Removal of Krylon Spraypaint on Brass

I am about to start acid etching some brass plaques for an upcoming project I have, and I was thinking that I could use my GF to create a much better image. The idea I had was to use Krylon Spraypaint to cover the brass, then use the GF to etch away the paint, in order to expose the brass I want etched. I was thinking I would let the material off gas for a few days, and probably give it a soapy wash before I put it in, to avoid any of the spray paint propellant being an issue

Is this possible, or more specifically, not dangerous or stupid, to remove Krylon Spraypaint using the GF? I am excited for the fine amount of detail I can get, but I don’t want to hurt myself or my GF. As I understand it, the brass shouldn’t be an issue, as it shouldn’t really get etched at all by the laser.

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Not sure I’d recommend it on brass. Brass is a copper/ zinc alloy, and copper is a no-no in a laser. (The copper reflects the beam wavelength instead of absorbing it.)

There might be a small possibility of damage to the lens from reflection. Not worth the risk in my opinion, given the cost of the laser. :slightly_smiling_face:

(But if you do decide to do it, be sure to report the results so we know.)

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They did what you’re talking about here.


I must admit, its slightly frustrating when I come up with a great idea independently, only to find out it isn’t novel at all.

This seems to give great results, as I thought, but they didn’t really talk about any laser safety, or fume safety. They only about using 20W (so a little under 45% for my pro) with two passes, which is a good starting point.


I’ve done a lot of aluminum. So far the best result I’ve had for electroetching has been powdercoat. Electroetcing is hard on the resist, it really tries to lift it.
I usually do two passes. After that rub with a mild abrasive like baking soda, or soft scrub to remove the residue.
There is a thread where @dan talks about lasering copper. The condition most people point at with reflection have to with reintroducing the beam back into the tube. I think it was said it would be unlikely. As for reflections, of the surface isn’t polished, my guess is it’s not a huge issue. Many people laser copper clad boards.


If you don’t get the result you want with paint on the laser you can try the photoresist method.

I did 500/400 speed at 45% on my Pro. It cooked off the spraypaint, but when I went to do the etching, it turns out there must be a thin transparent layer left on the brass that the etchant won’t go through. Laser isn’t damaged though. I can report back if I get a little more boisterous and try it again at a higher intensity.

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Try a few brands of spray paint. I had good results etching with rustoleum brand as the resist. I suspect that even within one brand you will find a lot of different formulations.

It must be finished to prevent tarnish. Hmmmm.

Well, glad it didn’t melt the lens casing anyway. That’s good. :smile:

Did you try cleaning the residue off with baking soda and water first? A mild abrasive should work.