Did you know you can varnish a photo paper print and display it without the glass?
- what kind of varnish can you use
- types of brands that will work for this and where you can pick them up
- how to apply them
- challenges for varnishing these photo prints; dust and debris and how to stay consistent
Listen in to learn about how to display photo prints without the glass
Create Your Own HVLP Spray Booth for only $125 Remember for this particular application you do not need the spray gun as you will be using aresol cans.
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You are listening to the ask BC podcast. Your print making questions answered by the experts.
Justin: Hey guys it’s your host Justin welcome to the second episode of the Ask BC Podcast. I’m super excited about today’s episode cause we are going to answer a question we get a lot here at Breathing Color. Have you ever wanted to display your photo paper prints without the glass? You’re not alone, stick around and we’ll talk about what to do and what not to do and everything in between.
Allen: Can I use timeless varnish to coat a print done on vibrance metallic photo paper.
Justin: That’s a fantastic question Allen thanks so much for taking the time to submit. For you listeners out there let me just explain exactly what Allen’s trying to do so we’re all in the same page. So Allen’s printing on Breathing Colors vibrant metallic photo paper, and he wants to know if he can use Breathitsing Colors timeless water based print varnish to print. So as I mentioned Timeless is a water based print varnish is usually preferred for when you’re printing on Canvas because water based varnish tends to hold up better against cracking and stuff like that. Unfortunately the way ink sits on a photo paper surface it makes water based varnishes incompatible. So you won’t be able to use the timeless with the vibrance metallic photo paper. lacquerBut don’t worry we are gonna talk about how you can varnish a photo paper print that way you can display it without the glass.
So I mentioned timeless being a water based varnish. And you’re probably wondering what the heck makes any other varnish any different and why use it and not timeless. So what you should be looking for when you’re trying to varnish a photo paper print is a varnish that is lacquer based or sometimes referred to as solvent based. This kind of lacquer based varnish kind of etches itself to the surface of the paper allowing it to work with the inks just kind of sitting on the surface as I mentioned before. There are a few from brands that work this way and what I’ll do is I’ll link them to the show notes. Some of the brands I would recommend, their pricing, and where you can pick them up. So be sure to grab those show notes.
So since these sprays come in an aerosol can it makes it nice that you don’t have to mix the different varnishes or do much clean up since you just spray it right out of the can and you’re done. This of course comes with its own challenges though. Two of the main ones that I’ve run into are, finding a way to eliminate the debris that are constantly floating around in the air from landing on your print before the varnish is dry or during spraying. And secondly it’s getting that perfect even finish across the print before its dry. To combat the dust and debris problem I would recommend considering setting up a spray booth especially if this is something you’re gonna be doing frequently. And I know right now you’re saying whoa, whoa, whoa spray booth, that sounds really expensive; But you can actually do it really inexpensively if you have the right knowledge. We wrote a blog article about this pretty recently and I’ll link up that that in the show notes about how you can build a do-it-yourself spray booth for under $150 including the spray gun so it will be significantly cheaper then that. So check that out.
As far as getting that smooth glassy finish goes it’s mostly gonna be trial and error, you know doing it a few times, getting down the proper hand speed. Constant hand motion. But its pretty simple once you do it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. What I’m gonna do for you guys is link up to a video in the show notes that shows varnishing a photo paper print with one of these aerosol products. We’ll talk about best practices, and some tips and tricks in that video. So you can pick that up in the show notes.
Well, guys that’s it for today episode, thanks so much for listening. And for the show notes for this episode i’ve been mentioning you can visit ask-bc.com/photovarnish thanks again for submitting your question Allen. And We have a brand new Breathing Color teeshirt on it’s way so be expecting in that in the next couple of days.
If you would like to ask a question for the show you can visit ask-bc.com and if we use your question a free Breathing Color teeshirt will be coming your way.