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Dry Mounting Inkjet Prints

Yes, inkjet paper can withstand the dry mounting process. The key is to closely control your temperature setting below 190 degrees, especially with RC (photo feel) inkjet media. Choose a low temperature adhesive sheet for the job.

Resources for Dry Mounting Inkjet Prints

Chris Paschke literally wrote the book on mounting for photography and fine art. She conducted tests using most of the available mounting materials and various substrates. You can find her recommendations for best dry mount tissues and boards on this PDF. Look for the bold "X" which denotes the best material.

The below information is from a much longer discussion at the Lumimous Landscapes formum.


I got pretty good at dry mounting Luster RC. The Luster surface comes through dry mounting looking great, but as has been said glossy will develop eggshell texture.

You need a press with a good thermostat. RC can survive 190F for hours, but at around 220F it will delaminate in a few seconds. Most old presses with mechanical thermostats will swing their temperatures far and wide, including well into the way-too-hot range. My used Seal (aka Bienfang) 500T-X press has an electronic thermostat with very tight temperature control and was bought for the price of about 50 ugly cans of 3M 77 spray.

If your thermostat does swing around quite a bit, you can mitigate things by pressing a dummy package of reject mattes or something just before pressing your art. That will theoretically soak up excessive temperature buildup, but will also trigger the thermostat so don't delay or temporarily turn down the temperature.

Always use a thickish cover sheet, like a thin matte.

Pre-press the print on top of the mounting board for about a minute to drive out moisture from both, and to absolutely flatten the print. RC prints are basically rigid but somewhat ripply. If you try to dry mount them without pre-pressing you will get ripples or bubbles both from not being flat to start with, and from moisture being caught under the print. Right after pre-pressing lift the print off the board for a moment to let moisture escape. If you place your print on the flat backing and check the edges for ripple before and after pre-pressing you will be impressed by the improvement.

I strongly recommend "Super Mount" tissue, United Manufacturers #4368. Best RC bonds I have ever seen. 180F for 2 minutes with a cover sheet. Ordinary dry mount tissue should not be used with RC. Tack the tissue and print at two points along one edge only, tacking multiple edges almost guarantees you'll get ripple.

There's a lot of other things, like the tiniest piece of grit caught under your print will show up big-time, or if it is caught on top of the print during pressing that will also kill your print. You have to be super fastidious which will wear you down after while.

If you dry mount RC in sections, be sure your cover sheet extends past the edges of the platen to avoid getting an impression of the platen on the print.

A little temperature probe small enough to fit under the platen of my press and is good way to verify those somewhat speculative temperature dials on most presses and to scan for nasty hot-spots in certain areas. Also good for figuring out how fast the temperature penetrates the cover sheet.


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