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.
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?
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.
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.