Laser engraving on Leather - filling engraving with paint

I've just had two leather wristbands laser engraved with a custom graphic. Unfortunately, though the engraving is clear and crisp, the dark color of the engraving and the leather makes the graphic hard to see. It is only visible in bright, hard light.

How would I go about making the engraved graphic more visible? I thought about perhaps filling in the engraving with a light-colored paint, but how would I go about doing that? With wood, I would just slop on acrylic paint and then wipe the excess off with a tissue, leaving the paint in the crevasses. But would that also work with leather? Would the paint wipe off properly?
I'm too scared to do anything to the wristbands yet since I've spent a lot of time, effort and money getting them custom engraved. Any advice would be very helpful please! :D

Picture of Laser engraving on Leather - filling engraving with paint
caitlinsdad4 years ago
You might want to go over the top surface of the leather with shoe polish, wax or hand lotion. That would fill up the pores on the tanned leather part even more so that you can just fill or brush the engraved or laser cut part with paint. The excess paint would come off easily since it won't stick to the slick surface. Good luck.
TheFirewalker (author)  caitlinsdad4 years ago
Thank you so much for your suggestion!
At first, I tried the hand cream since I couldn't find any wax, but that didn't work so well since the pores were too big. The paint still stuck to the surface despite the cream. It was a hassle trying to get the paint all off, but I managed.

Later, I did find some shoe wax, so I applied it to the whole wristband, then removed the wax that got stuck in the engraved part with a needle. Then I applied paint over the engraving, let it dry, and carefully scraped off all the wax.

The wax acted as a mask and didn't let any of the paint through! However you have to apply a good, thick layer, enough that the wax looks opaque and smooth on the leather. I might make actually make an Instructable on this when I do the other wristband. Thank you so much!
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