How to Make Inkjet Ink Waterproof
It is key to recognize that while inkjet printable vinyl materials are waterproof, the ink that is used may not be. This results in the ink running and smearing upon exposure to water. Learn how to make waterproof stickers in this article.
Problem: Ink is not waterproof
Solution: Protect your prints. Below are some ways on how to seal inkjet prints
- UV spray coat
- Apply vinyl laminate adhesive
- Apply laminate using heat laminator
Method 1: Clear spray coating
What to use: Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating (K01305)
Figure 1. Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating. Image courtesy of Krylon.
How: Technique for Spray coating - Patience!
- Hold spray can 10 to 12 inches away from printed artwork.
- Use very light layers and allow up to 3 - 5 minutes of drying time between each layer.
- Special care is needed to make sure that the first 3 to 5 layers are very light to prevent the coating material from beading up.
- Build up layers until the coated surface looks even with sufficient gloss.
Tip: Going too thick with the layers will lead to beading up or bubbling of the coating material.
Method 2: Laminating inkjet prints with clear vinyl laminate
What to use: Vinyl laminate sheets with adhesive
How: Apply smaller pieces of laminates over the artwork instead of over the whole sheet
- Cut the vinyl laminate sheets into sizes slightly larger than your artwork.
- Apply the laminate pieces over the artwork.
- Avoid covering the registration marks to prevent errors in machine reading.
- Save laminate material!
Figure 2. Localized lamination
Method 3: Use heat lamination on one side of the vinyl sticker paper
How: This is a unique method demonstrated by Tyars Essentials. Do give this a try!
Conclusion: These three methods should help make your vinyl sticker waterproof.