Tips for Applying an Inkjet Protective Spray

Hahnemuehle Protective Spray

Hahnemuehle Protective Spray

Inkjet protective sprays were specifically developed to seal the surface of photos and art printed with aqueous inks on fine art papers from Hahnemuehle, Moab by Legion Paper, Innova, Museo and other companies. They can also be used with glossy and matte photo papers.

Without an inkjet protective spray, your prints can be easily damaged by fingerprints, dirt, moisture, abrasion, and exposure to UV light. Or, aqueous pigment inks can transfer from the surface of an unprotected print to a facing page in a book or album.

Inkjet protective sprays for fine art prints are formulated to be completely transparent. They also don’t adversely affect the underlying structure or color of the art paper.

Here are a few tips for applying the lacquer-based inkjet protective sprays required for aqueous inks on fine art paper.

  • Work in a well-ventilated area, away from open flames, sparks, or high heat. Wear safety goggles or glasses.
  • Wait at least 15 minutes after the print comes off the printer, then apply the first light coat.
  • Hold the can about 6 to 8 inches from the surface of the print.
  • Cover the entire print by spraying the first coat in a horizontal path. Apply a second light coat, using a vertical spray path.
  • To ensure the print is fully protected, consider applying a third light coat. Spray diagonally from corner to corner.
  • If the print won’t be mounted or framed behind glass, apply the coating to both the front and back of the print.
  • Allow at least 20 minutes for the coating to dry. Drying may take longer if you are working in a humid environment.
  • Consider testing the spray on a few small proof prints first.

Freedom Paper sells several popular brands of fine art inkjet papers and two brands of inkjet projective spray: Moab Desert Varnish and Hahnemuehle Protective Spray. A 400 ml aerosol can provide two to three protective coats on 20 to 40 8.5 x 11‐in. images.

If you have further questions about either of these products, call us at 866-310-3335 and we would be happy to help.

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