Colors and Sealant for Ceramic Tiles

Hi All,

Wondering what you guys use for coloring and sealing the color in tiles that your engrave. There’s like a million threads about tile engraving, but I’m hoping to compile here some basics. 1. what you use to dye/color 2. what do you use to seal it (if at all). and 3 (optional) pictures.

Thanks, and try not to go off topic.

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What is the application of the tiles? I just wonder why the tiles need sealing.

Hahaha! good luck with that! You’re new here I take it…


I’ve used dye based ink (from a rubber stamp pad re-inker bottle), alcohol based markers (sharpies, copics), Krylon brand gold leafing pen and acrylic paint. I don’t use a sealer, I’m using the tiles for decoration only, in stands.
Pics are shown in the top post in this thread: Tile Trials The acorn is metallic acrylic paint, the leave is alcohol ink markers.


lol, I can dream. Yeah, I’ve had my Glowforge for 5 days now


Enjoy the adventure man.

This thing has prompted an awakening of that creative aspect of myself. Dialing in the settings for the desired result is like a treasure hunt. Who doesn’t love a good puzzle? :sunglasses:


Hi, welcome to the fun!

For tiles, most folks posting have been using the cheap field tiles from box stores like Home Depot, and the laser blasts thru the thin glaze and into the porous body of the ceramic–great for coloring, not so good for function of the tile. Though I think some have found a sealant–hope they answer here!

I’ve only played with thick high-end tiles with very thick glaze, and the laser only reacted with the glaze and did blast through it into the body. Drawback I couldn’t color the design, but I didn’t want to, the single color suited the designs I chose, but upside was the tile was still intact and functioned as a tile. (These were tiles left over from a kitchen tiling project, which I got at a bargain price at a building salvage store–Habitat for Humanity is another great source for good tiles at bargain prices!).

So alas you’ll need to dig a bit through some threads–but even so, plan on using at least one tile to test various settings–use a small design so you can repeat it across the tile with the various settings to minimize how many tiles you have to test with!

Easier to start with a lower power and work up, as you can always etch over an area again if it’s too light (as long as you don’t move the tile or the artwork in the GFUI).

And you might find it works best with a masking film, like this:


I haven’t tried it yet on sharpie markers yet but for for slate…




I did find a reference on here (but don’t know where) where it was said that you need to seal if you use alcohol markers but not if you use oil-based paint markers (the kind you have to pump the tip on). I don’t know if a consensus was reached on ideal sealant—some can leach the color. So you might need to experiment.

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Right, I saw some answer searching with people saying they experimented, but without stating any conclusive results. I don’t really know much of anything so I was hoping to at least get a start here.

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