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UV printing on wood - white underbase suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by feckmo, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. feckmo

    feckmo Member

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    Hi all,

    We have a Mimaki JFX200-2513 flatbed UV printer and need to print directly on sheets of 1/2" plywood. We've run a few tests using the printer's white ink as an underbase that have gone well, but white ink is expensive and takes forever (2 pass for coverage). That said, we would like to pre-paint the boards white and just print color for production.

    Has anyone done this before? If so, any suggestions for a good, reliable, durable white primer? I was thinking oil-based exterior primer (the boards will have limited outdoor exposure) but I'm all ears if there is a better option.

    Thanks in advance!

    --Jim.
     
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  2. Jun Lanon

    Jun Lanon Member

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    I've done plenty of these projects. I am using a Stratojet EFB2512 that does not take long to print and I don't have any problems and white stays white. If you're using a plywood, you need to have more layers of white. Painting it may work depending on the paint you use. Try using primer paint or an option of another machine. Up to you.
     
  3. SignMeUpGraphics

    SignMeUpGraphics Moderator

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    Depending on how accurate you need your colors to be, you'd probably need to make a profile for that particular white paint also.
     
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  4. Superior_Adam

    Superior_Adam Member

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    Use a paint similar to One Shot Oil based enamel. That is how pre painted wood substrates comes from suppliers.
     
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  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    How 'bout a clue as to what kinda plywood you are using ?? 1/2" isn't really enough information.

    Regardless, to do it correctly, you're gonna need at least one coat primer and two top coats. That's about 2 days worth of painting. Most primers you can put a top coat on within 4 to 6 hours, let the top coat dry overnight and the next morning, scare up the paint with some 400 paper, tack and coat your second coat. The next day, you should be ready to print. However, if the wood is completely unpainted, you'll need to paint the back side, to keep the tension somewhat even, so you don't have any warping/bowing.
     
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  6. Sindex Printing

    Sindex Printing Member

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    What I have done for the printed is used a pre satin wood conditioner and everything comes out great. I have used the one shot enamel paint as an underbase. Just have to make sure the paint is really dry before printing.
     
  7. feckmo

    feckmo Member

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    Great info, thanks to all. I was mostly just curious whether there would be any issues of print adhesion with UV inks on painted wood, but it sounds like there are no worries there. For our project, we're using birch plywood from Home Depot, so we'll likely try the pre-stain conditioner followed by primer and one coat of oil-based enamel on both sides. From there, we'll print on the flatbed and finish with satin polyurethane.

    Is there some benefit to One Shot paint over others? It seems really, really expensive by comparison, and this project does not require extreme color fidelity, etc. Limited outdoor durability is somewhat important. I was thinking that this could be a good "middle-of-the-road" option:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Ol...ior-Industrial-Paint-2-Pack-7792402/202058828

    Thanks again for the suggestions! I'll be sure to post our results when we have them.
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    With that kinda wood, you need a sealer. Perhaps 2 coats are needed. (you can get a sealant/primer one step, but I wouldn't recommend that) Then, a primer or two, followed with two top coats. Your time invested now, will be about a week for the process. Why not use MDO wood. It's great for outdoors, not many voids and you can buy it plain, primed or fully painted. However, the fully painted still need attention along the edges. One day could finish that kinda plywood. Plus, it's probably costs less. Properly done, it can last up to 15 years. Oh, and the top coat paint is called 1Shot bulletin, which is less than the lettering 1Shot.
     
  9. Sindex Printing

    Sindex Printing Member

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    I usually stay away from home depot or Lowe's plywood. When laser cutting we found it to be very inconsistent in the adhesive in the wood. I buy my wood from lumber company's that I have available locally. I personally would stay with the one shot. The paint from Home depot should work. (I prefer to try for the best finished quality finished product even if I have to give up a little profit.)
     
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  10. feckmo

    feckmo Member

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    Agreed. Good info. Definitely trying to avoid excessive extra work. We will be CNC routing all boards to shape, so edges would have to be dealt with anyway. I like the MDO idea, but I have never worked with it. What does "properly done" look like? Also, any suggestions where to get it? I am in Upstate, NY and have messages in to Grimco and Hart Supply, but is good-quality stock generally available more locally (lumber supply, etc)? I was also thinking Sintra/Komatex could be an option, but very expensive. Thanks again for the help.

    I am the same way. I'd rather do it right once and have thrilled customers than have the bad karma that goes along with pinching pennies and dealing with disgruntled ones. I'll reach out to local lumber companies and look for 1Shot Bulletin as well.

    Thanks,

    --Jim.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Glantz, Harbor and probably many others. MDO stands for Medium Density Overlay. 1/2" complete painted sheet is around $75, I think.

    According to what your application is..... I have no idea if the other stuff will be a good choice. Just because something won't rot, does not make it a good choice. We use the pvc's and other plastics for interior use.
     
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  12. Sindex Printing

    Sindex Printing Member

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    I found Summit racing had the best price on the one shot paint in my area
     
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  13. feckmo

    feckmo Member

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    We have a couple sheets coming from Grimco today -- one primed, one fully painted. Painted sheets are more expensive than you mentioned ($95 for one sheet painted both sides), but worth it for testing and possibly even production. We also have a sheet of *outdoor-rated* PVC coming next Wednesday, but I'm not sure how well that will fasten to the wood frames we're using (3/4" birch plywood).

    Thanks again for the help and suggestions!
     
  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    That's a little high, but Harbor sells it for $81. a sheet. Be sure it is painted and not just primed. More and more places are no longer carrying fully painted.

    Here's another thought...... If you attach a 1/2" PVC sheet to wood or whatever..... you will have 2 entirely different expansion and contraction rates going on and based upon your location, you could get quite a bit or warping/bowing from PVC. ​
     
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