Metallic contact paper (no PVC)

Long before I knew about the dangers of using vinyl with PVC, I picked up one of these rolls of shelf liners to stick onto the wood to prevent burn marks on the surface. I performed the copper wire test and didn’t get the green flame (although it was consistently and unmistakably green when testing on another roll that I purchased). My question is, considering it’s metallic, is there a possibility that it’s reflective enough to cause issues in the GF? Assuming it wasn’t an issue, are there any other potential issues with using this type of paper considering it doesn’t contain PVC? Based on everything I’ve read in the forum, the dangers of PVC was the only thing mentioned when using contact paper. For the record, it does have a sticky backing.

check the manufacturers web site for a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before trying.

edit: don’t use it if you can’t verify it’s safe.


That’s also probably way more expensive than transfer paper, which is what most people use to mask.

Possibly. Reflective surfaces can cause the focusing laser to take an incorrect reading for height determination. Theoretically it shouldn’t damage the machine, but you might mess up your material.

I’d suggest just buying a roll of white transfer tape, and use the shelf liner for some other creative craft. For instance, if you put the white masking tape on top of the shiny surface, you can probably cut it and use it pre-applied on your wood. Make a silver box or something…pre-lined.

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This was a cheap roll at the dollar store actually. 6ft x 18". This particular dollar store goes up to $4, but I can’t quite remember how much it was exactly.
But anyways, are you saying transfer paper is generally ok to use? Is there a possibility it might contain PVC?

As long as its paper and not plastic, you should be fine.

And a 12” x 300 ft roll of transfer tape is generally under $40. Which is slightly less per SF than what you got.

as long as the surface isn’t actually metal this is not going to be reflective enough to cause damage to the machine. Just like metallic and mirror acrylic, what looks reflective to our eyes often isn’t reflective to the laser. I suspect this metallic finish is ink and not metal and as such is not going to be reflective to the laser beam.

Any advice pertaining to tack level? Some advertise low tack, medium tack, high tack… just want to know what people are getting better results with.

I use medium.

Great! One more question (although no promises): I’m on Amazon looking for transfer paper, and my head’s spinning. Is there a difference between transfer paper and transfer tape? Google says there is. Is it ok for me to purchase something as long as it says transfer paper or transfer tape?
A 300ft roll for under $40??? I’m on Amazon Canada’s website and we don’t have anything even close to that price. The closest I found was 100ft for $40 CAD / $30 USD.

amazon is not the cheapest place to buy transfer tape.

i buy on i’m sure there’s an equivalent type site in canada for vinyl cutting supplies.

the TransferRite is $20 for a 6" roll, $40 for a 12" roll (100 yards long).


Spot on. This is the size to get though :slight_smile: The standard 12x20 board will get full coverage with 1 strip vs. the 6" size which needs to be carefully aligned so the 2 strips just touch each other but don’t overlap or leave a gap - engraves will show the joint if they are.

I use the 12" even for narrower material - it’s cheap enough and it’s easy to run a utility knife blade along the edge after it’s place on the material to trim the overage.

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Nice! Thanks for sharing. The stuff I got on Amazon was way more than that!
I haven’t looked at their shipping costs yet but regardless, this will be a great savings.

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Great! Thanks very much for your help and everyone else’s. As always, you guys have been quite helpful.

Ok, I purchased the following transfer tape from Amazon to give it a try:

After doing the copper test, it turns out to have PVC, so it’s a no-go. So what exactly must I do or look for to ensure I’m buying the right stuff? I can’t just keep buying until I find one that works. I know other members have posted products they’ve had luck with, but most of the suggested options are out of my reach unless I want to pay double the price for them to be shipped and imported in to Canada, even if I’m purchasing them from a retailer (as they have to import them from the US as well). There are plenty of options in Canada from sources like but how do I know what to look for beforehand? Any experienced Canadian GF owners want to chime in?

you want paper tape, not clear tape. that’s the most important thing can tell you. anything clear is likely to be unsafe.

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Yeah, I remember you had mentioned that in your previous message, but at the time didn’t quite understand the difference. Now I do. So I need it to be opaque. A found a couple different options I’m going to investigate.

it’s not that it needs to be opaque. it’s that it needs to be paper. anything else and i’d worry that it wouldn’t be laser safe.


This is what I bought - more expensive, but it’ll get you what you need!


Paper, not necessarily opaque. Gotcha!
Yeah, deirdrebeth, I was looking at that stuff. Insanely expensive, relatively speaking. $40 for 30 feet? That’s $1.33/ft.sq.
Check this one out though:

It’s way cheaper @ $0.33 + shipping (comes to $0.51 if you order only 1 roll. Order more and shipping only goes up slightly). The more you order the cheaper the cost per square foot. A 24"x100’ roll is $50, which is even cheaper if you can cut the roll in half to get (2) 12" rolls.

I haven’t tried the stuff, but for the love of all that is good and holy, it’s PAPER!!!