The best How to guide to painting engraved acrylic 25 Jan 2022
The best 'How to' guide to painting engraved acrylic / acrylic infill
In this blog post I’m going to give you some insider advice on how we can make an engraving a different colour, especially on acrylic. By infilling the engraved area with a coloured paint, you can transform your engraving from its usual laser finish to any colour you want.
Our clients often ask us if we can engrave in colour, which the lasers can’t do (other than with the use of a compound spray for metal marking). However, the good news is there is a hack to making your engraving a different colour – we infill engraving using acrylic paint (also known as an acrylic infill).
We use a standard raster engraving into say for example, a piece of acrylic to create a little depth.
When you create your vector file this would need to be set up as a Raster engraving (Black).
From there, you let us know what colour you’d like the infilling to be.
When painting engraved acrylic, we’ve found using acrylic based paints works the best and gives a nice clean finish.
You can provide the paint or we can supply this for you depending on your needs.
How to infill raster engraved acrylic
Once we have laser cut and engraved the piece, we then can start to infill the engraving with paint using a spatula.
We get a good blob of paint and spread it over the areas which are engraved. A lot like when you’re icing a cake.
This is left to dry and then the excess paint is gently removed using a polishing compound.
This allows us to take off the excess paint, without removing the infilling.
The best way to do this is to get a little polishing compound on a microfibre cloth, and work in a slow, circular motion to remove the excess paint.
The polishing compound is an abrasive material suspended in a paste that is more commonly used to remove scratches from car paint work but we’ve found it works just as well on acrylic, but you do have to be careful when using it.
What can you infill?
The best material to infill is acrylic because there is no grain which the excess paint can get caught into.
Marbles, stones and slates all infill well depending on the colour of the material provided. Bear in mind that if you’re using a dark stone material you would need a lighter paint or a metallic paint to really show off your engraving.
Corian is also a really good material to infill and effective to use for awards, although it is more commonly used for making kitchen worktops (little-known fact).
We always suggest doing a small test engrave into these materials to see how they will react to the laser and from there we can let you know if we need to do a deeper engrave to give you the best results for painting engraved areas.
What colour shall I use?
The best colour for painting engraved acrylic really depends on the colour of material you’re using.
In our video we’ve opted for our CutLaserCut company colours of yellow and black, which are really effective!
If you’re using a dark colour then metallic colours like gold and bronze can really make your engraving pop. We’ve previously engraved into marble and slate which has been infilled with gold paint and the effect is pretty mesmerising.
It is generally best to use a material with a smooth surface as it makes the engraved part easier to infill with paint. Some stones or slates can be porous which makes cleaning off the excess paint a little more challenging.
The end result is a good blast of colour on your engraving!