View Full Version : Black Marble Engraving Secret Sauce

Keith Outten
04-26-2006, 9:51 PM
Everyone has asked me to share my "Secret Sauce" that I use to make black marble engraving whiter and brighter. I won't share how I came to use the product for engraving but I will finally share the product.

Armor All Protectant

Yep, the same stuff you use for your automobile to protect your dashboard from UV damage...just wipe it on and buff lightly with a clean soft cloth or paper towell before engraving. Your black marble tiles will be noticeably whiter and brighter when laser engraved.

I expect this information will be worldwide in a matter of minutes, don't forget that you heard it here at SMC first :)

Enjoy !


Carla Lange
04-26-2006, 10:09 PM
Cool.....thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try it!:D

Lee DeRaud
04-27-2006, 1:14 AM
Not really sure I want to know how you discovered that, but thanks.:cool:

Dave Strickler
04-27-2006, 8:20 AM
Keith, thank you for sharing. I never would have guessed what it was in a million years. I do know however, that beer doesn't work! ;)

Dave Jones
04-27-2006, 9:32 AM
Hmmm.... Notes to self:

- see if Armor All comes in Jumbo Economy size

- find cheap source for 1oz plastic bottles

- make up new name; "Tile Coat"?, "Laser-Coat"? ...

- print labels

- see if lasercoat.com is available


Uh Oh. Did I just think this out loud? Um, everybody just ignore this post. Move on. Nothing to see here. (*whistling...*)


Barbara Sample
04-27-2006, 11:08 AM
Thanks for sharing the information. I can't beleive it!! I am going to try it today. Have you tried it on LaserSketch marble, both hard and soft? Just wondering. It would save us a lot of cutting and finishing of our own.
Thanks again,

Joe Pelonio
04-27-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks Keith,

I was actually expecting some combination of things like ketchup, worchestershire sauce and garlic.

Greg Sloan
04-29-2006, 11:28 AM
Thanks Keith,
It couldn't have come at a better time. Just recieved a marble order. So I gave it a shot. WOW! I can't believe the difference it made. I think my customer will be very please with the outcome. He was happy with my show piece.

Thanks again,

Greg Sloan

David Lavaneri
06-05-2006, 6:32 AM

What do you think "The Science" is, behind your Armor All discovery?

I can imagine the protectant making the black marble appear darker; but does it actually make the white engrave whiter?

Mark Dickens
06-05-2006, 7:41 AM
We do a lot of marble engraving of photos and as soon as I read about this, I ran and bought a bottle. It does work. We have discovered that the way to do this is to spray the marble with it, and then buff it off with a rag. The engraving is noticeably whiter.

Keith Outten
06-05-2006, 8:01 AM

I think that Armor All enhances the burn and provides a much whiter engraving, I doubt it does much for the background or black area of the marble tiles. I have done some side by side comparisons on single tiles and the Armor All side is considerably brighter than I could ever obtain otherwise. The techniqe is certainly inexpensive and the quality is a huge improvement.
There may be other treatments that would produce other colors but I don't have the time to continue experimenting right now.

Sadly I don't do many black marble tiles anymore, I have moved in another direction :)

Pete Simmons
06-05-2006, 8:18 AM
Remember one of Armor All Protectant's functions is to block UV light. Maybe it absorbs the laser light just a little more and makes a hotter spot to get the whiter effect?

Just a guess. Any other ideas?

David Lavaneri
06-06-2006, 11:58 AM

What prompted you to try Armor All or any "secret sauce" compared to simply engraving straight to the marble?


Interesting theory. Could be something to the UV blocking aspect.


Keith Outten
06-06-2006, 12:17 PM

After engraving about 50 marble tiles I started looking for a way to get better contrast. Adjusting the speed and power settings will only get you so far so the next thing to try is a coating. Armor All wasn't the first that I tried, they all failed but I kept searching the shelves in my shop office looking for another product to try. The rest of the story is classified :)


David Lavaneri
06-06-2006, 1:07 PM
Thank you Keith.

Your penchant for pressing the envelope is very admirable and should serve as a shining example for your forum members.

I like to press the envelope myself, but I won't press you for classified information. :D

Ed Lang
06-06-2006, 1:22 PM
I'll press!

I'll even drive down after the 16th (since I'll have time) and offer some form of bribe.

Brent Vander Weil
06-06-2006, 3:57 PM
This is why I sent in a donation... I always get the best tips out here... Let's all take time to donate and to encorage others to make a donation to the site... it gives us all an advantage and I want to keep the good times rolling!!!

David Zurick
06-08-2006, 12:14 AM
Does anyone know if the Armor All works makes a difference on black granite also?

Alex Tzoulis
10-04-2018, 12:55 AM
I see that armor all protectant produced in 3 versions
1) original
2) gloss finish
3) mat finish
Which version gives better contrast on black marble?
Also works on granite?

Keith Outten
10-04-2018, 3:29 PM
I have only used the original Armor All so I don't know if the other two work work.

Kev Williams
10-05-2018, 1:22 AM
umm... white cermark? ;)

Scott Shepherd
10-05-2018, 7:54 AM
umm... white cermark? ;)

White Cermark didn't exist in 2006 when the thread was written ;)

Alex Tzoulis
10-05-2018, 10:40 PM
What is the paint uses in this video ?

acrylic black ? (oil based paints does not work on marble)

Barb Becker
10-07-2018, 11:29 AM
Thanks for sharing! Guess I need to do some shopping, had moved from ArmorAll to Vinylex for the vehicles, but will do some testing with the Vinylex too!

Alex Tzoulis
10-10-2018, 6:49 PM
I have used armor all protectant gloss because original is not available in europe only matt & gloss protectant are available
and iam not seeing any difference like more white or enhanced contrast.
In what black marble the more white/contrast has been observed ?
Maybe the reason is the material iam using and no armor all protectant.
I have ordered armor all original protectant from US because that is not available to EU and i will post my results with original protectant..

Hilton Lister
10-11-2018, 3:44 AM
Has this tip not been posted before? I used this technique well over 10 years ago when engraving some black marble trophy bases and I don't think I am clever enough to have worked it out myself!

Scott Shepherd
10-11-2018, 7:52 AM
Has this tip not been posted before? I used this technique well over 10 years ago when engraving some black marble trophy bases and I don't think I am clever enough to have worked it out myself!

Yes, 12 years ago when this thread was started!

Barb Becker
10-11-2018, 12:32 PM
Geesh, I didn't even notice the date. Wonder why this thread came up as a new one for me.

Hilton Lister
10-11-2018, 4:56 PM
Dooh! Thanks !

Keith Outten
10-14-2018, 5:07 PM

Someone was searching our archived threads and found this one and responded.
Our archived threads are a valuable resource, you would be surprised how much information is available here including drawings and pictures of some very talented people.

Barb Becker
10-15-2018, 12:36 PM
Thanks, Keith. I agree about the archives being a wonderful resource, having spent many hours researching and reading. I've got a whole file of screen dumps of info and project ideas from the Creek.