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[filmscanners] Re: Protective coatings for prints?

Laurie Solomon wrote:

> For starters, if the prints are sticky, it is because the inks have not
> completely dried or are not being absorbed into the paper completely but are
> resting in a puddle on top of the paper.  If that is the case, than spraying
> with an acrylic spray probaly will not work or help resolve that problem.
> The inks need to dry, which in some cases could take as much as a day or two
> depending on the inks, papers or substrata, and/or environmental atmospheric
> conditions.  Some papers will not readily accept certain inks and absorb
> them; thus, the inks will puddle on top of the paper and never really dry.
> Not all combinations work together.

I agree with Laurie here.  Some papers seem to not allow full absorption
of the inks.  The dyes. and probably glycol residues sit on top of the
coating.  These may never "dry".  I had such an experience with a Xerox
product.  The inks never fully absorbed.  I could wipe them down weeks
later, and the dyes smeared off the surface.  Actually, if I buffed all
the excess ink off, the image didn't look half bad ;-)

I've had other papers that dried so slowly that the image "melted" over
time, becoming more and more blurry as time passed.

It is critical to have a good paper/ink combo to start with.  After
that, it depends upon the look you are trying to achieve or the level of
protection.  I have been using some hot laminate sheets.  They require a
machine, and the sheets, which usually require both front and back be
laminated, because otherwise uneven dimensioning occurs and the print
gets very curled.  Laminate are available in matte and glossy finishes.

There are also cold laminates that just use a set of rollers to press
the surfaces together, and which might not require both sides be covered.

Some matte ink jet papers will not remain adhered to hot laminate (and
probably color too), but Epson basic matte inkjet papers (if you find
the image quality good enough for your needs) seem to be OK.  If you use
this paper, which runs about 10 cents a sheet, even with the laminate,
it only comes to about 60 cents or less per 8.5 x 11", and you get a
pretty permanent result that can tolerate a LOT of handling.  The
plastic provides the thickness and rigidity that the paper does not.
Some people don't like the look or feel of laminate.  There are softer
and harder plastic formulations made.  Tests of some of them have shown
they help protect the ink from fading as well.  This makes sense since
the fading process is about the molecules of dye migrating off the paper
from UV or other energizing forces.  Some laminates may have adhesives
that are non-archival or yellowing, however.

I use a 5 mil, and a 3 mil is also made which is somewhat cheaper, but
it doesn't make the paper very rigid.  There is even a 10 mil, but cost
is almost double.

In terms of aerosols, make sure to test it before attempting a large
piece, because, again some interact with some inks or papers. Bulldog, I
seem to remember has one specially designed for inkjet prints.


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