What is Intarsia Wood? (Everything You Need to Know)

If you are a new-comer to the world of wood work, then you might not be familiar with Intarsia wood work, or Intarsia wood as it is sometimes called. Intarsia woodwork is an art, and it requires lots of time, patience, and effort to develop this skill.

Intarsia wood work allows you to create true works of art on a wooden surface, and it isn’t an easy skill to develop. 

If you are considering taking up a new woodworking career, or simply want to do this in your spare time, then you should consider learning how to do Intarsia woodwork. Before you choose this style of woodwork, then you might want to learn more about it.

If that is the case, you are in the right place. In this quick and handy guide, we’re telling you absolutely everything you need to know about Intarsia woodwork. So, keep on reading. 

What is Intarsia Wood?

Well, first things first, you probably want to know exactly what Intarsia wood is. As we have said, Intarsia wood is actually a type of woodworking skill that you can develop.

It is a very intricate style of woodwork that allows you to create mosaic-style pictures on the surface of a piece of wood.

This style of woodwork dates all the way back to the seventh century AD, so it has been around for a very long time. But, despite this, the popularity of this style of woodwork isn’t waning.

The intricacy of Intarsia woodwork doesn’t stop at the actual art of carving the wood. In fact, the intricacy of this skill starts with the wood that you pick. Very specific pieces of wood are selected for their color and natural design, likewise very specific sizes of wood are selected for the job.

The key to Intarsia woodwork is creating depth, and the ability to do this relies heavily on the type of wood that you choose for the job. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what types of wood are generally used for Intarsia woodwork. 

What Wood is used for Intarsia?

As we have said, the type of wood that you use for Intarsia is very important. Especially if you want an excellent finish for your piece of art.

But, there is actually quite a bit of freedom with the style of wood that you use for Intarsia. That being said, there is one style of wood that is undoubtedly the best for this job, and that is oak wood. 

The main reason why oak wood is seen as the best style of wood for the job is because it is so flexible.

Oak has a wonderful natural color to it, which makes it perfect for Intarsia, but it also has the ability to be easily stained darker should you want to add more depth to your artwork.

However, if you know that you want to stain your wood before you get started, you should consider using pine instead, as this is also great for staining. 

One of the most important characteristics to consider when choosing wood, no matter what species of wood you select, is the natural grain of the wood.

The true beauty of woodwork lies in the fact that you are working with natural materials, so it is important to choose a grain that complements your design, rather than hinders it. 

What Tools are Needed for Intarsia?

When it comes to any style of woodwork, there is a long list of tools that you will need for the job. Like we have said, Intarsia is an incredibly detailed style of woodwork, and for this reason you will need lots of different tools if you want to get the job done right. But what tools do you actually need?

Well, just a handful of the tools that you will need for the job include contour sanding sleeves, detailed hand sanding tools, pneumatic sanders, oscillating sanders, and sanding shims. That is just considering the sanding equipment that you will need for the job.

As well as sanding tools, you will also need things such as double-sided tape, and a variety of blades if you want to achieve an excellent finish on your Intarsia wood. 

So, before you jump straight into your Intarsia woodwork, it is very important to consider the design that you are making, and the tools that you will need to achieve this finish.

As with everything, the key to achieving an excellent finish with your Intarsia woodwork is preparation, so bear this in mind before you begin. 

How Hard is Intarsia?

If you want to take up a new skill, then Intarsia woodwork might be the perfect one for you, But, if you are considering learning Intarsia, then you might be wondering how difficult it is before you get started. 

Well, there is no denying that Intarsia isn’t easy. Just like with anything new, Intarsia will be difficult when you begin. This is a fairly difficult skill to master, but as long as you have time and patience, you will be able to do it.

Once you master it, you will then be able to do this skill with ease, you just have to let yourself develop it. Practice makes perfect when it comes to Intarsia, so be prepared for there to be some failures along the way. 

It is impossible to state just how difficult Intarsia is because it will depend on your experience with woodwork, and any natural skill that you have. But, you should be prepared for this to be a challenge, so if that is what you are looking for, then Intarsia could be perfect for you. 


In short, Intarsia wood is a style of woodwork that focuses on creating mosaic-style patterns on the surface of a piece of wood to create art. Intarsia woodwork relies heavily on the wood that is used for the job, in order to create depth.

So, if you want to get started with Intarsia woodwork, remember that the tools are just as important as the skill you develop.