Settings for engraving a painted guitar body?

I am a teacher that uses a Glowforge in my classroom, for various projects. One of my students has come to me with a wooden electric guitar body, painted fire-engine red in what I assume to be epoxy paint (very smooth and high-gloss) that she wants to engrave.

Can anyone give me some insight into what settings I should use for this? I don’t want to mess up her guitar, but would like for her to be able to do this, if it can be done.



Only insight I can give is that I’ve heard you should not engrave epoxy. I’m sure some others more knowledgeable will chime in here.


Some epoxies can contain PVC, apparently. Hard to know, especially since you only have the one guitar to test with. A chlorine test might reduce the concern.


If the guitar is standard size, it may not fit in the Glowforge for engraving. Even if it does, however, you should never cut/engrave any material without knowing for certain that it is laser safe. Cutting unsafe materials can be damaging to human lungs and machine electronics.

I suggest that the student consider applying an embelishment rather than engraving one. You can use veneer or one of the new sticker type materials such as this: Search Results – Page 3 – Smokey Hill Designs

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Consider cutting out and /or engraving a design onto some thin material that would then be applied over top of the current red.


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