My comment about the use of PremierArt Print Shield made on another thread (Inexpensive and nice stock frames) evoked a question by barrywesthead. Since there hasn't been a recent discussion of print coatings, I thought one would be worthwhile.
My earlier comment: I prefer to use 3M's 568 Repositionable Mounting Adhesive to mount my photos to GatorFoam so they don't develop ripples or waves and then spray them with PremierArt Print Shield so they don't need to be covered with glazing.
Barrywesthead, who has extensive experience with Eco Print Shield, asked me to say something about how well the Print Shield works on gloss and satin finishes. Here is my reply:
The manufacturer says that PremierArt Print Shield spray, which is lacquer based, can be used on any type of finish and the finish is retained. I have used it on a number of papers where it works very well, including Red River Arctic Polar Satin, Fuji Crystal Archive Matte (photographic paper), which also has a satin finish, and several matte inkjet papers. In all these cases, the final finish looked essentially the same as before spraying. There is no color shift.
I have tried PA Print Shield on a glossy inkjet print and I don't think it is satisfactory because it tends to disrupt the mirror surface by creating a slight stippling.
I have tried two other products, Hahnemuhle Protective Spray and Moab Desert Varnish, and have concluded that these are all essentially identical to PremierArt Print Shield. So I buy the cheapest; right now that is probably PremierArt at DTG or Atlex
A word about my spraying technique: I hold the can about 18" from the print, which is vertical, and move the can back and forth smoothly, at a speed of 12" per second. You need to be careful not to dwell anywhere over the print so it is good to go beyond the edge of the print before coming back. I overlap the spray pattern from pass to pass about 50%. A small blob of liquid occasionally ends up on the print, which will leave a small crater after it dries. I immediately remove the blob with a dab of a q-tip, moistened with naphtha when I am spraying photographic prints.
I am not sure what solvent to use for inkjet prints because I don't have enough experience. A q-tip moistened with naphtha will remove pigment ink from a print if you rub on it. Inkjet prints seem less susceptible to damage from paint thinner, but naphtha may be OK if used very gently. I tried other organic solvents and they all dissolve ink quickly.
Also, beware of Windex glass cleaner; it really eats up inkjet images.
#1. "RE: coating prints" | In response to Reply # 0barrywesthead Nikonian since 06th Nov 2006Fri 06-Apr-12 08:43 PM | edited Fri 06-Apr-12 08:53 PM by barrywesthead
Thanks for the info on Print Shield, Ken.
I was asking because I have found the water based product Eco Print Shield to be excellent on all canvasses I have used to date but unacceptable on papers with the one exception, Hahnemuhle Fine Art pearl, which is a fantastic (expensive) paper. It accepts the Eco Print Shield beautifully resulting in an incredibly durable finish, however, the paper must be laminated to a stiff backing otherwise it will curl while drying. I have varnished canvasses and Fine Art Pearl prints hanging outdoors in full sun through two full years including Canadian winter that look pristine.
As to my experience with Eco print Shield on canvas:
I use an industrial HVLP spray gun on compressed air in a ventilated spray booth. Usually two coats. One wet coat of gloss, followed in 2 hours by a wet coat of Satin. For a satin or matte finish all undercoats should be gloss with only the top coat being the desired finish to avoid loss of print detail.
Many advise building up lighter coats but nothing works as well for me as two full wet coats – the resulting finish is flawless.
I dilute the product with demineralized water to a viscosity of 12 centipoise, spray prints horizontally and dry them stacked horizontally in a drying rack to avoid runs. A pressure regulator right at the inlet to the gun is set to 22psi – this will vary with different guns. I use a DeVilbiss EXL620 gun.
The water based product is great for cleanup and safety.
#3. "RE: coating prints" | In response to Reply # 2esantos Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Sat 07-Apr-12 02:21 PM | edited Sat 07-Apr-12 02:22 PM by esantos
To protect the surface of the print from damaging sunlight, scratches, moisture and humidity, and possible pollutants in the display environment. Since canvas prints are typically displayed without a glass shield it is imperative to coat the surface with some sort of protective coating. If your prints are on standard photo or matte papers framed behind glass this is not necessary. Some people like to apply a coating on their photo/matte prints as well, especially if they will be presented in a loose collection where they will be handled by the hands.
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography
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#4. "RE: coating prints" | In response to Reply # 2kmh Nikonian since 04th May 2008Sat 07-Apr-12 03:37 PM | edited Sat 07-Apr-12 05:18 PM by kmh
Let me add to what Ernesto wrote. I believe that a primary motivation behind displaying paintings and canvas prints without glazing is to avoid reflections that interfere with seeing the true image. For me, that argument applies to any displayed image, including inkjet and photographic prints. I loathe covering my prints with glass (or plastic) on that account.
I have taken that credo to heart by spraying my prints with PremierArt Print Shield (or its equivalents, mentioned earlier) after mounting them on GatorFoam and then framing them without glazing. I sometimes add a mat, which is sprayed as well. I really like the way the images pop out of the frames. The coatings resist moisture, atmospheric contaminants and scratches, and attenuate UV light; Wilhelm Imaging Research estimates they extend the lifetime of most prints by a sizable factor.
Many will argue that museum glass is preferable and can nearly eliminate reflections. Unfortunately, in my market, few folks are willing to pay for such high-quality protection. I think that even museum glass obstructs the view of the print to some extent.
It has to be said that glazing does provide very good protection for a print. With only a thin coating for protection, a print can be damaged more easily by sharp objects or solvents. That is price for being able to directly view the printed image.
In the end, it is a matter of preference how you display your prints.
I am hoping this discussion will elicit more photographers to write about how they coat their images, for example, what products they use and how they apply them. I would guess that some coatings provide more protection than others, so would be nice to hear about.