Recommendations on engraving painted metal

I am relatively new to Laser Engraving having gotten an Atom Stack A5 Pro a couple months ago. So far I have mostly used it to cut out thin patterns to use with my router as templates. I am hoping for some advice on how to get the best results on my current project.

I have an antique circular saw blade that is 18 inches around. (Guessing its high carbon steel). I painted it with Rustoleum Chalk Board Paint and I have made two attempts are engraving a fairly fancy pattern in it. While it looked good on a small test piece both times I have run it the engraving looks nice but, it just isn’t taking away enough paint to make it show up well enough. Its a big pattern and takes a long time to burn so I thought I might ask for some advice prior to sanding and trying again.

The first time I used a speed of 600 and a power of 100%(two passes). The results were not as sharp as I would like so the second time I tried 1800 and 65% (two passes). On the second one the image looks great and clarity is nice but, it just isn’t visible enough. My questions are as follows

  • Are there any paint brands/types that tend to work better than another?
  • Does anyone have any suggestions on the speed/power I should try?
  • Is there any logic I should apply when adjusting the speed vs. power other than trial and error?
  • Does putting a different color underneath my top coat make a difference (didn’t seem to on a test part)?
  • Any other pointers anyone can offer would be fantastic

Thanks much I appreciate any thoughts anyone can give.

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