Acrylic Enamel Paint Fill Opinions

Hey friends!

I am embarking on my acrylic engraved Christmas ornament expedition, and would love to hear some of your opinions on color filling.

I am choosing not to do two-tone acrylic and will attempt to fill my engraved handlettering with acrylic paint while the masking is still on the piece.

Regarding this method, do you love it or hate it?
Do you prefer doing a deeper engrave and then flooding with acrylic paint, or do you go for a shallow engrave with a nice Krylon spray paint instead?

I keep seeing IG makers post about using enamel or color fill that is specific for engraving, and can’t seem to find nice options online. I’m specifically looking for a metallic gold and bright white.


following…I have the same questions.


If you use the search function here in the forum with the terms “acrylic paint fill” or similar words you can read the experiences posted over the past two plus years.

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I’ve recently come to love acrylic paint markers - they’re super cheap, you can get a set of 24 all over Amazon for under $30!


I’ve been making many little signs with acrylic (and wood) and using either leather edge coat or acrylic paints and brushing into the etched areas, as well as key chains and zipper charms with “laser scrimshaw”. But it’s a thin layer of color, and I’ve not tried a flood fill where it’s even with, or higher than the acrylic surface.

One thing I love with acrylic is the paint cleans off quite easily from the smooth surface, while adhering well to the “teeth” and more open pores of the ethed areas. If you try acrylic paint, be sure to let it cure for a long time before doing any cleaning, in case the surface tension holding it to itself causes some to come out of the filled areas as you get it off the surface… (so far I’ve not had the patience to try it). There were some threads with great work with UV epoxy–I know it was on wood, but there may have been some acrylic, too.

I do a regular draft or SD engrave and paint it with the masking on. Haven’t done spray paint just because I didn’t want to buy that many cans, so I paint it with a brush instead. I haven’t seen any specific paints – plain old hobby acrylic paints work just fine.

The FolkArt brand has some nice gold, silver, and copper metallics. I forget what they call them, but there’s an outline of a jewel on the top of the lid. :slight_smile:

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Another paint to consider is Ranger’s Vintaj line (got them at my local Hobby Lobby). They are made to work on metal but seem to work great on acrylic. And they do come in metallic gold as well as white. Here’s an example:

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I have never done this using acrylic as my base, but I have done it plenty with solid wood and proofgrade plywood. Both work, but in my experience a deep fill works better with small things. Narrow fills are tough (think a flowery script). I don’t know about acrylic spray paint, but quality spray paint from the art store makes a noticeable difference to the ol’ Rustoleum from the DIY store.

Note that the paint likes to wick up under the masking, at least with wood. Have not found a good solution for that yet.

These were made for a card game called Bohnanza. Some colours we just etched (as in the purple) but some we filled with acrylic (as in the yellow). Engrave, take off masking, wipe on paint, let dry a little, rigourously wipe with dry cloth to remove paint on anything that isn’t engraved. Worked pretty well. I think that the scored image and/or thinner engraves work well with this method.


There are some nice options for high-quality acrylic fine-art spray paint. The Montana Gold series is an absolute pleasure to work with, and the Flame brand is a good runner-up.

in wood, the paint likes to wick along the exposed grain, even if the mask is firmly in place. In that case you can try starting with some clear krylon to seal it all up, then hit it with your primer/colors whatever once the clear has dried.


The oil-based paint pens don’t bleed into wood grain. :slight_smile:

disagree :wink:


I have not tried Krylon, but I can report that spray shellac and spray polyurethane don’t work well for this. I will go with the Krylon next time.

I love that game - haven’t played it in far too long. We only had it in German so it was Hippie Bean, and Crazy Bean, and Angry Bean, etc. (based on the pictures) as opposed to their actual bean names which just made it funnier :stuck_out_tongue:

I do a ton of acrylic engraving filled with acrylic spray paint. You get much better results with a quality paint like Ironlak, Montana or MTN. They are designed for graffiti work and have higher pigment content than rustoleum etc. They dry fast as well. Of course, if you’re doing small pins using a brush would probably be better, but just showing you an option.

I prefer a bit of a deeper engrave, but that’s just a preference and not really a necessity.

Hobby Lobby carries Ironlak and it’s typically in the framing area and not with the other spray paint. They have a really nice metallic gold and the white is nice and opaque.

The tenticles are painted by engraving each individual color and then painting.
There’s a lot of talk about it here.


Well, darn! They work for me!

it’s really gonna depend a lot on the wood. For example, the pre-finished proofgrade wicks way less than unfinished baltic birch. The oil pens certainly seem to wick less than water or alcohol based ones. Wax/solid paint markers don’t wick, but they have their own issues.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if some of the more resinous woods might self-seal to an extent, from the heat of cutting/engraving, but that’s just a guess.


Primer is mandatory for optimal results.

I frequently paint engravings on wood and acrylic (typically lettering). If I don’t prime it first, results are always suboptimal. For acrylic, the coat of paint will be “thin” wherever there’s a sharp corner, like the edges of the engraving. Surface tension also tends to draw the paint away from the vertical faces below those corners. The underlying acrylic color is visible through the paint in these areas. For wood, there’s a lot of charred material in the engraving that lifts out and mixes with the paint, changing the color.


Just watching “Make it Artsy” on PBS (don’t watch it too often as i find it often too annoying). but segment on right now about using epoxy clay for building up on plastic journal covers for unique designs–but made me wonder if could be used to fill the etched areas on acrylic, and then scrape it even with the surface (or sand, akin to cloisonne process) if you want a completely filled area…

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