Tips from the workshop: Great Screens. Prep, coating, washing and more.

Posted by Rory Atton at

We promised you more top tips and handy hints this year.

We get lots of calls about screen exposure. So in this blog we are going to cover a few of the most common problems we get asked about. 

Making great screens isn't rocket science, or expensive. 

Do it properly the first time. Getting great results comes down to following instructions, proper preparation and set up.

Have all the right equipment and materials ready to use. Do procedures in the right order and everything will come together.

Pulling ink through an exposed screen

Preparing and coating screens. 

If you are having problems with your emulsion not staying put it is most likely a dirty screen. 
A clean screen means the emulsion will adhere to the mesh better. This means it will not break down as easily and ultimately last longer. Using a Mesh Prep / Degrease before you start is the answer. 


Hunt the Moon Scoop coater
Scoop Coaters / Trough

Scoop coaters are the easiest way of getting the emulsion on to your screen.
Evenly applied emulsion will be smoother, expose evenly and cut down on wastage. You can save the excess and put it back in the pot.

Tip: Keep the edge of your scoop coater in good condition for a nice even application, its stops the emulsion being streaky on the screen and protects the mesh.  Wipe it out soon after using so you don't have to scrub it later on. 

Scoop coater


Extra tips and trouble shooting. 

Post exposure. After exposing your well prepared screen you will need to wash it out. 

If too much emulsion washes out these might be the problems:

  • Not exposed the screen for long enough.
  • Used a water pressure that was too forceful.
  • The screen was not dry before exposing.

If the emulsion does not wash out:

  • Artwork was not opaque on the acetate.
  • The screen was exposed too long. (emulsion baked on)
  • Image was not completely flat against the screen.
  • The screen was placed on a reflective surface while exposing. (a foam block is ideal)
  • The screen was exposed to too much light and /or heat before exposure with artwork.
  • wash out was incomplete.

What's next? How to clean screen printing frames



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