Leather engraving on work bag

This will be my first leather engraving project as a newbie. A relative, whose an attorney, asked me to monogram a work bag (pebble leather) he takes to court. I did do a topic search. However, I thought it would be cool and more professional to color the the letters, i.e. gold or silver. I purchased, from Home Depot, a couple of Sharpie oil-based markers. Packaging states “marks on virtually any surface:metal, wood, glass, plastic, stone, etc.” Would this work? and Has anyone ever tried coloring monogram? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I’ve never tried coloring a monogram, but I have used the sharpie oil-based paint markers quite a bit. I love them, but they can be frustrating as well. When you close them up, make sure the cap clicks into place. The tips are prone to drying up. I have heard about trying to make new tips from a chalk-board eraser, but never had any luck pulling it off.
You will want to do some test engraves/coloring first. The oil paint likes to bleed and get everywhere, so you will benefit from a little practice before you go at the actual bag. I don’t know if you will need to seal the edges with a clear-coat, but keep that technique in mind if the leather starts wicking color out beyond your engraving.
This stuff also takes a good while to dry… it’s real oil paint after all.
Don’t try to rush it. Good luck!

one problem point i have had with the sharpie paint pens is trying to get a little more paint out onto the tip, and instead getting a big blobby drip. To avoid this, I often do the pen-tip-press-&-squeeze over a piece of scrap cardboard, and then dip back into that little puddle to load the tip instead of trying to squeeze more paint out through the pen while over the workpiece.


Thank you nice to know someone has tried using them. I was unsure if Sharpie or just using oil-based acrylic paint would be better. He did give me a practice bag. From searching and reading previous comments, I will mask the area.


How big is the bag and are you able to get it to lie flat in the Glowforge for engraving? You will want to be very careful with focus or the engrave will not be crisp and it won’t matter how great the markers work.


There is oil paint, and then there is acrylic paint. There is no oil-based acrylic paint.
Both will work on leather.

These folks say that high-quality acrylic paint is better for stuff that needs to move:

make sure you get Artist/professional/studio grade acrylic paint, and not Student/economy grade. I would go for a heavy-body rather than a fluid type.

Pen vs brush is a very personal choice. I am more comfortable with a pen than a brush for the most part, although there are plenty of situations where I feel a brush is better suited to the job: a striping dagger-/sword-tip brush can do stuff in one stroke that will take many many strokes with a pen. Conversely, a chisel- or fine-point pen can do things that are much more difficult with a brush.


oh yeah. Here’s part of my paint-pen collection:

Banana for scale.


It’ll depend on the leather finish. Anything besides an oil-tanned/pull-up should work but pretty much nothing sticks well to oil tanned.


I will take a moment to point out that while the painting idea could look really cool - you may find that the engraving itself will look quite professional all on it’s own!

So when you run those test runs, try both :slight_smile:


I like the different colors in yours pens. Before he asked for monogram, I had previously purchased these paints from Michaels to try out on different projects.

Thank you I will.

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Would even the engraved part repel paint in an oil-tanned piece? I would think not, but I’ve never tried it.

Haven’t tried it, worth an experiment?
The oil finish is all the way through, not just on the surface. Maybe engraving would leave enough tooth to overcome oiliness?

Years ago I tried cutting oil tanned leathers and it wasn’t pretty at all so never made it to engraving. (I’m not a big engraver anyway.)

What setting did you use on first journal? Thanks

We’re only allowed to discuss non-PG settings in the Beyond the Manual section of the forum - but you’re in luck. I just used the PG thin leather settings. I find with most (90%?) of leather the PG settings work beautifully.

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