ServicesOrdersResourcesAboutTransfer Files
Sales Reps
Our Clients
Tax Exempt Form
Credit Application
 Account Info
 Get a Quote

A coating, such as aqueous or varnish, can improve the look of a printed project, protect it, and now can be economically applied in one sheet-pass through the press without drying problems.

Coating that is applied while the job is running (in-line) is generally cheaper because it doesn’t require a separate clean-up or make-ready. Aqueous coating can be run in-line on our six-color Heidelberg Speedmaster. This means you can print up to six colors plus the aqueous coating in one pass through the press (saving you the cost of an additional press run).

Any project can be coated, however, there may be times when it may be more beneficial to choose an aqueous coating over varnish. Aqueous coating can be an economical alternative to varnish and, in some cases, can offer some clear advantages, such as higher abrasion resistance, less yellowing with age, and faster drying.

Some typical projects requiring an aqueous coating include art posters, art prints, annual reports, book covers, high-quality print advertising, and picture postcards.

There are several considerations a printer must keep in mind when coating a project, such as inks and paper stock. Always consult with your printer to choose the coating option most appropriate for your project. If you are considering aqueous coating for an upcoming project, our staff is always available to answer questions and offer samples and suggestions.

Aqueous FAQ


What is aqueous coating?
An aqueous coating is a fast-drying, water-based, protective coating which is applied in-line on press to achieve a variety of finishes at a more economical price than varnish.

What finishes can be produced with an aqueous coating?
A variety of finishes can be produced in a flood coating, as follows:

  • High Gloss Coating is the glossiest finish but can coat only one side of the sheet.
  • Regular Gloss Coating produces a shinier finish than a gloss varnish, but not as glossy as High Gloss. The advantage is that you can coat both sides of the sheet.
  • Matte Coating is a flat coating used to lower the gloss of a coated paper.

When should I use an aqueous coating?
Below is a list of typical situations requiring an aqueous coating:

  • Your printed piece will be heavily handled. Aqueous coatings will protect your project by providing more scuff resistance than varnishes and still yield brilliant metallic inks. In addition, aqueous coatings won’t yellow with age, as varnishes do.
  • Your deadline was yesterday. Applying a flood aqueous coating in a job printed on two sides is more time efficient because it is fast drying. There is no drying time required between coating the first and second side. Your job can be handled immediately, even in the bindery.
  • When a No. 2 paper doesn’t cut the mustard. Aqueous coatings can enhance lesser grade papers by yielding a glossier and smoother finish. A big advantage of aqueous is that it requires only minimal amounts of powder, which yields a better gloss than varnish.
  • Your printing budget was reduced. Aqueous coating is the least expensive coating option. On MPB's six-color Heidelberg, aqueous coating can be run in-line, which means you can print up to six colors plus the aqueous coat-coating in one sheet-pass.



Last Update: 06/11/2015