Post Laser staining engravings

I used a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol to clean it up. Was I just not thorough enough? Is it soot that is causing the streaking? The wood is Proofgrade Thick Basswood Plywood.

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When you mixed the soot with rubbing alcohol you created a rudimentary ink, which then was absorbed into the grain of the wood, wicking along the open fibers in the basswood where the laser cut away the finish.

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Ben is correct. The engraving opens the wood grain, and capillary action draws the ink or paint into the grain. To avoid this I use a small artist’s brush and paint the edges of the engrave with a clear to seal the grain in a case where I want to paint the engrave.

In this case I would probably opt to just dry brush the soot out and call it good.

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Thanks for the explanation.

My goal is to make it waterproof. It is a wind chime “sail” for a christmas gift.

Linseed oil or spray poly? Shellac?

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I would use spar varnish. It is designed for marine wood use. You can also find a urethane / polyurethane version of you don’t want to use the normal varieties.

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I prefinished a piece of Columbia Forest wood from HD with some stain and a light coat of poly, then added some masking. The soot wiped off. Now I can seal it. Thanks for the help.

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