Q. Do I need to coat my print?
A. Ink jet media has a receiver layer on the top of the substrate that acts like a sponge. Ink jet inks are water based, and when sprayed into the receiver layer, the layer absorbs the ink. Even when an image is on the media, the receiver layer still acts like a sponge, and will absorb all moisture, fingerprint oils and atmospheric contaminants.
Therefore we strongly recommend to either frame an ink jet print under glass or seal the print with PremierArt Print Shield or PremierArt Eco Print Shield.
Q. What is the difference between lacquer (solvent) based and aqueous (water) based coatings?
A. A simple way of visualizing the differences are the difference between oil based paint and latex based paint. Oil based paint needs paint thinner for cleanup, while latex based paint can be cleaned up with soapy water.
A more comprehensive explanation is the base of a lacquer base coating is usually derived from petroleum or alcohol, while aqueous based solutions are made with water as the main ingredient. Any time you can use water as a base there are environmental advantages, as well as safety considerations.
Q. Can I laminate my print?
A. Lamination is designed for signage and outdoor use where it is used to protect the print from the elements. Laminated prints have a limited lifespan, usually less than 5 years.
If you are making a fine art print or a photograph, then coatings are your best bet for longevity. Laminating a cotton print defeats the purpose of using a long life cotton material. It will yellow within 5 years.