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#1 Posted : 8/5/2022 5:21:55 PM(EST)
Seph9

Rank: New User

Posts: 2
United States
Location: OH

Thanks: 1 times
Hi,
I've currently been trying and failing to make my stickers waterproof/weather proof. I use Oracal UV Laminating Film for Printable Vinyl – Oraguard 236 for laminate, and I just printed and tested the Waterproof matte for inkjet online labels and the ink bled. I want to make them able to be used for bumper/car stickers, but I am running out of ideas other than going with a manufacturer. Does anyone have any tips? I am extremely confused on why this batch of test stickers bled after getting rained on, when I won't say their name but another artist I saw on tiktok and follow on etsy, I bought one of their stickers and they use the exact same materials and theirs has held up BEAUTIFULLY which is why I wanted to switch from zicoto to online labels paper (spoiler I haven't had a ton of luck with zicoto being water proof either, but they've held up generally better than MY online labels stickers).

Currently I've been selling and advertising my stickers as "water resistant" but I don't recommend them for outside use/excessive water usage as I can't speak to reliability. I really feel like this is a problem with me and something I'm not doing correctly with application possibly, and not necessarily the product as again I've seen others use the products and they work out great!

I print my stickers using cricut print+cut, apply laminate by hand and with a squeegee that has felt on it, then run them through the cricut. I was considering maybe I need a brayer or something to secure the laminate onto the vinyl better AFTER theyve been cut?

Literally any help is appreciated. I'm trying to put myself out there and sell my art but I'm having a horrible time with understanding my materials and finding info on what exactly I'm doing wrong.
#2 Posted : 8/8/2022 12:17:39 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 884
United States

Was thanked: 80 time(s) in 76 post(s)
I'm sorry to hear about the issue that you're running into. Based on your description of the problem, I believe a simple adjustment to your print settings should result in print that is much more durable to contact with moisture.

Most inkjet printer models are set as default to use the plain paper media type setting. This is the ideal setting for printing on plain copy paper, but more specialized materials typically will require an adjustment to the media type setting to achieve the best results. If you haven't already, try adjusting the media type setting in your printer options to a photo or glossy option. This will provide print output that is much more durable to contact with moisture.

We've tested our weatherproof matte inkjet material with a wide variety of different desktop inkjet printer models, and have found that the default plain paper setting on most models will still result in some degree of smearing or smudging when the printed material is placed in contact with moisture. Adjusting to a photo/glossy setting will result labels that are significantly more durable to moisture and handling.

If you've already tried adjusting the media type setting on your printer model and are still experiencing smearing issues, you may need to make an adjustment to the print quality setting as well. The weatherproof matte stock features a topcoat that absorbs ink and protects it from moisture. If that topcoat is over-saturated, it's possible that excess ink will be susceptible to smearing or smudging in contact with moisture. If you've already adjusted the media type setting, you may want to decrease the print quality setting as well - especially if you've set the print quality to the best or highest possible setting. In my experience working with this material, a photo/glossy media type setting coupled with the normal quality setting will typically provide the best print results.

Regarding the laminate that you're using, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Applying a laminate will generally protect your labels from the majority of direct contact with sources of moisture. Inkjet printable materials feature an absorbent top coat to accept the ink though, so if the laminate doesn't completely overlap the edges of your label, moisture can "creep" into the label under the laminate at the edges. Once you have the printer settings correct, this should no longer be an issue though. I'd recommend printing a sample page with the suggested settings mentioned above, and giving the sheet some time to dry after leaving the printer. Once dried, try placing that printed sheet under running water. With the correct print settings, you should see very little smearing or smudging even in direct contact with moisture. Once you've confirmed that the print is holding, you'll know that you've found the correct print settings on your printer model and should be able to confidently laminate and cut your stickers moving forward.

Performance can differ based on the printer model you're using. Every make and model behaves a little differently, and some trial and error may be necessary to get the settings dialed in just right. Following the guidelines listed above should set you on the right track though. If you need a few more sheets to test out different combinations of printer settings, you can enter a sample request at the link below:

https://www.onlinelabels.com/samples

I hope this helps. If you need any additional information please just let us know.
 1 user thanked Josh for this useful post: Seph9
#3 Posted : 8/10/2022 5:26:36 PM(EST)
Seph9

Rank: New User

Posts: 2
United States
Location: OH

Thanks: 1 times
Oh my gosh thank you so much! I had contacted your customer support and they were extremely unhelpful, but you helped me fix my issue! I even soaked the paper in a jug of water for 10 minutes and there was no damage to the ink at all. I appreciate you helping me so much, I just ordered 100 sheets from you guys.
#4 Posted : 8/11/2022 3:22:58 PM(EST)
Josh


Rank: OnlineLabels Rep

Posts: 884
United States

Was thanked: 80 time(s) in 76 post(s)
I'm really happy to hear that you were able to resolve the issue! The representative you dealt with on your support ticket is still relatively new within the department. I've spoken with her about the resolution so that she's able to better assist with similar issues in the future. If you wind up having any other questions please just let us know.

Thank you for your business!
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