Benefit of Coating Canvas Printed on an Inkjet Printer

When an individual is purchasing a canvas print for their house or office, they are paying reasonably limited price for a premium product. Taking the additional step of applying a protective coating is always recommended particularly when one considers that it only adds pennies per sq foot to the total production cost. A protective coating can alter the finale of the canvas and protect it from UV light, atmospheric pollutants, and the scuffing or scratch that can occur when handled wrongly.

Most inkjet canvases come in one of three finishes — matte, satin, or gloss. Those individuals printing canvas can print to a matte industrial inkjet printer. canvas and then use a satin or gloss finish protective coating to offer the desired finish. Likewise, users of a gloss canvas may apply a satin finish to reduce reflectivity.

The biggest selling point of coating an inkjet canvas is protecting it from UV light and atmospheric pollutants since both can have adverse effects. UV light can cause a print to diminish prematurely while atmospheric pollutants, like ozone, can cause a canvas print or other inkjet images to yellow in a very short period of time.

Strategies to coating canvas

Using an aerosol apply can be very easy. One would must purchase a product like Hahnemuhle Protective Apply or ClearJet Fine art Apply and apply the canvas with two light applications with sufficient dry time between applications. The drawback to using these types of products is that they are typically solvent based so you need to either use them in a place with ample setting up or outdoors. They are also typically more expensive than other products that can be purchased in quantities like a gallon.

Using a liquid coating by the gallon is cost effective and will cover better than aerosol sprays. Users can apply this type of coating in one of two ways. The use of a white, high solidity foam roller to roll the coating onto the canvas is best for those users that either do not have the space to use a apply presentation area or do not have a chain link area to apply. When that way, it is best to apply two light applications, only using the pressure of the roller. At times, users will run into issues with the coating bubbling or leaving lines when applied. Using a coating with self leveling agents can help. When space allows, the easiest way to coat a canvas has a high-pressure low-volume (HPLV) apply rifle. These can be purchased in combination with an air compressor or as a single unit like the Wagner Control Apply Double Duty.

When volume demands, the final method for coating canvas is with a coating machine in combination with a liquid coating. While very efficient, one would be looking at an investment of at least $3, 000 for an entry-level model and well over $30, 000 for a high-end model. These machines typically use very specific liquid coatings due to viscosity requirements so these coatings are typically more expensive than those which they can use in a HPLV apply rifle or thrown on

Types of liquid coatings

There are two main types of liquid coatings — water-based and solvent-based. Water-based coatings work best with water-resistant canvases. In today’s market, the vast majority of inkjet printable canvases are water-resistant. Solvent-based coatings work best with non-water resistant canvases. It is always far better check with your canvas manufacturer or distributor to make sure that you are using the right coating with their canvas. Water-based coatings tend to be preferred since they don’t produce the toxins you will encounter when using solvent based coatings.

A conclusion

Using a liquid coating is a step that anyone producing inkjet canvas images should take regardless of the type of coating or the technique which will be used. The coating can give users their desired finish while protecting the canvas, increasing its longevity. The use of water-based coatings is the preferred option while using a liquid coating that comes in larger quantities, like gallons, will reduce the overall cost. Running the coating on is a great option if space does not permit using a HPLV apply rifle.

Sean McGettigan has been with LexJet, a manufacturer and distributor of professional inkjet media and wide format printers, for more than six years, accumulating a wealth of technical and product application knowledge as an account specialist. Among other things, Sean creates relevant technical and product application videos and articles to help LexJet’s customers with the day-to-day operations of their wide format graphics and photographic printing businesses.

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