Help with color filled acrylic

Hi all, while I have found some good information on the site regarding acrylic, I still haven’t found what I’ve needed based on what I’m trying to create.

I’ve purchased some .250 acrylic which I’m engraving and attempting to color fill/paint the engraving.

I’m carving the text in reverse on the “back” side of the acrylic, so the “front” side will be smooth and clear. Based on the font that I have chosen, I’m vcarving with a 90 deg bit.

I’ve noticed I get some “clouding” which I believe it small bits of melted plastic, so I’m running a second pass at the carve and that’s helping a lot, but it’s still not perfect. I’ve just ordered a 1/32 and 1/16 up-cut single flute bits which should help as well.

Any advice anyone can give to give me clean carvings which will allow the paint to show through clearly without any “clouding”.


See if maybe that post (and the discussion around it) helps ?

If you need clear walls you may want to (carefully) use a torch after the cut, aimed at the faces to be cleared, it’s a typical post-processing on acrylic.

Out of curiosity, can you upload a pic of those “cloudy” cuts you get ?


Thank you as always Julien. As it is, the project has taken a turn away from acrylic, but I’m still going to play around with it. I don’t have a picture of it at the moment, because I color filled all of the tests already. I’ll see if can carve another one so you can see it.

I’m not cutting out a profile of a piece. I’m just vcarving names into a piece of acrylic. Doing at double pass really cleaned things up. I’ll look at the engraving recipe post to see if I can improve it even more. Still waiting on my diamond drag bit and should get delivery today of my single flute up-cut endmills.

Here’s a question for the group. I’m thinking of creating a backlit sign using acrylic. Basically what I’m thinking is paint the entire sheet of acylic, then carve on the painted side in reverse so when I flip the piece, and can have the light shine through the carved area only. Has anyone done something like this. I was thinking of mounting this on a piece of wood with some stand-offs.

Thanks again.


Yes. It’s a favorite side project for my students. Reminds me I still have one left to finish for a student I had last spring. You’ll always get that diffused look, and you can do multiple colors by painting again after you engrave. Gives a nice glossy front.


Never thought of multiple colors. If you can, I would love to see a picture of one of your finished products.

Can’t wait to give this a try!

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I built lots of backlighted & internal lighted liquid cooling blocks for GPU’s, CPU’s, computer’s memory, Chip Sets, Solid State Drives, & Distribution blocks. I will post some pictures later today ISA.

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How about unfinished? (This may have been lasered, but the effect is pretty much the same. CNC routing is more forgiving on bad paint jobs which are easy to do on acrylic)

Here’s a basic version of 2 colors (Student made for me when we won our Carvey):

Like I said, I’ve mostly done these for my students. I do plan on doing some myself some day when I have time…they are cool!

EDIT: Sorry for pic quality…the lighting in my classroom is rough.


Those look great! I really like the black one. I’m planning to make one for my buddy’s dock box at his marina with his boat name on it. I want to backlight it, so the name shines through.

Most I’ve done are black and back-lit.
I build the frames (wish we still had a shop class here) and the students do the design and usually add an LED strip.


Quality is good enough for: “HI” back to ya! :smiley:

You give me great ideas. Back-lit is so much less complicated than edge-lit.

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