December 1, 2023

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Getting Started In Screenprinting Using Paper Stencils

11 min read
Getting Started In Screenprinting Using Paper Stencils

Screenprinting is the course of action which requires applying extremely thin and even levels of colour on to a surface (which could be paper, cloth, wood, metallic – fairly a lot anything flat). The color is pushed by way of a good mesh monitor, which is stretched in excess of a sq. or rectangular frame. An graphic is designed by masking spots of the display to halt the color from likely by means of all those elements of the monitor. This kind of a mask can be produced in a variety of techniques. A mask can be uncovered to a display screen which has been coated in a gentle sensitive emulsion, or a painterly mask can be used freehand by the artist using drawing fluid. Nonetheless as a newcomer to this approach I have enjoyed working with simple paper stencils for producing a mask. This posting delivers some suggestions on how to get commenced with screenprint, employing essential products which is effortless to use at residence or in a small operating region.


Contents of the Daler Rowney Screenprinting Beginners’ established


Encouraged Supplies for Screenprinting

Daler Rowney Monitor Printing Set

Supplemental Display screen Printing Medium (optional)

Speedball Hinge Clamps

A board to screw your hinge clamps to (Plywood or MDF)



Slicing Mat

Paper to print on to (I used Fabriano Rosaspina but you can use any paper of all around 190gsm or extra)

Pots with airtight lids

Brown Parcel Tape

Pencil (to draw on to newsprint with)


Masking Tape

Compact parts of card (mountboard offcuts are best if you have any)


You will also require someplace to put the prints to dry – a very clear table major or a string hung up with pegs is perfect, if you don’t have a printmaker’s drying rack.

The Daler Rowney Screenprinting Beginner’s set is a fantastic financial commitment if you want to test the procedure at dwelling or in your studio with no needing to make investments in a vacuum desk or carousel. In the set you will get a good quality display and squeegee along with a key color established of acrylics, screenprint medium for material and paper, and a bottle of drawing fluid. You also get a sturdy plastic palette knife, which is preferable to use with the monitor to a metallic palette knife which is a lot more most likely to tear a hole in the display screen.

Just before you start, I advise that you get the time to apply a couple of coats of yacht varnish to your squeegee tackle and the body of your display screen. This is simply because they are built from uncoated wooden, and if you get to a level of screenprinting routinely, regular washing of your gear with drinking water might inevitably lead to premature carrying of the wood. The yacht varnish will enable prolong the lifespan of the squeegee and the display.

In addition to the screenprinting established, Speedball’s screenprinting clamps, and a durable board you can use as a screenprinting desk are two other pieces of machines value investing in. The board can just be any piece of primed or coated MDF or plywood that you can wipe wet paint from, that is a couple of centimetres larger than your monitor (at minimum). If you have a get the job done bench in your studio that you don’t really feel also treasured about that has a easy surface, you could effortlessly use this, so lengthy as you really don’t brain screwing the clamps into the leading of it! The clamps need to be about 10cm in from both side of the monitor and parallel to a person one more. If you have the indicates to chisel a sq. into your board so the lower part of the grip sits degree with the area of the board, this would assist to maximise the printing area of the screen, but it’s not critical.



At the time your clamps are in location you can place your screen in location to make your screenprinting table.


Measuring the gap concerning the screen and the board – this gap wants to be the very same distance at both equally finishes of the monitor to attain a great even print. You may want to tape an offcut of mountboard at the reverse end of the clamps to reach this.


When generating a screenprint, you are not able to pull a print that is the exact same measurement as your screen. This is simply because pulling a print involves a downwards and forwards strain with your squeegee, which pushes the screen down to the surface area you are printing on. As the frame retains the display screen taut, there will constantly be a border all over the inside edge of the display that will not make the suitable sum of contact wanted with the paper for a sucessful print. When you are commencing out, I would usually endorse setting up with a smaller impression as they are simpler to print, and then as you increase your printing system, you can assume about creating greater visuals. The rectangle I have drawn on this piece of newsprint cut to the similar dimensions as the screen is an sign of the variety of dimension of impression I would advise you start off with it’s also the sizing of the image I built for this posting. Try out to retain your impression/printing area as central on your monitor as doable.



Newsprint is the best stencilling product for screenprint. It is skinny but sturdy enough to withstand the paint/ink, and when it is made use of as a stencil  in screenprint it typically sticks with relieve to the display screen, making it possible for you to use the very same stencil for a variety of prints – a restricted version, if you will! It is perfectly standard for it to just take a handful of makes an attempt just before you get the approach of pulling a print appropriate, so it is usually well worth printing a selection of illustrations or photos in scenario subsequent layers of colour never rather go to approach.

You can then start off to lower your initial stencil from the sheet of newsprint. I wished to print a uncomplicated even now everyday living of oranges on a gingham desk fabric in a amount of levels, so I began by reducing horizontal stripes throughout the desk spot of the picture applying a craft knife.

After I experienced accomplished this I slice my printing paper to sizing. Fabriano Rosaspina is my paper of selection as it has a fantastic pounds to it which signifies it does not wrinkle when printed on to. You could use any other reasonably weighty printmaking paper or cartridge paper (190gsm+, and easy). I cut the Rosaspina to the very same size as the screen/piece of newsprint I made use of for my 1st stencil.

You will then will need to tape some registration guides to your board. There would preferably be one to tutorial the duration of your paper together one side, and then another to tutorial the bottom edge of your paper. A mountboard offcut or a piece of cardboard is great for this, taped down with masking tape. By making certain your paper is put against these two guides your printed image will be positioned in the same spot on every sheet, which will in turn guarantee correct registration for subsequent levels of colour.



Spot your first sheet of paper to print on within your guides, and then set your to start with stencil on best of this. Your might choose to print on a sheet of newsprint or a scrap piece of paper first, so you can see if the stencil operates and the printed layer appears how you would like it to.



You can then bring your display down on to your stencil and paper.



Up coming, it is value taping the edges of your monitor with parcel tape, or particular ‘blue’ tape for this goal. This is performed to the back again of the monitor and proficiently gives a border that prevents the newsprint stencil from undertaking all the tricky function. The tape is a waterproof mask for the edges of your print. It’s truly worth taping ideal up to the edges of the printing space, and then remembering to take out this tape when your impression is concluded. If you go away the tape on the display for weeks on conclude the glue could start off to clog the mesh.



Make confident you are employing the correct medium (i.e. for paper relatively than cloth), and blend comprehensively so the ‘ink’ is regular in the course of. It is fantastic to maintain your ink in an airtight pot in scenario you need to have it at a later date. If you want it to continue to be soaked for a handful of days or even months, you might want to also include some retarder to the system to gradual the drying more, despite the fact that the screen printing medium will also slow drying to a degree.



Future, you have to have to put a generous sum of color on the edge closest to you, an even strip of color together the edge of the width of the impression region. Place the colour on the tape to make absolutely sure it doesn’t leak through to your paper just yet.



Then, you need to place a little something in in between the display and the board to make sure the screen is lifted while you flood the screen. A roll of masking tape is perfect!



Flooding the display screen is the course of action of holding the squeegee to the monitor and relocating it in a wiping motion from base to prime of the display, depositing ink evenly throughout the mesh. It requires exercise to establish a technique to do this productively across the monitor, but I have observed speed assists, with only a minor downward strain on the display screen. It also will help to maintain the squeegee at a more upright angle to the display screen not quite 90 levels, but virtually, holding the squeegee at an angle somewhat away from you. For a smaller graphic such as this it isn’t unquestionably vital the screen is entirely flooded, but it does assistance with an even deposit of color when you basically go to pull your print. Once you have flooded your display screen you can then pull a print. It’s constantly finest exercise to flood the screen straight following pulling a print as this helps to cease ink drying in the mesh.



At the time the display screen has been flooded with colour, you can then pull your very first print. Try to remember to remove the masking tape or other object holding the monitor up! You need to have to hold the squeegee with the two hands, pushing downwards with the similar sum of stress, and with some pace, pull the squeegee towards you at a 45 degree angle. This will push the ink that is flooding the mesh down on to your paper.



The moment you have pulled your print you can elevate the display screen and see how the layer of color has printed. If there’s any unwelcome gaps you could attempt squeegeeing the monitor all over again. When you are happy you can eliminate the print from the board and put it someplace to dry. Then position your masking fluid/item concerning the board and the edge of your monitor frame and flood the screen all set to pull your next print.



Ideally pulling the print will have pushed plenty of ink through the monitor to act as an adhesive for the stencil, which really should then stick to the underside of your display screen and maintain it in position for the rest of your prints.

You may possibly want to use a chinagraph or All Surface pencil to mark on the display body exactly where the hinges are hooked up, as this could aid find the correct position for the upcoming levels for the print to attain excellent registration.



At the time you have printed all your first layers, scoop up as a lot of the remaining ink and place it again in your pot. It is finest to clean your display screen as immediately as feasible to prevent the ink clogging up the mesh. If you do it before long ample, you need to be in a position to thoroughly clean the screen simply just with water and a clear sponge, but if that doesn’t do the task, you can use a scrubbing brush and a minor washing up liquid. Check out and preserve the parcel tape exactly where it is.

Permit all your tools to dry entirely (and your prints!) ahead of performing on the next layer.

When all the prints are dry you can slice your following stencil. As my aim was to print a gingham tablecloth, my next stencil consisted of strips of newsprint positioned vertically across my horizontal stripes.



You then need to position your print with the new stencil positioned on prime in the registration suggestions and place the screen again in the hinge clamps so the print is obvious by means of the parcel tape border.

Then it is just a circumstance of repeating the printing course of action, flooding then pulling the print, guaranteeing there is a thing holding the monitor absent from the board and paper when you flood the display screen every time.

The far more medium there is extra to the ink, the extra clear the color will look, so you can see wherever the levels overlap in the print at this stage – the overlapped locations appear darker. There is no limit to the amount of money of medium you can increase to the ink, but it’s most effective to normally have much more medium than paint in the ink.



Even further Levels

For the future layers I needed to print my fruit on the desk, and the shadows they solid. You may perhaps discover at many phases that tracing paper is valuable for placing on the image so much and mapping out exactly where the up coming levels will need to go. You can then put your drawing facial area down on to a new sheet of newsprint and attract on the again of the lines to transfer the drawing, all set to slice with a scalpel. Or you could use carbon paper.



The course of action is repetitious for just about every layer of colour, of reducing out stencils from newsprint, putting them the place you want the impression to be masked, mixing your colour, including screenprinting medium, putting it on the bottom edge of the screen in advance of flooding the monitor and pulling a print. Remember to usually clean the display screen as before long just after as probable, scooping up as a lot excess ink as you can with a palette knife. The color can final for weeks in an airtight container, and if you do need to have the ink to remain damp for a while you can generally insert some acrylic retarder to it. When you have ultimately concluded your print take out the parcel tape shortly soon after and give the complete monitor a very good scrub with drinking water and washing up liquid to make certain it’s entirely free of charge of ink and ready for your next screenprint version.



When you to start with commence out with display screen print, hold the graphic small and easy, with just a couple of layers. I recommend doing work with stencils to get started with as the clean up approach is somewhat simple, and it is achievable to make a thing easy and daring fairly conveniently. Once you construct assurance by building a couple prints like this, you might sense inclined to operate on a larger sized scale and perhaps even commit in a even bigger monitor.




Even further Reading

Screenprinting With Dave Buonaguidi AKA Actual Hackney Dave

Screenprinting With Screentec Aqua Art Water Dependent Display Ink

A Guideline to Inks

Monitor Printing With Jackson’s Studio Acrylic Paint


Shop Screenprinting at


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