If you’re a big laser engraving enthusiast, you’ve probably done some engraving on just about every surface you can think of. But did you know that you can laser engrave your car? This may not be a task for the faint of heart, and if you’ve just recently driven home with one of Cars.com’s People’s Vote winners, you might want to consider trying it out on an older model or a door from a scrap yard first. Either way, you should definitely make sure your engraving skills are up to speed before you embark on this challenging but rewarding task!
Now, you may be asking yourself, “Why on earth would I want to laser engrave my car?” Hear me out though, because laser engraving can be a wonderful way to decal your car with your own business logo, especially if you’re one of those proud business owners that has managed to integrate their business with their lives in such a way that you already have gone through temporary decals that fade or need to be replaced over time. So, if this sounds like you, let’s get started!
First, you’ll need to make sure that your model of laser engraver can be separated from the base plate/table where the work is normally stationed. A lot of people assemble their own engravers by hand, so for you DIY types, this will probably come easier for you. If you bought your engraver factory assembled, you’ll want to check the instructions (and maybe the warranty if any was given) to make sure this is a modification that you can get away with.
Once you’ve figured out how to separate the baseplate of your engraver, you’ll need to remove the door from your vehicle. If your doors are held in place with bolts or screws, you’ll need to loosen the top and bottom fixings, leaving one to hold it in place while a friend helps you out. Having them hold the door in place, go ahead and remove the last of the fixings and carefully lift the door out of the frame. If you have a check-strap or any wiring running through the door, this will need to be undone beforehand.
Once you have your car door off, you’ll want to apply red tape to the entirety of the surface of the car door that you’re going to engrave on. Anything that isn’t getting taped should be covered with tarp, which you can use the outer edges of the tape field to hold in place. Try and have at least an eighth of an inch in overlap between tape strips as you lay them down and be sure they’re flat against the whole surface. You don’t want to cut corners with this one!
Now you’re ready to place your door on a leveler. If you have a smaller engraver you can easily rig it up to sit on top of your car door and use it as the base, but if you have a larger engraver, you’ll probably need assistance with something like a hand truck to lift it into place. Just make sure it’s as level with possible with the engraver so that your image doesn’t come out wonky. Also, make sure your door is properly oriented! You don’t want an upside-down engraving on your door!
Now you’re ready to engrave! Fire up your engraver and let it do its job. Once finished, you can carefully start removing the red tape and tarp from your vehicle door. You may want to use a razor blade to help you with the smaller bits of tape left behind, depending on how complicated your logo is. When all is said and done, you should have a nice, matte black logo burned into your door panel! And the best part is, it won’t peel or scratch off!