Friday, March 23, 2007

How to stop ink jet images from smearing, smudging, or running

Alison says:
Hello, I just stumbled upon your site and I love it! I was hoping you could answer a question for me. Recently, I've been using my computer printer to print images from the internet and also text for cards, mini books, etc. It makes me so nervous using my printer for my projects...all the hard work and love that I put into my projects, I worry that the ink will smear, smudge or run if the project is handled too much or if it gets a drip of water on it. Is there any product on the market that can help keep ink from running? Also, I am interested in using a decoupage medium over some of the images, and I just know that the colors will run and smear.

Please tell me there is *something* out there that will solve this problem....other than having to get a new printer or something!

I'm happy to tell you that there's a spray made specifically for fixing inkjet images called Marshall's Image Guard Spray. If you can't find it locally you can buy it mail order from Dick Blick. To be honest, I don't know how it differs from traditional acrylic fixative sprays. Whatever you use, it will need to be a spray because as soon as moisture and a rubbing motion touch those images, they'll smear.

As for decoupage, there is no medium made specifically to keep images from smearing. You could try using the spray on an image and seeing how stiff the paper gets. If it's still workable, you could then try using it in decoupage.

As with all new media, I strongly recommend testing it out on something you don't love quite as much first to make sure that it does what it should do and that you can make it do what it should do.

Hope this helps,

1 comment:

Linda said...

Have you tried baking your ink jet images in the oven? Try about 250 degrees for 5 minutes. It works for me. I have used Plaid Royal Coat decoupage finish over it...and no smears.