FAQ
SignaSmooth NoDisc
Canvas
How do I decide which inkjet canvas to use for my business?

In order to properly evaluate inkjet canvas for your printmaking business, several criteria must be evaluated and considered. This criterion can be broken down into four primary categories: aesthetic appeal, longevity, production/business practicality, and brand association. Testing multiple brands and types of inkjet canvas is the best thing you can do for your business, your customers, and the fine art industry as a whole. Let this article be the guide or checklist to walk you through the important evaluation process.

How do optical brightener additives (OBA) affect longevity of fine art prints?

Optical Brightener Additives (commonly referred to as OBA’s) are widely used in paper coatings, textiles, and laundry detergents to increase the perceived “whiteness” of the treated products. OBA’s work by absorbing light from the (invisible) ultra-violet end of the spectrum and emitting light in the (visible) blue/white range of the spectrum. This shift in the frequency of light energy, results in a whiter and brighter appearance of the treated product. Read more here.

What is the safest way to embellish my inkjet canvas prints?

It is always recommended to first seal your inkjet canvas prints with Glamour II or Timeless before attempting to hand embellish. You can also use Glamour II as a Texturizing Gel.

Can I Roll Up My Inkjet Canvas After Coating It With Glamour II Veneer?

Once the print has completely dried, you should have no problem rolling it up.  Keep in mind that when the print is exposed to extremely hot or humid temperatures, it may have a tendency to soften and stick to itself.  For this reason it is always recommended to protect each print with a sheet of an acid-free barrier paper.

I am seeing "banding" on my prints. What is causing this?

There are a few different things that can cause banding. Most commonly, you will see banding occur when there is a clogged nozzle or something else hardware related. Please follow the steps below to help identify the issue:

Ensure that your printer can handle the thickness of the media you are attempting to print on. In your printer’s user manual, or by calling the manufacture, you can find the maximum weight that your printer will accept; make sure that the media doesn’t exceed this maximum specification.

See our blog about doing a nozzle check and other maintainance on your printer.
If the nozzle check results look fine, proceed to check your platen gap settings and making sure other print settings are correct.

What is a safe way to clean my coated fine art prints?

Cleaning fine art prints that are coated with our Timeless or Glamour 2 varnish is quite easy. Simply use a damp cloth to gently wipe the surface of the coated print to remove dust or dirt. Read more about cleaning your coated fine art prints here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

My canvas prints "shrink" length-wise when they come out of my printer. How can I fix this?

Length-wise (or vertical) canvas shrinkage is typically caused by tension created on the printer while printing with canvas rolls. This shrinkage is normally quite consistent and can be compensated for through Photoshop. Read more about how to compensate for canvas shrinkage here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

How long should I let my prints dry?

When printing on canvas or fine art paper, it is critical that the prints be allowed to dry and outgas fully before they are mounted, stretched, and/or framed. Finishing these prints prematurely can cause a whole host of problems from splotchy glass when framing, to pin holes and bubbles while coating in preparation for stretching. Read more about dry time and outgasing on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

How should I handle Breathing Color media? What about storage?

To prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from your hands to the inkjet receptive coating of the media, white cotton gloves should be worn when handling the media. When not using the media, you should store it in its original packaging, exactly how it was shipped to you. Read more about our recommended handling and storage best practices on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Fine Art Paper
The curl in the paper is causing the print heads on my Epson printer to rub, how do I fix this?

First make sure your Platen Gap is set to WIDER. If that doesn’t help, you’ll want to turn up the Paper Suction which is found in your Epson driver under “Paper Configuration.” Turning up the suction will hold the paper firmly to the bottom of the printer and stop rubbing.

Which side of the Elegance Velvet Fine Art Paper do I print on?

The printable side of our Elegance Velvet Fine Art Paper is the slightly smoother, less textured side of the paper. This is the side that has the ink jet receptive coating on it.

Can I coat Fine Art Papers?
Flaking / Debris Issues Should Not Happen

Often we get support issues from our customers telling us that Elegance Velvet is flaking terribly when they print, causing voids to become apparent when the flakes fall off. We also are occasionally told that Elegance Velvet has a large amount of debris on the surface.

Neither of these are true of Elegance Velvet. This fine art paper is made with an inkjet receptive coating that does not flake, and is also very resistant to scuffing.

If you believe your Elegance Velvet roll is flaking, here are a few things to check on:

(1) Are you working in a particularly dusty environment? If your printers are in a dusty or dirty environment, this is definitely going to affect your prints. Dust and debris can get into the inside of your printer, they can also affect your heads which could cause voids in printed image. Furthermore, if your fine art paper roll is exposed (not in its plastic) for short periods of time, the dust and debris will land on the roll. This brings us to the next issue –

(2) How long was your Elegance Velvet fine art paper roll left “exposed” (meaning, without plastic covering and also not in its original box). Leaving your roll of fine art paper (or canvas) exposed for even short periods of time is dangerous because all sorts of debris will definitely attach itself to the roll. This doesn’t even matter if you think your environment is very clean. The particles that will affect your roll are extremely small, they travel without the help of any wind (when people walk on carpet, or even when people breathe — you can imagine what a ceiling fan or a standing floor fan will do), and they are everywhere. If you have left your roll of fine art paper exposed for a few hours, depending upon your environment and where you actually placed the roll, your roll is probably affected with debris. The right practice is to only open the roll when you plan on printing it. When it is not printing, you should put the roll back into its plastic cover and then into its original box. Note: Don’t ever put the roll back into its original box without the plastic. Also, don’t ever substitute the plastic cover for anything else – such as Kraft Paper. Both Cardboard boxes and Kraft Paper are acidic.

(3) If you are not working in a dusty or dirty environment, and if there are no fans on or serious air flow, and if you are taking a roll of Elegance Velvet out and are literally putting it right onto the printer and print on it immediately, you should not have any issues. If you still have issues, the problem may be within your printer. If you print on other fine art papers in the same environment on the exact same printer, and the other fine art papers don’t have the same problem, then it could be that you have a defective roll.

If this is the case, we will ask you to send one of your unopened rolls to us so that we can test it in our controlled environment. If we find the product to be defective, we will replace your rolls or provide you with a refund immediately. Please understand that because defective issues with Elegance Velvet are around .01%, and this .01% is not from flaking, we must have you complete issues #1-3 above before we can proceed to performing our own tests. To date, you must keep in mind that we have never had a defective roll of Elegance Velvet returned because it actually was flaking.

I am seeing "banding" on my prints. What is causing this?

There are a few different things that can cause banding. Most commonly, you will see banding occur when there is a clogged nozzle or something else hardware related. Please follow the steps below to help identify the issue:

  1. Ensure that your printer can handle the thickness of the media you are attempting to print on. In your printer’s user manual, or by calling the manufacture, you can find the maximum weight that your printer will accept; make sure that the media doesn’t exceed this maximum specification.
  2. See our blog about doing a nozzle check and other maintenance on your printer.
  3. If the nozzle check results look fine, proceed to check your platen gap settings and making sure other print settings are correct.
How can I remove edge curl from my fine art prints?

Edge curl is something that most users have learned to deal with, but there are ways to remove it.  We have found an easy and affordable method for flattening your prints. The best part is you can use supplies you already have in your print shop! Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  1. An empty 3″ core (save the core from your last roll of fine art paper)
  2. 2 sheets of foam packing material
  3. Tape
What is a safe way to clean my coated fine art prints?

Cleaning fine art prints that are coated with our Timeless or Glamour 2 varnish is quite easy. Simply use a damp cloth to gently wipe the surface of the coated print to remove dust or dirt. Read more about cleaning your coated fine art prints here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

How long should I let my prints dry?

When printing on canvas or fine art paper, it is critical that the prints be allowed to dry and outgas fully before they are mounted, stretched, and/or framed. Finishing these prints prematurely can cause a whole host of problems from splotchy glass when framing, to pin holes and bubbles while coating in preparation for stretching. Read more about dry time and outgasing on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

How should I handle Breathing Color media? What about storage?

To prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from your hands to the inkjet receptive coating of the media, white cotton gloves should be worn when handling the media. When not using the media, you should store it in its original packaging, exactly how it was shipped to you.

Photo Paper
Why do my rolls of Vibrance Metallic, Vibrance Gloss, or Vibrance Luster ship without sleeves and held with tape?

When shipping, paper sleeves can rub or scuff the surface of the media. By using a small strip of tape to hold the roll tight instead, we can avoid this abrasion. The strip of tape used here can sometimes leave residue behind on the media, so we compensate for any media loss by adding a few extra feet to each of these rolls.

Why do my rolls of Vibrance Metallic, Vibrance Gloss, or Vibrance Luster ship without sleeves and held with tape?

When shipping, paper sleeves can rub or scuff the surface of the media. By using a small strip of tape to hold the roll tight instead, we can avoid this abrasion. The strip of tape used here can sometimes leave residue behind on the media, so we compensate for any media loss by adding a few extra feet to each of these rolls.

Varnishes
You offer 2 different varnishes, Timeless and Glamour II...which is best for me?

Read more here

How can I apply Glamour II?

Glamour II Veneer giclee coating can be rolled on with a dense foam roller, sprayed on with an HVLP gun (50% dilution), or used with a roll coating machine (50% dilution).  When rolling Glamour II Veneer you are going to want to dilute it down 25%-30% with warm distilled water.  You can apply the glamour directly to the print, and then immediately start to roll the Glamour II onto the canvas.  Do not apply pressure to the roller, and make multiple passes in opposite directions.  A good way to know if you are almost done rolling, is to listen for the “sticky” sound of the Glamour II.  This means that the coating has been worked into the canvas and is starting to dry.  The more time you spend working the Glamour II into the canvas, the faster it will dry and the better your print will look.  Please allow at least a full 24 hours for your print to dry.

Flakes or chunks in your varnish?
I'm getting air bubbles while coating canvas with Glamour II. What am I doing wrong?

Air bubbles can be caused by a variety of things. Breathing Color has tested every single possible variable to the foam rolling process of coating. Most of the time bubbles in the print are caused by “under rolling.” You want to cover your print by going in multiple directions, not just one. The canvas has to “drink” the coating in. If you see bubbles at the start of your coating process, it is the canvas sucking the coating into the print. The desired dilution ratio of water to coating is 30% water 70% coating. There has been cases of bubbles forming from over diluted coating. Please allow the canvas 24 hours of dry time as well. After 24 hours when you come back to your print, you will notice that the bubbles have disappeared.

How Do I Stop Glamour II Veneer From Streaking?

If you still have streaks, there are a few things you need to focus on:

    1. How much are you diluting with water? Try adding more water (at least 40%).
    2. Before adding the water to the coating, heat it in the microwave for about 8 to 10 seconds depending on how much water you are adding. The water should be above luke warm but not boiling. The heated water will help in mixing with Glamour II Veneer.
    3. When stirring the heated water and Glamour II Veneer together, stir lightly and slowly. If you try to mix them together too fast or too aggressively, it can create air bubbles that are difficult to get out of the coating once it is applied to the print. Once dried, these air bubbles are even more visible and can ruin your print.
    4. When you are first applying Glamour II Veneer to your inkjet canvas or fine art paper, be very generous with the application. Some of our customers even find success in pouring the coating directly onto the print in even lines across the whole print. Once this is done, the foam roller is then just used to spread the Glamour II Veneer around evenly.
    5. If you decide to apply Glamour II Veneer without pouring it straight onto the inkjet canvas or fine art paper and instead apply it with the foam roller directly, make sure to stay away from any bumpy parts of the tray with the foam roller. When you are moving the roller around in the tray to saturate it with Glamour II Veneer, the bumps can cause indentations in the foam which will transfer over to your prints and ultimately leave some service uncovered.
    6. Try to go over the print with the foam roller the least amount of times possible. We have found that the more times you run your foam roller over the Glamour II Veneer, the more coating you are actually taking off of the print. If you still see lines in the coating, wait until it dries to see if they go away. If you have been generous enough with the coating, the levelling agents in the Glamour II Veneer will cause the streaks to go away as it is drying.
    7. Apply the least amount of pressure possible when going over your inkjet canvas or fine art paper with the Glamour II Veneer. Pressure will cause indentations in the coating which will cause streaks once it has dried.
How long do I need to wait before varnishing a print? What about stretching?
I am experiencing canvas cracking after coating a roll of canvas with Glamour II. Are there any solutions?

Almost every problem that can occur with Glamour II, can be solved by using more of it. If you are experiencing cracking, chances are you did not use enough of it. Therefore, make sure when spraying your prints, that you always use 2 heavy coats. Though Glamour II is temperature sensitive and is mildly susceptible to environmental conditions, your prints should never crack if you have applied enough Glamour II. When applying Glamour II with a foam roller, you still should be able to get away with one coat, but make sure you apply the Glamour II generously.

Ink is coming up on my roller when I coat. What do I do?

Can I Store Glamour II Veneer After I Dilute It?

We do not recommend storing Glamour II Veneer after it has been diluted. Only dilute as much as you will need when you are coating. Storing Glamour II Veneer after diluting can cause it to separate and harden.

More FAQ on Glamour II here.

How long do I mix Timeless before using it?

Mix varnish more thoroughly than you might have thought. Read here for tips and tricks.

Flakes or chunks in your varnish?
How long do I need to wait before varnishing a print? What about stretching?

Our general rule is to wait 24 hours before varnishing a print, to allow outgassing to complete. Read more here.

Ink is coming up on my roller. What do I do?

If you have experienced excessive ink coming off the print and onto your roller,
there are a few simple ways to fix this. Read more here.

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