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Coat Your Screen Just Enough

There is one question that I routinely get from novice screen makers that is almost impossible to answer to the satisfaction of the screen maker. That question is: “How thick should I coat my screen?” My stand-by answer is “As thick as you need it.”

This isn’t exactly the answer they were looking for, but it’s the truth. It is the mesh being used that is the main factor on ink deposit. The stencil only accounts for approximately 10% of the total ink deposit. All that the stencil is really responsible for is the printed image. You want to have the stencil thick enough so that it is above the mesh knuckles so that you have a sharp reproduction of the art.

Typical coating are done wet-on-wet with a dull scoop coater 1 by 1, 1 by 2, 2 by 2, or 2 by 3 passes. It is important to end the coating on the squeegee side so that the stencil will be above the mesh on the print side of the screen. Coat your screen too thin and you will have sawtooth.