Painting/staining wood material BEFORE using GlowForge

Hi, Everyone,

I am finally starting a huge art project (long story, but here I go). I was wondering if it is possible to paint the proof grade wood I want to use before Glowforge does its magic. I would use acrylic paint. Perhaps I could stain the wood first? What else should I know about this? For example, what kind of paint or stain? What about the thin paper cover on the wood? I don’t know but I am sure someone will have an answer.

Thanks so much!

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I’ve used several types of paint pens (water based, oil based, and acrylic) on PG wood with good success, but I know nothing about using stain. Seems to me that since proofgrade wood is already nicely finished that it might not readily accept a stain, but someone else on here may have firsthand experience with that. I don’t understand the part of your questions regarding the masking on the wood, though…what are you wanting to know?

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If this is the stick-on masking you’re asking about, then this may help:
https://community.glowforge.com/search?q=masking%20%23problems-and-support
You’ll definitely have to remove it to paint/stain whatever, but whether you put new stuff on is honestly a matter of choice!

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Hi, Xabbess,

Thanks for the quick reply. PG materials have a paper coating adhered to them that you have to peel off after a print.

I love the idea of using markers. What kind do you recommend?

Janice

Art teaches us nothing except the significance of life.
–Henry Miller

I do know about the masking…I just wasn’t sure about your question "What about the thin paper cover on the wood? " I still don’t know what you’re asking about.

I have many paint pens and many brands. Artooli, Sharpie, Uni Posca, Copic, Uni Paint, and my newest one, Prisma Color. I would recommend any and all of them…they vary between oil, water, acrylic, and alcohol…and offer different characteristics and pen tips. I know many here on the forum really like Poscas. My new Prisma Color ones are really amazing.

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I stain PG and other woods often before engraving/cutting, but I prefer to do it after when possible, as the engraved surfaces absorb the stain differently.

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I meant masking but didn’t know what it was called.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’m off to the art store tomorrow.

Would you be willing to share an image of your work? I’d love to see it.

Janice

Art teaches us nothing except the significance of life.
–Henry Miller

Previous discussions you might be interested in:

There are quite a few others, searching the forum for things like “stain before” and “paint proofgrade” will find a lot of good info

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A sheet of Proofgrade maple plywood is $26, while a sheet of PureBond maple plywood from HomeDepot is $4.60. Both will cut and engrave essentially identically in your Glowforge.

Why is the Proofgrade $20 more per sheet? The glossy furniture finish they’ve applied to both sides, mainly. That finish means you cannot stain the wood – your stain can’t reach the wood, it’d just be sitting on top of the clear coat. It also won’t take paint as well for the same reason, you’re painting the clear coat that should be on top of the paint, not painting the wood.

If you want to do a project where you stain or paint wood, start with unfinished wood. If you start with Proofgrade wood, you’re throwing away that $20 you spent on the clear coat.

Use the Proofgrade in projects where you want to feature the natural appearance of the wood without any stain or paint over it.

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Thank you, dan84, for the info and advice. Off to Home Depot now!

Janice

Art teaches us nothing except the significance of life.
–Henry Miller

That linked product is only sold online, not in stores. All of their pre-cut wood sized for the Glowforge is online only. It can be delivered to the store or to your home.

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