View Full Version : Coating Polaroid Prints

brian steinberger
14-Apr-2006, 19:51
I'm wondering what excatly the coater that comes with the Polaroid film is. Is there anything else that you can by somewhere else that goes on cleaner and doesn't leave streaks? Or is there a certain way to coat the prints that leave no streaks?

14-Apr-2006, 20:12
It's an art... can't press too hard otherwise the coating is too thick, can't coat too fast otherwise there will be bubbles in the coating, can't go over it too many times, etc. Practice makes perfect.

I've tried spray photo lacquer instead of the Polaroid coater but can't really remember if it worked well or not. Somewhere I have some prints that I put away to see if the lacquer passed the test-of-time but, unfortunately, I wouldn't know where to start looking for them. If I were to try this experiment again, I'd try spray Krylon... I think it's some sort of a plastic rather than a real lacquer.

14-Apr-2006, 20:15

brian steinberger
14-Apr-2006, 20:41

Has this stuff been proven to work?

John Flavell
14-Apr-2006, 20:50
The master himself gives us a hint about chemical make-up:

"...require that the print be coated with the swab provided with each box of film. The swab fluid is described as an acidic alcohol-water solution of a basic polymer. The mechanical act of swabbing off the print removes any traces of reagent, which otherwise will attack the image."--Ansel Adams, "Poaroid Land Photography" P39


14-Apr-2006, 22:46

I don't know if Krylonis proven to work -- certainly not by me. Looking at the applicaiton information on the web site, though, it might be okay. As I said, that's where I'd start experimenting... if I were to experiement with Polaroid again.


Jim Ewins
14-Apr-2006, 23:40
Use type 55 P/N and toss the print.

Bill Jefferson
15-Apr-2006, 05:02

Start at the perforated tab, lightly coat away from you to the other end and cover the whole print in 3 swipes and repeat a second time. Speed is the issue, the faster you can coat the better it will come out streak free. I place the print on the envelope to cover the print from edge to edge3

Sara P
15-Apr-2006, 09:13
brian...if I remember correctly you are using type 52...why don't you try some 72...it's the same iso (400) as the 52 but it requires no coating...
another one that I like is 54...it's a great film... You may want to find a copy of Ansel Adams book 'Polaroid Land Photography' (as earlier
quoted)...I got one off of Amazon for like 25 bucks and it was worth every penny...

Michael S. Briggs
15-Apr-2006, 09:36
I've used Polaroid Types 52 (requires coating) and 53 (coaterless) and found them to be essentially identical in speed and contrast, despite Polaroid rating Type 53 twice as fast. The characteristics curves in the datasheets show very similar contrast and speed, so I don't know why Polaroid gives the two films different speed ratings. The coaterless film is certainly more convenient, but some people on the internet claim that the coaterless films have a shorter expected lifetime -- I don't know if this is true and Polaroid doesn't seem to say anything about this.

I haven't used Type 72. From the characteristic curves in the datasheets, it appears to be a bit more contrasty than Types 52 & 53.

The book "Polaroid Land Photography" is excellent. The second edition of 1978 is better than the first edition.

Jim Noel
15-Apr-2006, 21:17
There is an easy fix to your coating problem.
Wrap the coater in a layer or two of Kleenex, or toilet tissue. It will help smooth out the coating and eliminating streaks.

Some years ago I did some experimenting with not coating, and also with spraying a variety of materials on the image. The uncoated ones began to change color and solarize after several weeks. The result was not undesirable and a few of these I coated at the point they looked good. I still have some of these.

Those which were spray coated with various products eventually, up to a couple of years later, had the same result. Coating these as they aged did no good and they eventually faded to nothing.