Painted burnt wood?

Every example of laser cut boxes I find all seem to be unfinished (not painted). I am not a big fan of the flat pack look, does anyone paint their projected after the fact? I do appreciate the beauty and grain of wood, sometimes for certain things, but not every project.

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I plan on using lacquer on some projects and material on others. Also, I may try paper. The Chinese do a good job using these materials. Try searching the web. There are many sites selling painted boxes and so forth.


I’ve seen people paint the engraved area of wood projects. For a lasting job you’ll need to prep the wood anyway, and from what I read the laser-char comes off relatively easy, so yeah.

I’ve been thinking about a very light engrave to outline and then paint inside the lines like a paint by numbers. I’m more of an outside the lines person, however, there are inside the line times too. And as my free hand abilities are more like a dying carp with a paint brush in its mouth I need assistance to put it mildly.


great imagery!


You can paint the wood before you use your glowforge. If you engrave some parts you will get a very nice 2 coloured effect. This is an example of one of my project.


That’s beautiful! Is there a list somewhere of safe paint to use?

How did you clean out all the burnt marks and not affect the paint?

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I used water based gloss paint. It’s very easy to clean after lasering. You can wipe off the burn marks with water. Forget about sanding. :slight_smile::slight_smile::slight_smile:. I don’t know if it’s toxic but I’m still alive.


Thanks for the responses. But instead of engraving painted wood, does anyone paint over the tabs?

Like these boxes…

Pictures of awesome stuff made with Box Designer!


Another cool technique is to cover the piece with blue painters tape before you etch & cut. Then spray paint before taking the painters tape off (after letting the paint dry). The paint will fill the engraving even in just engraved lines.


One thing to try, is de-waxed shellac, such as Zinsser Seal Coat as a primer. Almost everything else will stick on top of that. I don’t know if you would be able to (safely) laser afterwards.

As you can see from pictures we share, we almost never used exposed finger joints - nothing wrong with it, but plenty of that on the internet already. We pride ourselves on finding good alternatives, and there are lots of them!


Oh, that’s a really cool idea. You could combine it with painting before hand to create two-color effects.

Actually, with a lot of steps and planning, you could have infinite colors, including bare wood.

Now I have so many ideas in my head!

I can’t tell you how much this post made me smile. . Finger joints always seem like they should be a last resort to me. I’m looking forward to seeing all the ways you guys come up with to connect things. Tell @madebynick to come by and visit soon. We miss his posts!


I didn’t advocate exposed finger joints. I recommended shellac as a medium to which almost any paint will stick.

Finger joints! Thank you, I did not know the correct term. Yes, I would like to hide them if I can’t design around them. I just didn’t see many projects on the internet where people did any finishing after it was snapped together.

Whether it is the burnt edge of a joint or the burnt edge of an engrave the question is whether or not the primer will adhere to the scorched area and for how long. If the primer sticks then the paint will stick. So the replies about painting the engraved areas are an oblique method of saying yes-ish.

You do see a lot of burnt edge finger joints on the internet. I’m also not a fan, except for storage bins in the shop. If you see a painted box, how do you know if it was cut with a laser or traditional tools unless it is specifically called out? So you wouldn’t see those projects where they painted the finger joints - just the burnt edge ones. I would start by looking at for posts about finishing the laser-cut edges of wood. See what people have tried for finishing.


What other types of joints are you using for laser cut boxes?

This is part of our Amish crafted bedroom set. The exposed joints are one of the things that really attracted us to the design. Most commercially made furniture tries to hide it. I feel it can also add interest if done well.


That REALLY IS nice, wow!