Step 4: Preparing Your Screen for Printing
Welcome to Art2Silkscreen's first series of tutorials on how to properly screen print your designs.
In today's blog, we are going to take you through, step-by-step, how to prepare your screen for printing. Make sure you read the following instructions carefully for a perfect print design!
This step is relatively short and all you will need is some masking tape, a printing carousel, a small paintbrush and some solvent screen filler.
1: Cover Up Any Pinholes
The first step to preparing your screen is to make sure there aren’t any pinholes in the emulsion. Sometimes, during exposure, some tiny pinpricks will appear around the design. This can lead to random splodges of colour in your print your design so these holes must be sealed with some screen filler.
On the non-print side of the screen, take your paintbrush and dip it into your solvent screen filler. Hold the screen up to the light and paint over any holes you see. Always double-check for any holes you may have missed. Once you’ve covered every hole, let it dry in front of the electric fan heater.
2: Position in Your Printhead
Before putting your screen on the carousel, make absolutely sure there are no holes in the emulsion, once again by holding it up to the light. Also, make sure the screen filler has completely dried. If it doesn’t come off on your fingertip then it’s good to go.
Now you can place your screen into your printhead. Make sure the print side is facing upwards as you place it in. Once it’s secure, lower the screen down so you can get to all the edges.
3: Tape Up All the Edges
Grab your masking tape, preferably a non-permanent one, and use it to close off all of the area around the edge of the screen. If you’re doing a multi-colour design, be sure to leave all the registration marks clear. If you’re doing a one-colour design, all you need is the centre points.
When placing your masking tape, make sure each strip is completely flat. Bumps and creases can get in the way of the squeegee when printing onto your product. Masking tape also helps make cleaning up a lot easier!
Once all the edges have been covered, you are now ready for printing.
Now you've finished this step, keep an eye out for our next blog post on the next stage: Printing Your Design!
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