Photo engraving on craft sticks

Playing around with jumbo craft sticks… someone once mentioned these are probably birch?

Anyway, a comparison between “white-washed” (left), painted (center), and bare wood (right). Same gcode, same 2.5 watt laser…

The “white-washed” is wood wetted with paint thinner, sprayed with flat-white paint, allowed to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wiped of most paint, and allowed to dry… ala @Bulldog :grin:

Painted is just simple light coat of flat-white paint, allowed to dry. And, of course, bare is totally untreated, just as it comes out of the package.

The paint definitely seems to give a “grainy” look to the image.

I have light air-assist running… maybe I need to roll it with a lint roller…

That definitely helps with the contrast and “grainy-ness”… now you can even see the “whites of their eyes”.


– David

Looks nice. So you just took a regular lint roller and ran over the top and it made that much diference?

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Good comparison…usually when using white wash I cut power back by about 10%…Plus I do a light sanding Before with 220…looking good

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Thanks. Yes, the difference was simply rolling over it with a common lint roller. Note the loose soot in the first photo, just above the engraving on the painted stick… it was scanned from bottom to top of image and there was a light air-assist running. The lint roller picks up most of that loose soot for less smearing and makes it far less messy to handle. Follow with a clear-coat to lock it all in.

How wide are those sticks?



They are 31.7mm x 254mm (1.25" x 10") and come in packages of 45… I get mine at Walmart most of the time. Someone in another forum said they are most likely birch.

Thank you for sharing the information where you purchased them .



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I will need to check those out next time i go somewhere. How thick are they?

About 1.5 mm…

Thanks i will check them out. :sunglasses:

The detail you have achieved in an image only 3cm wide is amazing.

Diode lasers are pretty sharp

I’m goin to try the white paint version… What paint do you use??

Pretty sure it’s the same as the tile paint but you need to use some paint thinner to prep
As stated above


Albeit no thinners needed if going for the middle craft stick option???

It looks like the process above used thinner to prep the wood.

I thought this was the middle option?

Yes you are correct on the middle part as shown. The suggestion by @Bulldog of a sanding with 220 grit sandpaper will. Help as well. I have also used the paint thinner method and achieved same results as the middle example on maple :maple_leaf:


Perfect, cheers

Thanks, @beamer3.6. It’s actually quite guick and easy with just a 2.5 watt laser to do some pretty neat stuff with craft sticks… and the resolution can be quite good, especially with Kate joining the cast…

As @Sasquatch said, it’s the same flat-white I used on the ceramic tile… my “arsenal”

Just for fun… anybody got their “magic eye” on?

Chipboard (cereal box), Jarvis dither, 1500 mm/min, 50% power, 300 dpi, 100 mm wide.

– David