Make Your Own Multi Colour PCB

Introduction: Make Your Own Multi Colour PCB

In this Instructable I'm going to show you how to make your own coloured PCBs

Step 1: What You Need

A PCB to dye
A Permanent Marker the colour you want to dye your PCB
Acetone (I use nail polish remover that has acetone as the main ingredient) 
Kitchen roll

Step 2: LETS GO!

Start off with a clean PCB, and colour the edges of the PCB before moving onto the reverse of and finally the front of the board totally covering in permanent marker.

At this point it will look streaky and rough (like its just been colour in with a marker) but don't worry, the magic is yet to come!

Step 3: The Magic

Take a square of kitchen roll, and dab it with your acetone and wipe it over the PCB till the copper track shine though.

This process will remove the streaky and rough marks made by the felt of the marker pen, leaving a beautiful smooth dyed finish ready for tinning & populating.

Step 4: Experiment With Colour

Now you have seen how easy the process is, why not experiment with some colours!

I would like to thank Kat from Sonodrome for all here help, and highly recommend her tutorial videos that can be found on the linked forum.



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    37 Discussions

    This isn't working with my board. Only a little of the color is staying on the board and makes it look really streaky and cloudy. It doesn't exactly look like the pictures

    2 replies

    This won't work with FR4, you have to use the cheap resin bonded paper type boards.

    Probably not the dye might ruin the transistors ,and LEDs

    Probably not the dye might ruin the transistors ,and LEDs

    Didn't work :(

    I am using the FR2 Cardboard, not the fiberglass one with a permanent marker. I first added a few layers of "dye", then gently rubbed it off. But well, I just rubbed everything off. I tried it a few times more, but well, you don't see anything. I first used acetone free nail polish remover, then a one with acetone. Same result. I also used different permanent markers. still nothing :(

    1 reply

    sorry to hear it didn't work for you, maybe try another brand of board, as iv never come across a FR2 Cardboard that didn't take the ink.......maybe yours has some funky new protective coating?

    How long do you let the sharpie sit before you wipe it off?

    what are you used for drawing layout? protel or?
    can you share that program for me? :)

    3 replies

    i would love to use eagle but i am at loss on how to use it. any help would be greatly appreciated. very cool instructable btw all my pcb's are going to be blue :D

    Try EAGLE. Trust me, the best way to do it is to download it and poke around. Then look up as many tutorials online as you can and poke around in it some more. The thing about these things is that the more features you get the steeper the learning curve, but it is well worth it. I have used a few software packages and for the price you can't get any better. :)

    It didn't work :(
    With acetone I just rubbed everything off instantly. (and yes, it is a permanent marker)

    2 replies

    What type of Clad Laminate board are you using?

    Its has to be one of the brown FR2 paper based,not the FR4 fiberglass board.

    I use rubbing alcohol to clean up after soldering. Wouldn't the alcohol (or similar flux remover) cause the dye to run?