DIY Paper Over Material?

I am curious, has anyone had any success applying their own paper over the top of a material which was sourced without any covering?

One of the many things I wish to do is engrave thin pieces of solid wood. It would be nice to have a simple go to process that didn’t require me to order ready to use material from online, but still gave the clean results.

This is for sure a thing; you’re looking for something with “mask” or “masking” in the name, usually.

^ That’s just the first source I found; it’s not an endorsement. But that’s the kind of thing you’re looking for.


Thank you! That is very much what I was looking for!

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I’d try checking with a local sign company. We get application tape for around a third of the cost that most of the online places charge.


Regular old masking tape works for wood. You can also post-process residual smoke damage w/ hydrogen peroxide. Nothing fancy needed.


I thought about masking tape, but then I was worried it might not work well. Do we know how much hoarder it is for a 40w CO2 laser to go though, or if there is a difference?

Thank you all for your feedback as well!

A sign company may not have rolls to sell on hand, but that would certainly be a great place to check, and they should be happy to at least give you a sample of the product that they use. There are several online signage-supply houses (like signwarehouse, beacongraphics and fellers to name a few). Application tape typically comes on rolls ranging from 1" to 64" wide and in 10- or 100-yard lengths, in low- medium- and high-tack adhesiveness. prices and quality vary from brand to brand. Some brands will even send you free samples if you seem like you are likely to become a customer.

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I’ve used blue painters tape in the past to cover the surface of materials I laser cut to protect them from smoke damage. It works great. The only downside is painters tape (especially in wider formats) is a bit expensive. Another thing to keep in mind is that it will impact engraving as the tape (or any cover material) needs to be burned away before hitting the surface of your piece. Any areas where tape overlaps, or small gaps between tape will also impact the look of engraving.