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How to Engrave on Wood a Nice Painting

March 29, 2023

Wood engraving by laser technology has gained popularity as a kind of art. It allows artists to create intricate designs, patterns, and images on various wood surfaces. Wood laser engravers make it possible to produce detailed and precise engravings on different types of wood. All kinds of wood, from light-colored softwood to dark hardwoods, are suitable for wood laser engravers.

The popularity of laser painting on wood has grown in recent years. It happened due to the increasing availability of laser technology and the demand for unique and personalized art pieces. There is a good number of products you can produce from wood laser engravers. Examples include custom signs, wooden plaques, decorative boxes, and furniture. However, whether you need it for commercial or personal use, wood laser engravers have become an accessible device.

The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive guide on how to engrave on wood a nice painting with laser technology. It shows a step-by-step guide that will be especially beneficial for beginners. The article begins with the standard parameters required for wood engraving. Later, it will show you a step-by-step guide to get a nice painting on wood. However, this article aims to make laser engraving on timber accessible to everyone. In addition, it also encourages readers to explore this exciting art form.

Standard Wood Engrave Parameters

An appropriate level of laser to engrave wood is always necessary for the best results. In this case, we recommend the following standard Wood Engrave parameters for nova 35-80W laser machines. However, you may need to adjust the parameters for other high-power laser engraving machines. The standard parameters and values for laser machines can vary depending on the type of laser machine and the wood. It is important to note that when working with the standard head of Thunder laser, the focal length alignment must be at 6mm.

Laser PowerEngraving SpeedEngraving DepthFrequency
35-80 watts200 – 500 mm/s0.1-0.520kHz
Scanning MethodFocusDots per InchEngraving Interval
Raster Scanning2-3 inches from the surface of the wood300 – 600 DPI0.08 mm

It’s crucial to note that the above parameters and values vary depending on the specific project requirements. There are many different qualities available for laser engraving. Therefore, before setting the parameters, you should know the particular needs of the final product. However, testing the parameters on a small wood area before proceeding with a large project is always a good practice. It ensures that the machine can achieve the desired result. You could also follow the engraving machine’s manual for recommended parameters.

How to engrave on wood a nice painting

It isn’t challenging to create a nice laser engraving on your wood. All you need to do is understand your laser device’s parameters and the results on the wood surface for the respective parameters. We have mentioned a typical range of values for each parameter required for Laser Engrave Wood. You can change the values based on the different specifications of your wood laser etcher.

This section will guide you on “how to engrave on wood” using laser technology. Especially for beginners, each of these steps is important to understand correctly. We recommend that you follow these steps to get the best results on the surface of your wood.

Step #1 Choose the suitable wood for laser engraving

Choosing suitable wood, tools, and materials for laser engraving is crucial to achieving the desired effect. It is also necessary for minimizing errors and damage. Moreover, choosing the right tools and materials will also enhance the durability of your “Laser Etcher Wood.” Ultimately, the right tools and materials ensure safety during laser engraving. Regarding the suitability of different types of wood, here are some of the most commonly used woods for laser engraving:

  • Plywood is a versatile wood product produced from layers of wood veneer that are glued together. Plywood is a popular choice for laser engraving. It is more affordable than solid wood and can create many engraving effects.
  • Birch is a light-colored wood popular for its fine and even grain. Birch is popular for laser engraving because of its uniform texture. It also can produce crisp and clear engravings.
  • Maple is a dense hardwood popular for its smooth and tight grain. It is famous for laser engraving because it produces fine details and sharp edges. However, it can be difficult to engrave on maple wood due to its hardness and density.
  • Cherry is a reddish brown wood famous for its warm and rich color. It produces high-contrast engravings with a classic and elegant look. However, cherry wood is more expensive than other types of wood. In addition, it may be prone to burning and charring during laser engraving.
  • Walnut is a dark and rich wood famous for its strong grain and durability. It produces deep and rich engravings with a classic look in laser engraving. However, walnut wood is expensive and requires higher laser power to achieve desired results.  

However, choosing the right tools and materials for laser engraving is also crucial. We know the right tools and materials are necessary to achieve the desired result.

Step #2 Prepare the wood surface

Preparing the wood surface is another crucial step that you should ensure before laser engraving. It is one of the essential steps of “how to laser engrave wood.” It is important to note that the surface of the wood contributes to the quality of the final engraving result. Therefore, you should take proper care while preparing the wood surface for the project. Here are some steps to prepare the wood surface.

  1. Choose the correct type of wood: You can follow Step #1 for the different kinds of wood you can choose for your project.
  2. Cut the wood to the desired size: Cut the wood to the size and shape you need for the project. You could use a saw or other cutting tools to get clean and straight cuts. However, you should ensure that the size of your cutting piece doesn’t exceed the working area of your laser device.
  3. Sand the wood surface: Smooth out any rough or uneven areas on the wood surface. In this case, you could use sandpaper or a sanding block. It is important to note that you should sand in the direction of the wood grain. As a result, you can avoid creating scratches or marks.
  4. Clean the wood surface: Before proceeding to the final laser engraving, ensure your wood surface is clean and free of debris or dust. These contaminants interfere with the laser engraving process. However, you could use a soft cloth or brush to remove these loose particles or debris.
  5. Apply masking tape (Optional): Applying masking tape is optional. It typically protects the wood surface from burning marks or other damage. In this case, if you use masking tape, ensure a high-quality product that doesn’t leave adhesive residue on the wood.

Step #3 Follow the tips and techniques for laser engraving

Laser engraving is a versatile process. It allows many laser engraving techniques to achieve various effects. Rastering, vectoring, 3D engraving, and combined techniques are popular laser engraving techniques. However, you can follow the following tips to get the best result on your wood surface.

  • Use the correct focus: A perfectly focused laser ensures clean and precise lines. In the case of different wood types, use the proper laser focus. Adjust the focal length if necessary.
  • Adjust the engraving speed: The engraving speed refers to how fast the laser moves over the wood surface. Adjusting this speed can help achieve cleaner and more precise lines. However, a slower engraving speed may produce better results. Although, a slower engraving speed takes more time to complete the engraving. As a result, your device consumes more power. Therefore, you should choose the exact engraving speed required for your project.
  • Use convenient laser software: Use the recommended software from the manufacturer. Good software is capable of creating high-quality vector or raster images. This software also offers default values for different types of materials.
  • Test with the given Wood Engrave parameters: Before final engraving, it would be best to test the engraving parameters on a spare piece of wood. It helps to find the best settings for wood being engraved.
  • Clean the wood surface: Since already mentioned, you should ensure that the wood surface is clean and debris-free. You can use a soft cloth or brush to clean these contaminants before engraving.

Step #4 Adding Color

Laser engraving can create beautiful laser pictures on wood. In addition, adding color can enhance the overall beauty of the finished product. Staining, painting, watercolor, ink, and dye are some of the most popular adding color techniques. These techniques create various effects and enhance the overall beauty of engraved products.  

However, blending colors on wood can be a bit challenging. But some practice and patience can create beautiful and unique designs. Choosing the right tools, in this case, is crucial. However, practicing in thin layers and working from light to dark also increases the ability to make perfect designs.

Step #5 Finishing touches

When you are done with engraving and coloring your wood painting, you should do some finishing touches. Applying a clear coat or wax is one popular method of sealing the wood surface. A clear coat provides a durable and protective layer. It prevents the cover from fading. In addition, the wax will add a natural shine and protect the wood from moisture and dirt.

Expert Advice

Laser engraving on wood has become popular due to its unique ability to create detailed and intricate designs. The tips and techniques for “how to engrave wood” discussed above will help you achieve a high-quality wood painting. However, you could also consult with experts and learn practically from them.

Thunder laser keeps one of the best customer service teams worldwide. Besides manufacturing high-quality laser machines, thunder laser also provides various training programs. They own many training videos that are free online. You can learn the basics of “how to engrave wood” from these videos. Yet, if you have any questions, feel free to contact them. You can reach them by email, WhatsApp, WeChat, or skype.

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