What I learned about painting coasters



Those of you who remember 1979 may remember this phrase from Apocalypse Now. I’ve been trying to spice up my coasters with paint for some time now, and ran into multiple problems with paint weeping under the tape and generally making a mess of things. I finally got it figured out and thought I’d share.

I prepared by cutting a 5" square out of thick PG draftboard, and gave it several coats of airbrushed orange (draftboard is thirsty stuff). Once it was painted, I found masking tape would not stick to it AT ALL. I followed up with two thin coats of acrylic clear coat, which the tape stuck to perfectly. Once it was taped, I used a cardboard backer and Jules’ alignment method found here to cut the 5" square into the cardboard and return to cutting.

Once the image was cut and the 4.5" circle cut out from the perfectly aligned 5" square blank, I used some paint called “Pro Color Fill.” I’m not trying to advocate one paint over another, but what I discovered is that this stuff is very thick - so thick it doesn’t wick under the masking type like everything I had tried previously. With that, I was finally able to get some clean edges and finish (and seal with more lacquer) the final product. I bet the acrylic paint that comes in the metal toothpaste-esque tubes would do the same job even (possibly) cheaper, but I’ll leave that to someone else to experiment with and hopefully share with us all.



Great work! Thanks for the write up. Totally remember 1979 :sunglasses:


Great results! The orange is perfect for a tiger. :grinning:


Need to do just one of the coasters with a mango and mix it with the tigers


All he wanted was a mango!


I found that an engrave opens the fibers of the wood, and paint will bleed into them. I solved that by using an artists brush and painting the edges of the engrave with a clear seals them to prevent that.


Looks great, and thanks for the tips!


Last night thinking about the problem of filling the cut edges of several layers of 1/8" ply laminated together, and spotted this. Any thoughts on this being a possible first coat ?
I’d even considered using pva glue as a primer/filler, but with this I could choose the best colour as well.


It certainly is thick stuff, and very color dense, so I could see that working. Best of luck, and don’t forget to share your results with the community if you succeed!


Thanks, Alan. It will probably be the end of August before I’m reunited with my :glowforge: , but that’s when 'production will restart, and I’m only too happy to share with the community here.


Just as an added note, we have NOT had very good luck with the Frog tape and using stain. Glad you were able to come up with some great tips and shared with all of us!