Friday, March 2, 2012

Experimental Inkjet Printing - Sandpaper

Here is something pretty exciting. So, I have been in this experimental inkjet printing class this quarter and have learned a lot of different printing techniques. A couple of my favorites have been transferring onto wood as well as printing on aluminum flashing and sandpaper. The above examples are images I printed on 3M 100 grit sandpaper. The images I printed look wonderful on the sandpaper because they already have the same light brown/orange color of the paper and the subject matter is of this parking garage in Miami (original story here) that has rough concrete surfaces that work great on this medium. I hope you enjoy and stay tuned for more experimental processes and outcomes. Thanks!


  1. Mark,
    These pictures are amazing. What kind of printer did you use to do this? Did you need to modify anything? Really appreciate any insight you can provide into this. Thanks.

    1. Hello there! Glad you like these prints. I used an EPSON 7880 printer for these prints with the platen gap set at widest so the printer head does not get sanded down to nothing. In order to actually print on the sandpaper I used a thin cutting mat from Wal-Mart and coated it with Liquitex gloss medium & varnish. I then applied one sheet of 3M 100 grit sandpaper to the carrier sheet while the gloss medium was still wet and then applied another coat over the sandpaper itself (all with a foam brush). Once all that was dry I applied one coat of Golden's Digital Ground Gloss, waited for that to dry (over-night), and then printed on it using a mac computer and image print software. Hope that helps!

  2. Mark.

    Wow, these look great... I'm curious to find out, how did your printer survive the process ?

    Also, I'm having a difficult time understanding the steps... sorry probably a simple process but not familiar with this at all.. What did you use the tin cutting mat for ? Did you feed the 3M grit sandpaper while it was still wet with the Liquitex gloss medium and varnish ??

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but from the above, my understanding is :

    1) coat 3M grit sandpaper with Liquitex gloss medium and varnish
    2) place coated (still wet?) sandpaper on carrier sheet and feed through printer??

    Many Thanks!

    1. Glad you like! The printer survived because the platen gap was fully open. Make sure you have a printer that allows you to adjust this. I used an EPSON 7880 for these pieces and you can adjust the platen gap on it. I used the thin cutting mat as the surface to carry the sandpaper on. You can't just send the sandpaper through the printer because it will tear up the printer (most likely). The Liquitex is coated onto the thin cutting mat and then (while wet) the sandpaper is pressed onto the mat and rolled flat. Then a second coat of Liquitex is coated over the sandpaper to help hold it in place. Let Dry. Then, for better printing quality, one coat of Digital Ground Gloss is coated onto the dry sandpaper. This needs to DRY before anything else can be done. Then measure your entire piece and create a document to print. Then send your piece through the printer with the platen gap on full and enjoy the results!

  3. I think you did here nice job.Very impressive.