View Full Version : Anyone used brush-on Lyson print-guard for prints?

chris jordan
24-May-2004, 15:50
Hi guys. My prints are large format, from LF originals, so this isn't totally off-topic...

I'm doing lots of testing of various print-coating products to try to come up with an elegant solution for coating Ultrachrome prints made on Epson Premium Semimatte paper (which is an RC paper). The idea is to display the prints without glass, and to do that these papers require some kind of coating that will seal them from atmospheric pollutants. The spray-on coatings may work, but I'm hoping to find something thicker and more substantial than the spray-ons.

So far the highest-quality product I have found is the Lyson slow-dry Printguard, which is a brush-on lacquer product. I am finding it difficult to brush the stuff on these prints without leaving any bubbles, brush marks, etc. Has anyone else had satisfactory results on RC papers? Or maybe there's someone out there with experience generally applying lacquers to any surface? Any help would be great, especially in the area of whether to thin, how much to thin, and any other tips, tricks, etc.




matthew blais
24-May-2004, 18:03
I haven't used it, nor would I want to, so why not just mount, laminate, and trim to size? My lab guy has a huge, cold roll laminate press that offers UV laminate w/gloss, matte and semi matte finish. He's had some display samples up in various windows for years and no sign (apparent) of fading.

I use it for my Epson inkjets to show my graphic and photo work at my studio and office space. Surely someone up that-a-ways offers this (?). Try a commercial printer or blueprint place if your pro labs don't have. Costs me about $3-4 sq. ft.

Otherwise, try a hair dryer or heat gun of sorts right after you appply. I've had some good results from regular varnishes (on wood) in eliminating bubbles with that...as long as it's not flamable...

John Cook
24-May-2004, 18:11
I have never used lacquer on prints. But as a woodworker I can tell you a few general things about lacquer. It is extremely fast drying, the advantage of which is that dust does not have time to settle on the wet finish as is the case with varnish. But it must be sprayed on, which creates an extreme fire and explosion danger in a home with gas or oil heat (including a gas water heater). Even “brushing lacquer” while slightly slower drying is very difficult to work with.

If you are intent on brushing lacquer onto your prints I would suggest one of the new water-based lacquers. A product line called “Crystalac” is sold by McFeely’s woodworker’s supply company. Their website is: http://store.yahoo.com/squaredrive/finishing-supplies---equipment-crystalac-clear-finishes.html

John O'Connell
24-May-2004, 18:35

is the page on Livick's site you get from Googling "livick lacquer." Elsewhere on his site he has instructions for brushing and his experiences with sprayed lacquers (I don't remember him being keen on them, although he sprays his emulsion).

Ah, what I have to look forward to when I get a printer...

Jeff Moore
24-May-2004, 19:34
Chris, as my other hobby is woodworking, I can assure you that it is well near impossible to apply any type finish with a brush and not get brush marks and bubbles. Also, I believe you will find that brushing almost any coating on an inkjet print will smear the colors. I wouldn't even consider brushing on any type finish on a photographic print. As other posters have mentioned, lamination is one solution, but some find lamination aesthetically unappealing. If brushing is not satisfactory and spraying is not an option, there is a third option that you may want to consider.

That option is hand-applying some type of finish with a coating rod. I do this on my Piezography BW prints which are not to be framed behind glazing. The results are pretty impressive. With a little practice, a consistent technique is not that difficult to achieve. However, the process does become more difficult with larger prints. I hand coat prints up to 16x20 without any problems at all. And while I have coated 24" wide prints with success, it is certainly more difficult.

The process is very inexpensive to give a try. Good luck.

Paul Moshay
24-May-2004, 22:31
Chris, Some time ago most commercial photographers used a product called "Getzol type B gloss lacquer" that was sprayed on a B&W or color print to prevent yellowing, fading or mildew on the prints. It was intended to increase the brilliance and detail without any change in the apparence of the surface. I have two quart cans and one gallon can left from a friends studio. You are welcome to have one of the quarts for just the shipping cost from L.A. It might be worth a try to see if it works for your needs. Email me off line for any more details. Paul Moshay

Ed Eubanks
25-May-2004, 14:20
If you're really committed to applying liquid laquer and coatings yourself, you can get a machine which coats prints for (somewhat) reasonable cost through Tyndell Photographic. They sell albums and finishing supplies, mainly for wedding/portrait photography, and are very helpful and pleasant. I buy most of my album supplies from them for the weddings I shoot.

Tim Curry
25-May-2004, 18:05
One more comment from a (former) woodworker about lacquer, it is nearly impossible to brush, as has already been mentioned. It dries much too fast. Another problem you may encounter is "blushing" from high humidity. As lacquer dries, the surface cools rapidly as the solvents evaporate. This can condense moisture out of the air on a very humid day.

My greatest concern would be with the solvents used in any finishing product and the issue of compatibility with RC paper. Lacquer has some solvents in it which may affect the resin coating (plastic) on the surface of the paper. The archival types would probably be safe to use, but others may not be as safe.

Spraying is your best bet. A good setup is the newer type of HPLV (high pressure low volume) gun, not the older style of high pressure air and siphon style. The overspray can get all over things you don't want it to stick to. Before you try a gun, do a bunch of tests for dilution and setup on a gun. The "fan" and fluid flow need to be just right and passes must be correct. There is no margin for error.

I think the suggestion of a cold application coating film would be your best bet. It is just a roller which feeds the print and coating film through like an old ringer washer. No air bubbles, just a clear coating. Simple and effective.

Brian C. Miller
26-May-2004, 18:53
After a quick search, you might try CourtGard (http://www.cpfindusprod.com/dyeing/uvabsorbers.html). It appears to be an industrial film, and is available in widths up to 72 inches. "CourtGard helps protect and preserves the U. S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence..."

DryTac (http://www.drytac.com/equipment.asp) has a line-up of equipment which could help you.