Buffer Layer Assisted Laser Patterning (BLALP) method is presented, for patterning metallic layers on surfaces, using laser desorption of a physisorbed buffer layer, e.g. Xe, CO<sub>2</sub> or H<sub>2</sub>O. This technique is based on the utilization of a low power laser pulse used as the photolithographic printer of a metallic thin film. Using a weakly bound buffer material as the template for laser patterning, led to the development of two complementary procedures, 'positive' and 'negative' BLALP. It is discussed as a potential alternative for standard photo-lithography, promising a cleaner, more cost effective, better resolution and more environmentally friendly procedure.