View Full Version : Engraving Painted MDF

Julian Ashcroft
05-13-2014, 3:25 AM
One of the things I want to do with my new laser Engraver, is to engrave designs for clocks. I have done a few on my Roland EGX-300, but it is slow and the cutters are worn down pretty quickly. I did a test run last night on some MDF, design was vector and it came out fine. I may go for a slightly softer focus so I get a slightly wider mark on the MDF.

MDF as it is is a bit boring to look at and so I would like to engrave into an already painted finish. Was in the local DIY store yesterday and picked up a couple of cans of spray paint, one was a pretty normal cream matt paint, but the other produced a stone like textured finish, which looked really good. Haven't tried them under the laser, yet, as I don't know if it's safe to do so.

Is it normal practice to laser engrave onto painted finishes or am I going down the wrong path here?

The clock below is actually a piece of plastic veneered MDF, done on my Roland Engraver, that's the sort of design I will be doing on the painted MDF on the laser hopefully.


Mike Null
05-13-2014, 6:49 AM

Do whatever strikes your fancy. I imagine all of us have done some engraving through painted surfaces of varying types. Experimentation may reveal a look that is even better than you expected. Go for it!

I've had very nice results using acrylic painted on the back and reverse engraved then color filled.

Dave Sheldrake
05-13-2014, 11:45 AM
Pretty safe on most paints Ju, try laminate flooring as well, that can be fun :)



Dee Gallo
05-13-2014, 3:25 PM
As long as you get a nice even coating, you'll be fine. I've also seen a "vintage" look using black as a base, then white on top. After laser engraving, they used sandpaper to wear away the white around the edges and gave it a worn/cottage feel. You can also mask areas and get a lot of different colors going at once.

Andrew Holloway
05-13-2014, 3:51 PM
You can also cover with transfer tape/masking tape, engrave the tape and paint off and before removing the tape paint the engraved sections with a different colour.