View Full Version : Anyone lasering on the back of mirrored glass?

Mitchell Andrus
05-06-2006, 6:59 PM
Just wondering... Can you take off the paint and silvering on the back of mirrored glass??? Would/could this leave the glass clear?


Keith Outten
05-06-2006, 7:52 PM

You Bet! You can engrave the back of mirrors which will leave a frosted area. Adjust your speed and power so that it just removes the silver, trying not to frost the glass surface any more than necessary. I normally use matt board behind the mirror to add some color to the engraved area. You can also paint the engraved areas on the back using as many colors as necessary to achive the desired effect.

Note that you can engrave extremely fine lines and detail on the back of mirrors. They make nice wedding announcements, birth certificates, etc.

Shaddy Dedmore
05-07-2006, 9:40 PM
Won't leave it crystal clear, as Keith said. But it still looks great. The more power, the frostier, so just use enough to get the back off (and some to spare to make sure you get the thicker spots off) then spraypaint the back, or use a color material.


Mitchell Andrus
05-07-2006, 10:14 PM


Rodne Gold
05-08-2006, 4:16 AM
In addition , the same thing can be accomplished on mirror acrylic with the added benefit of being able to cut it as well.

Joe Pelonio
05-08-2006, 7:04 AM
I'll do acrylic mirror that way and apply translucent vinyl as used for backlit signs to the back, for a really nice window hanging. Also the mirror acrylic laser cut makes great dimensional letters for wall logos and signs.

Mitchell Andrus
05-08-2006, 7:09 AM
Joe, I'd imagine that a letter cut from mirrored acrylic then cleared of all the mirror except a small trace around the edge would make a decent effect.


Joe Pelonio
05-08-2006, 8:57 AM
Hmmm, I think I'll have to try that one, paint the back after so you have a mirror outline around it. A recent one I did was for a tanning spa, 6" mirror letters mounted on black PVC board, got another few jobs after people saw it, and the young lady actually hugged me when she saw the sign. That's a first. I've gotten 2 tips, but never a hug.

bill brown
05-08-2006, 10:08 AM
depending on the application, the use of water base paint for back of etched glass mirrors is not recommended, there is a specific clear edge sealer in the glass industry. (moisture will undercut the silvering).

Mitchell Andrus
05-08-2006, 11:07 AM
Good thought - A little testing here will go a long way. Some solvent based paints will be a no-no too. Long term stickability is also a factor.


Joe Pelonio
05-08-2006, 11:46 AM
I should have thought of that too, since I have to use a special mirror mastic to stick the letters on. Colored vinyl would work instead of paint.

Rodne Gold
05-08-2006, 3:48 PM
Yeh , dont use solvent paints on laser cut and engraved acrylic either , the solvent will stress crack them , especialy extruded mirror.

Joe Pelonio
05-08-2006, 4:04 PM
Yeh , dont use solvent paints on laser cut and engraved acrylic either , the solvent will stress crack them , especialy extruded mirror.

That applies to cleaning agents too, if you wipe denatured alcohol on the edge you can see the cracks appear right before your eyes.

Pat Kearney
05-08-2006, 8:11 PM
Now I know why the clear acrylic that I spray painted black first, then reverse engraved, and finally spray painted with gold made the engraved lettering areas appear to have tiny cracks while the gold over the black spray paint shrivelled in some areas - almost like a very old persons wrinkled skin.
I read about not cleaning the acrylic with solvent but the old squirrel must have fallen asleep on the wheel as I never thought about the spray paint being solvent based :o. Anyway, got to go and redo that sign again. Thanks for the great info.


Michael McDuffie
05-09-2006, 2:03 PM
My acrylic story.
The maker of the Cryptex had a rush delivery and thought to himself, "I'll just give it a quick clean before I head to the post office".

You guessed it, he cleaned it with alcohol. It almost instantly fell apart in his hands. And I got a rush engraving job.

The solvent we used to clean the printing screens, when wiped on a CD, would leave no trace. But a slight flex of the disc and it would EXPLODE into little fragments.

I did a photo on the back of a mirror once. Learned to be careful in selecting whether it was inverted or not and what color to spray it with. Got some pretty scary samples


Mitchell Andrus
05-09-2006, 2:41 PM
Looks like we all need to brush up on that junior year physics course.