Protecting the engraved area on proofgrade plywood?

I have a notebook cover design (so a somewhat heavy use item) that has a big chunk of engrave, such that when it gets scratched in that area the wood under the burn is really visible and messes with the design (see attached picture).

I hadn’t been doing any additional finish, since I’m using proofgrade, but I’m not really happy selling something that has this issue.
Suggestions?

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A lot of possibilities. An easy one is to spray (clear… Black…etc) or even brush paint, before removing the masking. this will fix the engraved areas without touching the original surface.

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spray it with mission oak polyshades from minwax. It’ll darken and seal/protect with a polyurethane finish. $8 at Home Depot.

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I’ve been known to touch up light engrave spots with an alcohol marker (Copic) before sealing, and it looks great. Keep it away from a lighter edge, though, as it will bleed.

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Is there a spray or are you talking about painting it on? I just looked and only saw paint cans.

Minwax has a spray polyurethane on their website. Maybe it is a store to store thing.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/minwax-fast-drying-polyurethane-satin-oil-based-11-5-fl-oz-polyurethane/999914539

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One of these should also do the trick. It’s exactly what spray fixative is designed for.

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It’s a spray.

I tried finding it on Home Depot’s website but their search function sucks.

This is it from Amazon. But try to find it locally. It’s cheaper (may be cheaper from other Amazon providers too - I didn’t dig too hard).

Minwax 3148500000 Polyshades - Stain & Polyurethane in 1 Step, 10.75 ounce Spray, Mission oak, Gloss

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Here’s a question. Would you spray that on before you remove the masking paper or after. And if you spray this on, is it safe to use the gorilla tape too?

I have a lot of fine detail stuff and the gorilla tape is just so awesome.

If you use one that includes a stain (like the minwax poly shades mission oak that @jamesdhatch suggested) then definitely before removing the masking.

For plain clear polyurethane you could do it either way but I’d be inclined to do it before removing the masking.

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Definitely. It really helps to darken & even out engraves in woods with a lot of grain which can otherwise be uneven. I use it a lot on bamboo.

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