Can’t get my etched tiles to take enough color

I’ve been loving etching tiles but have yet to find a good way to get a nice dark finish on the etched surface.
I’ve tried oil sharpies, regular sharpies, and acrylic paint.
I’ve been etching at 800 speed and full power. 195 LPI.
These are just regular Home Depot white tiles.
Any thoughts?

1 Like

I did one last night using 1000 speed, full power (Pro) and 450 lpi. These are the settings @Lotema uses. I used a regular sharpie, dark colors (brown and a dark purple) and the color was pretty dark. I cleaned it up with a generic magic eraser. If you clean it with alcohol it fades the colors for a nice watercolor effect. I need to work on the artwork, however, so it wasn’t a success from that perspective.

I used a 16 cent white ceramic tile from Menards. If you’re not from the Midwest, Menards is a regional chain similar to Home Depot.


Same, I get great results with full power, full speed and 450 LPI.


I have a basic.
What would you recommend for LPI?

  1. I have a basic as well. These were all done using those settings.

Dry or dampened with water?

I got pretty good results with 650/100/450 lpi


dry, but that’s right you’re supposed to dampen them. I’ve used dampened ones in the past, but I think the dry worked better. Well, I didn’t die, just overslept.

1 Like

Yeah but that can make the Sharpie ink run and discolor the edges. Figured I’d check to see if you were going damp and weren’t seeing any ink running off on to the edges.

I’m using a technique of sandwiching the sponges between the tile & a random orbital sander.


I’ve had good luck with the oil sharpies and a damp magic eraser.


But they also sell food. my first time in a Menard’s I was like ??? holy smokes. I can get plumbing parts and a rack of ribs for the BBQ.

1 Like

The colors came out really nicely on your tile!

1 Like

When a large part of your customer base is: single guy, probably works in a trade, tries to avoid any store that doesn’t sell tools, auto parts or sporting goods, you become a full service store for him. I’m surprised by the lack of outdoor goods actually.


Question, After you color in your etching, can the tiles be cleaned with soap and water? - say if they were used on a back splash, or in a bathroom?

It’s being debated. Some people are spraying a clear coat, or shellac if they want a slight yellow tinge, over their tiles, some people report the sharpie colored ones stand up to cleaning. Right now the consensus seems to be proceed as you deem best.