice, Barb. A friend, Eric Rhoten, has been carving signs for about 30+ years. He sprays his with sanding sealer before carving. For inset carving, he uses the spray black primers or Marsh ink without bleeding. Then sands with a 40 grit belt sander, then 50 and, finally 80. Depending, he may use an ROS at 220.
If you haven't seen his You Tube videos, here's his channel. https://m.youtube.com/user/oldave100
I know all about Eric and his dad, Gene. Found their site years ago, and follow his videos. Some of their techniques don't work for me, unfortunately. That's why we tried the Marsh Ink, and the black primers; because I watched Eric and Dave use it, and figured we would try it. Eric and I have emailed back and forth a few times; we're friends on facebook. Eric, Dave, and the whole family are really good people.
As for the belt sander, for whatever reason, it gouges my wood; Ken can't get an even sand out of the belt sander, and the sander is new. the edge creates gouges. Ken and I both watch and have followed many of his videos, I've seen how he does his signs from beginning to end
. I've watched as he's found new techniques for transferring patterns, different techniques, tricks, etc. In his last transfer video (for inkjet, if I remember correctly) I told him that was a lot of work to get to the process, and told him again about the Wintergreen Oil, and sent him my video on how to use it. I love watching their videos. Ken does all the sanding, painting, and poly work on the signs. I do the creating and cutting.
As for the Sanding Sealer, he (Eric) uses that on his pine pieces soon as he purchases the wood to help prevent cupping. Sanding sealer has done nothing for my cedar boards except to aggravate Ken. Haven't gone out and replenished my pine wood supply yet to see what it does. Eric also uses their cut outs for their patterns; he places them, then uses the paint to get his lines. I use my printer, and transfer my entire pattern. His way, I would be constantly buying cutouts, because they get gunked up, or many layers of paint on them. Then you have to buy more. Using my printer and wintergreen oil is more cost effective for me.