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Author Topic: Spray lacquers on inkjet prints  (Read 2806 times)
shadowblade
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« on: June 17, 2013, 10:16:56 PM »
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I've been looking into various ways to put a mirror-like super-glossy, 'wet-looking' surface onto inkjet prints (specifically Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl) and am wondering if it would be possible to achieve this look using either spray or roll-on lacquers, and how durable these lacquers are against scratching/scuffing, yellowing due to UV light and delamination. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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texshooter
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 02:24:13 AM »
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I wouldn't use roll-on varnish on photo paper (canvas is ok) because it will dissolve the inks. I've never used The HVLP spray gun method, but I use acrylic spray can varnish. I like Premier Art Print Shield aerosol varnish because the fumes are mild and the spray nozzle is wide which makes for an easier application. You'll need three coats to get that nice wet look. Stay away from Krylon spray--that noxious stuff will suffocate you. And forget about the waxes, tried that, didn't work. And mineral spirit varnish like Golden MSA is impossible to apply without leaving bubbles. I also tried Liquitex Varnish ( comes in a bottle)--Disaster!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 02:50:45 AM by texshooter » Logged
shadowblade
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 02:56:48 AM »
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I won't be doing it myself, so the fumes and smell aren't an issue - it's more about choosing the lacquer, varnish or other liquid laminate for the printing and mounting company to apply. How did the Premier Art Shield work for you? What paper did you use it on? If it's anything like lacquer on wood, it might need seven or eight layers...
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texshooter
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 03:11:18 AM »
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If you are outsourcing your varnishing to a lab, they may have industrial spray varnish techniques and laminate products that I am not knowledgeable of. Premier Art Print Shield works well on my Epson Exhibition Fiber paper and baryta papers. I haven't tried it on matte papers: gloss on matte does't make sense. The first coating will disappoint you--not much gloss. But by the third coat it looks good. Buy by the case is all I can say, you'll  burn a whole through the ozone layer from using up so many cans. If you want an extreme gloss, your best bet is acrylic face mounting rather than varnishing. That's a whole other topic.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 03:14:32 AM by texshooter » Logged
shadowblade
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 03:25:05 AM »
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If you are outsourcing your varnishing to a lab, they may have industrial spray varnish techniques and laminate products that I am not knowledgeable of. Premier Art Print Shield works well on my Epson Exhibition Fiber paper and baryta papers. I haven't tried it on matte papers: gloss on matte does't make sense. The first coating will disappoint you--not much gloss. But by the third coat it looks good. Buy by the case is all I can say, you'll  burn a whole through the ozone layer from using up so many cans. If you want an extreme gloss, your best bet is acrylic face mounting rather than varnishing. That's a whole other topic.

The problem with acrylic facemounting is the possiblity of bubbling/outgassing from the acrylic, since it is a hygroscopic material, hence my preference for avoiding it. Some labs also facemount to glass, but that has its own issues in terms of fragility, especially during transport. As yet, no-one facemounts to a UV-blocking Gorilla Glass...

I believe most labs spray and laminate the same way as anyone else using HVLP sprays and laminating machines, and use the same products - just that they generally do a lot more of it and have a lot of practice, which would probably be helpful if you're trying to get an even, ultra-smooth, high-gloss finish, similar to that of piano or furniture lacquer.

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texshooter
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 03:35:14 AM »
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You can try dye sublimation heat pressed prints on white glazed aluminum sheets. Bayphoto does it using the Chromaluxe product. I never tried it but there is no gluing prints to anything like you do with face mounting.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 04:16:27 AM »
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You can try dye sublimation heat pressed prints on white glazed aluminum sheets. Bayphoto does it using the Chromaluxe product. I never tried it but there is no gluing prints to anything like you do with face mounting.

That's what I currently use. But I'm interested in inkjet as an alternative, trading physical durability for increased light-fastness, and better sharpness for small prints.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 04:33:11 AM »
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The problem with acrylic facemounting is the possiblity of bubbling/outgassing from the acrylic, since it is a hygroscopic material, hence my preference for avoiding it. Some labs also facemount to glass, but that has its own issues in terms of fragility, especially during transport. As yet, no-one facemounts to a UV-blocking Gorilla Glass...


Gorilla Glass is considered for cars now so it may take some time before it is used for face mounting but not impossible.

"Digital" face mounting behind Gorilla Glass is most likely the real future, from phones to wall size choices :-) Then your quest for super gloss is solved too without the cons of super gloss like display lighting reflections, delamination (could happen though but you have a warranty), not mounted plane enough, etc. The pros are numerous to mention all; no need for a face mounting shop, better dust control in mounting than any face mounting shop could afford, no spraying needed, no OBAs, wider dynamic range, easy to change media behind the face mounting, not plasticky but true glass, no harm done to the image if the glass is not as strong as advertised, display color management to compensate RGB dye bleaching, images can be transferred fast to odd exhibtion places on the globe,  etc etc. A big disadvantage is piracy though ..........

There are some good Diasec face mounting shops. Sometimes the shops see things happen with their face mounted prints that have to do with the printed media being changed without notice, bad batches, etc. Go by their recommendations, Wilcovak in The Netherlands face mounts inkjet matte art papers as well, without the extra film lamination that RC inkjet papers require before the face mounting step. They train other shops in Diasec mounting, you will find the addresses at the Wilcovak site. There are still issues like OBA burnout and possibly the dark storage issue where RC prints that last well in (reduced) light can get darker when stored and regain their original tone when exposed again to light but not always totally. The longevity of face mounting is subject to debate, there are some PDF reports on the issues (variety of shop methods though). Expensive face mount prints are sold everywhere as you know, it is an accepted medium. I have seen a Dutch (semi-official) intention to test face mounting years ago but no subsidy left I guess so no results yet. Who knows, maybe we will see something done after all one day.

If it has to be super gloss, super clear, face mounting to cast acrylic is hard to beat if not impossible.

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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

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texshooter
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 10:16:21 AM »
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Wilcovak in The Netherlands face mounts inkjet matte art papers as well, without the extra film lamination that RC inkjet papers require before the face mounting step.


Is this Diasec...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REBTNp407Uo

It looks like they are pouring the hardening gel over a face-mounted acrylic print. That would mean two layers of lamination, but why?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 11:04:21 AM »
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No, that is another company in The Netherlands that uses monomer fluids to cover a print and then the polymerisation does its work. Their claim is that when scratched a new layer can be added on top. I have a customer that uses it with C-prints though. Have no idea what it should do in time.


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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
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shadowblade
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 05:23:34 PM »
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Gorilla Glass is considered for cars now so it may take some time before it is used for face mounting but not impossible.

It can't be such a huge step up costwise from framing behind antireflective, UV-blocking glass - particularly since frames use more glass than facemounts.

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"Digital" face mounting behind Gorilla Glass is most likely the real future, from phones to wall size choices :-) Then your quest for super gloss is solved too without the cons of super gloss like display lighting reflections, delamination (could happen though but you have a warranty), not mounted plane enough, etc. The pros are numerous to mention all; no need for a face mounting shop, better dust control in mounting than any face mounting shop could afford, no spraying needed, no OBAs, wider dynamic range, easy to change media behind the face mounting, not plasticky but true glass, no harm done to the image if the glass is not as strong as advertised, display color management to compensate RGB dye bleaching, images can be transferred fast to odd exhibtion places on the globe,  etc etc. A big disadvantage is piracy though ..........

Piracy is one issue. The other issue is aspect ratio. I shoot mostly in 1:3 panoramic format, with some 1:2, 3:2 and even the occasional 4:5 format. Will there be digital displays in all these aspect ratios, or will we be resigned to letterboxing?

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There are some good Diasec face mounting shops. Sometimes the shops see things happen with their face mounted prints that have to do with the printed media being changed without notice, bad batches, etc. Go by their recommendations, Wilcovak in The Netherlands face mounts inkjet matte art papers as well, without the extra film lamination that RC inkjet papers require before the face mounting step. They train other shops in Diasec mounting, you will find the addresses at the Wilcovak site. There are still issues like OBA burnout and possibly the dark storage issue where RC prints that last well in (reduced) light can get darker when stored and regain their original tone when exposed again to light but not always totally.

Do they use lustre/fibre-type papers too?

OBA burnout should be less of an issue than framing under glass anyway - ordinary acrylic absorbs more UV light than ordinary glass. Not that I use OBA-containing papers anyway.

Incidentally, it interests me why there aren't more inkjet 'papers' using a plastic/polymer base rather than a cellulose (cotton or alpha-cellulose) base. After all the ink adheres to the coating rather than being absorbed into the paper anyway (so there shouldn't be any difference in lightfastness), while plastics are more dimensionally stable, more resistant to biological attack, waterproof, can be made whiter/more neutral without OBAs, can be made as smooth, textured, glossy or matte as desired, and can be made as thick or thin as desired.

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The longevity of face mounting is subject to debate, there are some PDF reports on the issues (variety of shop methods though). Expensive face mount prints are sold everywhere as you know, it is an accepted medium. I have seen a Dutch (semi-official) intention to test face mounting years ago but no subsidy left I guess so no results yet. Who knows, maybe we will see something done after all one day.

Expensive and accepted doesn't necessarily mean durable or lightfast. Digital C-type prints can also be expensive and accepted, but aren't as lightfast as good inkjet prints.

I'd be very interested for Aardenburg to do some tests on Fujiflex and Chromaluxe-type metal prints, as well as some of the plastic inkjet media...
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texshooter
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2013, 02:20:42 PM »
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Have you tried epoxy resin using a heat gun, like this...

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=27X_z2lKtD8

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JPEbPgE7RGA
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 11:10:40 PM by texshooter » Logged
hugowolf
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 03:12:41 PM »
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Incidentally, it interests me why there aren't more inkjet 'papers' using a plastic/polymer base rather than a cellulose (cotton or alpha-cellulose) base. After all the ink adheres to the coating rather than being absorbed into the paper anyway (so there shouldn't be any difference in lightfastness), while plastics are more dimensionally stable, more resistant to biological attack, waterproof, can be made whiter/more neutral without OBAs, can be made as smooth, textured, glossy or matte as desired, and can be made as thick or thin as desired.
I recently say an exhibition of prints made by Albrecht Dürer, most on cotton and most more than 500 years old. The only one in bad shape had been glued (ie: dry mounted) to a board. The rest looked to be in excellent condition.

You earlier mentioned worries about gelatin degradation of silver-gelatin prints. But you will find gelatin all over the place in paper production. It is used as a binding agent for baryta (barium/stontium sulphate), and it is also sometimes used as a sizing agent. Sizing using rendered animal products has been going on for centuries.

Brian A

Brian A
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shadowblade
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« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2013, 05:34:23 PM »
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I recently say an exhibition of prints made by Albrecht Dürer, most on cotton and most more than 500 years old. The only one in bad shape had been glued (ie: dry mounted) to a board. The rest looked to be in excellent condition.

What about mounting using methycellulose or rice paste, which is easily reversible?

Is there any good, archival way to keep a large (32x96") print flat, preferably mounted to a block for display?

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You earlier mentioned worries about gelatin degradation of silver-gelatin prints. But you will find gelatin all over the place in paper production. It is used as a binding agent for baryta (barium/stontium sulphate), and it is also sometimes used as a sizing agent. Sizing using rendered animal products has been going on for centuries.

I didn't know that - you learn something new every day! I guess it's hard to disassociate gelatin from the food product which turns soggy and gelatinous at the slightest hint of moisture... But isn't an emulsion layer which is essentially pure gelatin much more fragile than gelatin used as a binder, in the same way that cement used on its own is much weaker than cement used as a binder for concrete?
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hugowolf
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« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2013, 06:28:02 PM »
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What about mounting using methycellulose or rice paste, which is easily reversible?
Possibly. When laminating anything, you have the possibility of the two layers moving at different rates due to changes in humidity or heat. Allowing the print to move independently from the mounting solves this problem. Or, you or could print directly onto the transparent front layer, removing the problems associated with face mounting.
https://us.whitewall.com/photo-lab/acrylic-prints/promo-sale?gclid=COTZ4-6r-7cCFQSZ4Aod82MA5g

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Is there any good, archival way to keep a large (32x96") print flat, preferably mounted to a block for display?

Standard hinge mounting works remarkably well. That sort of width, I don't know, but museums must also mount panos.

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... isn't an emulsion layer which is essentially pure gelatin much more fragile than gelatin used as a binder, in the same way that cement used on its own is much weaker than cement used as a binder for concrete?
Probably, much in the same way that OBAs in the paper are much more stable than those on the surface layers.

Brian A
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 06:35:26 PM by hugowolf » Logged
Damir
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2013, 07:10:39 AM »
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I didn't know that - you learn something new every day! I guess it's hard to disassociate gelatin from the food product which turns soggy and gelatinous at the slightest hint of moisture... But isn't an emulsion layer which is essentially pure gelatin much more fragile than gelatin used as a binder, in the same way that cement used on its own is much weaker than cement used as a binder for concrete?

In standard silver gelatine B&W paper gelatine is:

1. hardened
2. contains chemicals again fungus and bacteria
3. contains silver which is by himself biocide

Try to print on clasic B&W paper in an inkjet printer, it is as you print on plastic.

There are huge amount of information regarding traditional B&W paper - please do your own search.
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John Nollendorfs
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« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2013, 02:17:45 PM »
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It seems people are always looking for a "unique" look for their prints. In the analogue days, we had ferrotyped gloss paper, air dryed gloss.  semi-gloss, matte, silk, etc. Then there were toning techniques. Then came the RC paper craze.

With inkjet technology, you can practically print on anything. And we have several different inkjet technologies like "aqueous" that most of us  use for photographic prints, Latex, Solvent, and UV. The latter three used mostly in the sign business.

The main concern for us "aqueous" users, printing on micro-porous papers is to seal the micro-porous receptor layer to keep out airborne contaminates--especially ozone, which cause pigments to degrade and papers to yellow. (framing behind glass is one such method)

The exotic techniques of mounting are just that--exotic and expensive. And no guarantee that the results will last any longer at all. Most likely will degrade quicker!

If you are interested in preserving your images, use the KISS principle. Print with 1" to 2" borders, and don't mount. Classical photographic principals. And remember, using good current inkjet materials, results in images that should last much longer than most of the analogue prints done in years gone by.
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