Engraving Black Granite tile

One of the things that I wanted to make was some engravings on black granite. It took me 3 trys to get something that I thought looked ok. This is how I did it. First the granite came from Homedepot and is available in single 12 inch squares. I borrowed a tile saw and cut it down to 3.5 inch squares. It is .375 inches thick. The first thing you need to do is select a nice clear picture with good contrast. I used Photoshop to sharpen the picture slightly more than normal. You want the whites and blacks to be distinct. Here is the starting picture. The picture is 300dpi.

Next you want to convertyour picture to black and white. After that, invert the picture. It will look pretty bad, but that is what will be needed for the black background.

Now for the fun part. I used a setting of 2% power and 335 for the speed. I used the default 240 that GF chose. I tried to go higher thinking that the image would get sharper but mine did not look as good. My very first attempt was with with the power around 30% and speed at 50. Don’t use those settings, because they just make a mess of the granite. The engraving time was about 13 minutes. I used masking on the granite so I could see it on the GF UI. When the engraving was finsihed I used a razor blade to scrape the remaining masking from around the edges and the gue from the engraved areas. Next I scrubbed the tile with a fingernail brush to make sure it was clean before I applied some white acrylic paint to the surface. I just used my finger to spread it over the image. wipe it off with paper towels and then repeat the paint a second time. Wipe off with paper towels again and polish with vigorus rubbing with a dry paper towel. This is my finished product. I will post the others that I did later. I had to do one of a cat for all of the cat people. :relaxed:

Sorry for being so long winded. Since I have my GF I look at everything differently. I now want to know the details of how things were done.


Wonderful! Your hard work paid off. Looking forward to the cats!


Great job, great explanation, thank you


Fantastically cute pup! (I only picked up a pack of slate coasters yesterday…I can try your settings on them!) :grinning::+1:


Oh please feel free to post as much detail as you care to. This is excellent. Really liked out the engraving turned out. New technique with that paint layer.


We’ve discovered there is no such thing as too much detail. Please, carry on.:slight_smile:


Very nice. I’ll need to try some granite soon. As for long winded, I think I’m taking the record on that. I must be a frustrated blogger at heart.

Love to hear ALL the details. Type until your fingers bleed. :grin:


Love this! And quite daring of you to try the granite. I appreciate the details…which you are now also appreciating in a new light. :relaxed:


You’ve already heard this, but keep the details coming. Thanks for sharing the whole process. I’m pretty sure I did some learnin’.


That looks really good! You should use that as a test image for other settings on other stones as well… just add some various black-levels from 0-100% and it’ll help with future settings.


Here are pictures of the other tile engravings that I did. I am showing the original picture, Photoshoped picture and the final product. These tiles are all 3.5 inches square.

The tiles actually look a little better than the pictures show. Now I am on to some other projects. *:grin:


Looks really nice! I’m going to give that a try for sure


You’re getting such great detail on those! They look fantastic! :grin:


I laughed pretty hard as I scrolled down and came across Non-Plussed Puss. Totally wasn’t expecting it. :laughing:


That is my step son’s cat and he doesn’t like me at all. It is hard to get a picture of him because he was a feral cat that they have tried to tame. He only likes my step son and his wife. :relaxed:


Great shots and engravings! I’m sensing a theme here…


You were not long winded at all! These came out beautifully, and it’s nice to be able to follow along to learn how you achieved these results.


Thanks for sharing this. I engraved some granite today and had planned to start with a lot more power than I needed, dialed it way back after seeing your results. 5% ended up looking great for me.


I’ve been trying these settings, but I’m not getting the same results. Are you using the vary power setting or convert to dots for engraving? I’ve found 335 Speed and 20 - 30% power settings are working decently well, but I’m definitely not getting the same results as you are.

Thanks for sharing this!

I don’t know whether this is part of your issue, but my limited experience says that the variegated crystal structure of the granite can make things complicated. Sensitivity changes from piece to piece and from place to place on any given piece.