How to Stop Ink Bleeding When Working with Digital Printed Papercrafts

July 15, 2014 | By | Reply More
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Printable Digital Tags

I often get questions about working with files, re-sizing images and other issues related to DigitalPapercrafting. Here’s one (names converted to initials for privacy):


Real Questions from Real People

I’ve tried deco podging digital paper before and I have had colors bleed into each other. I use an ink jet printer. It doesn’t seem to matter what type of paper I use. When I try podging it, it bleeds together. I purchased the Krylon sealant. Do you think that will solve my problem? Thanks B.

Hi B,

Thanks for your note – that’s a great question!

You’re right that many ink jet inks can bleed when wet – even the moisture from an art or craft medium can be enough to smudge. There are some ink and paper combos that offer varying degrees of water resistance but that’s likely more than you need or want to do to be able to work with your paper craft files.

You’re also correct that using the spray sealer will help. I’ve found that two thin coats applied in opposite directions – horizontally and vertically – stops much of the smudging.

If that isn’t enough, here’s another step that may help. After the spray sealer, apply a thin light coat of plain white glue. While it’s the same PVA base as most decoupage mediums, it’s less “wet” and shouldn’t be as prone to smudging. A clear polyurethane coat will be similar but test to make sure it’s compatible with your other materials.

For the sealer coats, use a disposable foam brush, a light touch and only go over the surface once. Another advantage to the sealer coat is that it brings out the colors of your printed item.

A tip for adding the sealer and glue coats: do that on a whole sheet of stock before you cut any smaller items out. It’s much easier to control the paper and the seal coats that way.

I hope this helps a bit and please keep me posted on your projects.

Thanks again and happy creating!


Do you have questions about working with digital files? Drop me line, I’ve love to help!


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