Laserable Clear Cote

Aloha Everyone!

Well I sold out of my items that used Maple Proofgrade in my Etsy store and of course I am out of PG Maple just as I recieved an order for a new piece of Wall Art that you guessed it needs PG Maple!!! Order placed but knowing shipping takes about a week from TN to CA not to mention its Christmas time.
I sourced a decent Maple (though I will prefer PG when it comes!) locally - but it is of course unfinished.
Wondering if anyone knows of a gloss finish that can be used to pre finish wood - that is laser safe.

I am guessing a waterbased acrylic like you varnish wood floors would work, and I will be searching the web - but thought with the Vast Collective Hive Mind of Lasers (V.C.H.M.L.) might know best.


A local place makes a whey-based finish that I would expect would be laserable. But I don’t know about distribution.


Maybe a wipe on poly with sufficient time to fully dry?


typical poly takes a good 72 hours to cure.

I would take a look at Spray on Lacquer. About 2 hour dry time and 12 hour till fully cured.

Shellac is another good finish option (Completely natural product), but I don’t know it’s dry/cure time. Although, this one typically will seep more into the wood itself instead of create a layer on top of the wood like poly or Lacquer.


If you have a moment, could you post a link to your Etsy store?

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In CA we are only allowed Acrylic Lacquer since the early 2000s due to VOC. Testers Clear Cote which is my goto when painting hard cast parts for props or puppets, is an Acrylic - similar to nail polish.
Shellac is I believe an organic compound which theoreticly sounds promising… will do some MSDS searches.

Have not been able to find squat online searches for "laser cutter safe clear cote"
Does anyone know what to look for in a MSDS that would scream foul? I am guessing anything with “Chloride” in it?

Ye gods life with Proofgrade is soooo much easier!!


Not sure about laser safety but Minwax Polycrylic is a fast dry water based brush-on clear. I use the satin finish, but only post-laser so far.

Congratulations on your success! :sunglasses:


As long as the Lac bug hasn’t eaten chlorine you are probably safe… :roll_eyes:


Your wall art tiles are fabulous! Of course they sold out!!


Found this in searching the forum - not online - silly me casting the net to wide - Dan settled this in 2016:

danStaffDec ‘16 dan_berry
I’m curious if anyone has any suggestions for lacquer or shellac products that are better than any others?
“Shellac” can be a generic term, but natural shellac, which is basically a boozy cocktail made with bug poop, is all natural and inherently laser safe (if a bit unappetizing). It’s also known as confectioners’ glaze, and it’s what makes Whoppers candy shiny. Mmm!

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If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, I would be happy to loan you a sheet of :proofgrade: maple, I have a couple in stock.

Hey thanks so much for the offer, that is really generous - unfortunately I am in So Cali :wink:

Picking up a spray can and brush can of Bullseye tomorrow but not sure when I will have time to test until after the family is gone post Boxing Day.

Luckily no one is likely to order anything more before Christmas.

Famous last words. :slight_smile: that’s when you get your rush, do-it-now, 2x rush fee :slight_smile: