Engrave without it being dark

Is it possible to engrave on birch wood with a blank stain paint and then engrave on it and the engraving not be dark brown like in the attached picture? Can you engrave on birch wood with blank stain paint on it and the engraving be light in color (close to the wood’s color) like in the attached picture?

#1 there is no attached picture…


Thanks! I just attached a picture. How did you get it to be so light? I want to engrave words on black stained birch wood and want it to be light colored engraving similar to the wood’s color and not dark brown engraving.

That’s after much washing.

Lasering does tend to darken the piece, but you can minimize it by doing multiple very fast lower-power passes.

The key is fast. Generally engraves get darker as you ramp up power, increase LPI and slow down. So they’ll get lighter as you lower power, lower LPI, and speed up. Generally LPI is kind of set, you want a certain edge quality, so you start with your target LPI, then go full speed and 2-3 passes at whatever power you need to get through your pigment without toasting the material too much. Make sense?

You can also engrave with a masking, then paint the engraves whatever color you like, then remove the masking.


There are several things that can do it. For what you are doing I would leave the masking on as it will protect what you do not engrave, If I am having trouble otherwise I will make a second run and higher speed/ lower power to barely skim off the top layer underneath the previous engrave.

Then I wash the piece with hand sanitizer that gets off any gunk, and if needed a quick scrub with bleach will get off any residual stain. If warping is an issue the hand sanitizer will displace the water and hand dried on a towel etc, and then pressed between two flat surfaces until completely dry will get rid of any warp.

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Washing with what? Are there settings that you recommend? I am making decorative serving trays - .5 inch birch material and then staining it with black or gray or peach. Then I want to engrave it but I want the engrave to be light not dark brown. So what settings would you recommend for that?

I don’t really recommend washing, that’s more @rbtdanforth’s area.

Not really, it’ll be so dependent on your specific material and finish. This is why I just gave you guidelines for what I think will get you as close as possible: 2-3 passes at high speeds, then back into your power that you need to get the look you want.

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That is how I did the Lion or it would be much darker.

Thank you!

This was an accident, but a happy one. Basically it just engraved away the paint only and left the light color of the hard maple underneath. Quick and low power, as the others have said above. Best wishes!


Thank you! Looks great!

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Are there any settings you would recommend?

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