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GAC Products on Inkjet Prints

13 thoughts on “GAC Products on Inkjet Prints”

  1. HI Michael, DO you have any knowledge about how to do oil painting on archival prints on paper mounted on panel? Thanks, Subarna

    • Hello Subarna.
      Thank you for your questions. The key is to seal the surface of the print, and what products to use revolves around the ink system and its resistance to water. If the print is made with “pigment inks”, they tend to allow water based acrylic mediums such as GOLDEN Fluid Matte Medium to be directly applied to the print. 3 coats of the Fluid Matte Medium are sufficient to prevent the oil paint to reach the paper, which along with proper adhesion, is of key importance. After you apply and allow the oil paints to sufficiently cure, you can then apply the GOLDEN MSA Varnish or the Archival Varnish over both acrylic products and oil paints. Please contact us if you have any other questions! – Mike Townsend

  2. Hi Michael, I am working with digital prints using inkjet dyes. I want to collage them to another paper surface but can’t use any water soluble glues without damaging the ink surface. The images are printed onto Japanese washi paper coated with ink aid. I would rather not seal the surface since I like the washi paper surface. Can I use thinned out Golden MSA varnish only as a glue between paper surfaces? Vicki

    • Hello Victoria.
      You can use the GOLDEN MSA Varnish to seal the print, both front and back. If it’s sealed sufficiently enough, you should be able to then use acrylic medium (we often suggest the Soft Gel for this purpose) for the actual adhesive. The pieces could be coated and then laid onto polyethylene plastic sheeting (4 mil construction/drop cloth plastic rolls), allowed to dry, then peeled from the plastic and glued as needed.

      That said, I can see the point to why you are looking to use the varnish with the washi paper directly. If done carefully, with the MSA Varnish thinned adequately with the MSA Solvent, you could use it for sealing the paper and as the adhesive, as it is still after all an acrylic medium and remains clear and flexible over time.

      Both applications of course require testing to see which method you prefer.

      – Mike Townsend

  3. Hi Michael,

    I wish to varnish giclee prints on archival 100% cotton papers, alpha cellulose papers, and canvas prints printed with archival pigment-base inks. Then I wish to mount the giclee print to ampersand 1/8″ clayboard with golden soft gel medium, then frame with
    non uv plexglasss. Sould I varnish the print first before mounting , or mount the print first and the spray varnish with golden archival spray Varnish gloss. Thank you.

    • Hello Francesco.

      Thanks for the questions. I would suggest applying a coat or two of the Archival Gloss spray varnish first, allowing for a day or more to dry. Then mount the print to claybord using Soft Gel, and allow that to dry for a couple of days, especially with the canvas prints as the coatings are usually tight which causes the gel to dry more slowly. After that, apply however many coats you wish to finish the work. This way, if you accidentally mar the surface while mounting the print, you should be able to even out the finish with the additional coats of varnish. Be sure to frame this in such a way that there’s no varnish touching the plexiglas or matting, as the varnish will likely want to cling and attach to whatever it is in contact with.

      – Mike Townsend

  4. hello Michael

    Thanks for this publication. Im currently trying to identify if there is an ideal method for displaying large giclee prints, without an acrylic or glass.

    The main concern being fading, and after reading your and Sarah Sands papers, articles, Im still unsure if there is a reliable method.

    IS your article suggesting that the inkjet receptors are unique for every paper? Thus the varnish ability is different?

    Im using a canon prograf printer. Can you make any suggestions for deceasing giclee fading where I am adhesive mounting, and framing without glass?

    Alternatively, What if I were wanting to varnish, and then roll the image up, and ship it though the mail?

    This is for commercial applications, and we deal with other artists work, so, Im wanting to make sure and get it correct. thank you in advance

    • Hello Ryan.

      Thank you for contacting us with your questions.

      The overall takeaway from the articles is that the inkjet printing technology is a moving target and that this means it’s important to conduct regular testing to insure success. Printers and printing substrates will continue to evolve, and the inks and coating systems can be changed over time. However the good news is that the inks tend to be trending up in regards to longevity and durability. That said, there’s a couple of pieces of advice we can provide for you.

      I would say that not only is each brand of paper going to have their own type of ink receptive coating, but various lines of paper/canvas could use a different coating to adjust the way the ink absorbs into it. For example, paper usually requires much more ink than canvas due to the coating. The settings on the printer reduce or increase the ink flow depending upon the substrate you are using.

      The best recommendation, and most universal varnish is our MSA Varnish. This tends to have great clarity, leveling and film integrity with excellent clarity. If you brush apply, 3 coats of varnish is enough of a varnish layer to achieve a high level of UV Protection. Often artists will start with gloss, due to its clarity, and finish with the desired finish as the last layers. the sheen choice is up to you.

      One concern I have is the type of adhesive you are using to attach the print to the panel. If it’s solvent based (such as 3M super 77), the MSA Varnish might loosen it and create bubbles between the print and substrate. If you use the water-based varnish (Polymer Varnish) to aviod solvents, be sure that the water and other additives in the varnish do not interact with the adhesive.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions.


      Mike Townsend

  5. I’m a photographer looking to add interest and something different to my photos. Most of these photos I will glue to a canvas board or other type of board. I send my photos out to be printed, most are metallic prints and some are just gloss. If I want to just add a clear layer to make the photo look more painterly then what would I use? And then if I want to mix in some color to add some interest areas would I use the same medium? I’m new to this whole idea so any info is appreciated. Also if you can recommend some books or learning sites to give me more info on this and other ways to add interest to photographs I would appreciate that.

    • Hello Jean.

      Thank you for contacting us with your questions. Most of the information we have is on ink jet prints, which are of course vastly different than working on actual photographs using Kodak and Fujifilm papers. These tend to make it more difficult to work upon with waterbased products, which is why many photo retouchers would using solvent based inks. Here’s a link to those products: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Pencils/ci/885/N/4077265223. If you do print the images on inkjet supports then you can follow the advice outlined in this Just Paint article.

      – Mike Townsend

  6. What is the best medium to use if one wants to transfer an inkjet print onto a substrate like a canvas by laying it printed side down and removing the paper backing afterwards by soaking and abrading?

    • Hello Kim.

      Thank you for your question. An important factor is the type of ink used in the inkjet printer. Some are more water sensitive than others. You would also want to use the thinned, cheapest (tree pulp) paper that still provides a clean print. This helps during the transfer process. Higher quality papers are more stubborn and require a lot more paper rubbing and peeling to reveal the image. You might want to apply a thin layer of Fluid Matte Medium to seal the inks before you actually do the image transfer process. The downside to this is that the paper will want to buckle when it gets wet, so that may also influence the process that works best for you.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.

      – Mike Townsend


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