How does engraving on walnut come out?

Being a dark wood, is the engraving actually visible?

i hate to say it, but it depends on the wood. some walnut is more “resiny” and will char more when engraved. i had a few piece the engrave was essentially black (and the masking was just coated in sticky residue). some walnut is less resiny and i don’t see as dark an engrave.

in general, i’ve had good success. but how much varies by board (and likely by different species of walnut and where it was grown).

that’s my anecdotal story. :slight_smile:


thank you. Think I’ll buy a lighter wood and stain it when I’m done.

I like it but it’s definitely subtle.

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Proofgrade Walnut ply:


it can look really good. My point was more that you need to test to truly know. Not just the engrave, but the finish afterward can darken the wood as well. I got a really nice engrave on this piece of 1/4” walnut.


plywood can be different, because if you engrave thru the veneer, you’re getting a really dark engrave on that draftwood core for PG.


yep, that’s why i specified that this was PG ply. I didn’t have any available engravings to share that were done on solid walnut board, nor unfortunately on any walnuts (shelled or whole).


It’s a good part of the conversation. We don’t know for sure if the OP is talking hardwood or ply.

Here’s another walnut engrave that isn’t quite as bold. It’s 1/8” walnut hardwood from a different source. shows that the grain can have an affect on how the engrave is viewed as well as the boldness of hte engraving itself. the first one i showed is hard lined, bold engraving. this is much finer, detailed engraving.


I have had good results with high contrast on walnut ply, but have had the contrast muted a bit when using rattle can polyurethane as a finish coat.

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a lot of oil/wax finishes can do the same. walnut oil and feed n wax are finishes i love, but they definitely darken the wood. which, again, is why i recommend testing.


The OP was talking hardwood. :-).


Walnut is my favorite wood to work with.


This was a fairly light piece of walnut

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Is this simply engraved and varnished? I did not expect the indents to be so black. (So far, I’ve only worked in acrylic, wood is going to be new to me).

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Yes, nothing to darken the letters. As others have said wood is variable so some may not come out as dark. The finish was Minwax wipe-on Poly.

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you’re all making me excited to try it!

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