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How to Print on Metal Using an Inkjet Printer

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Metal prints certainly act as a talking point if you have one hanging in your home. They are long-lasting, and give the image a realistic look, whilst offering something different compared to a conventional canvas print. If you have an inkjet printer at home, you can easily print onto metal by following the simple steps described below. Thanks to metal print specialists Portrilux.com for their help with these instructions.

Get a Roll of Aluminum Flashing

Aluminum flashing is a very thin sheet of aluminum. Since you have to insert it into the inkjet printer, it is better to get a sheet whose thickness is no more than the thickness of a printer paper. The ideal aluminum flashing will have 0.01 inches thickness. Aluminum flashing can be purchased at various online stores, as well as local hardware stores.

Cut the Aluminum Sheet to the Desired Size

Cut the aluminum flashing, keeping in mind the size of your desired print, and the size the printer feed can accommodate. Get a measuring tape and draw lines according to the size of the print you want. Cut along the lines with the help of a tin snip.

Sand the Sheet Surface

Sanding is done to remove the protective layer from the aluminum flashing. Ink will not stick to the surface, if this coating is not removed. So, get a sanding block and sand the surface you wish to print, such that it does not develop scratches.

Remove Residues from the Aluminum Flashings

Get any commercial cleaner that can remove stains and clean the flashing surface to get rid of sanding residues.

Apply Inkjet Precoat on the Surface

A precoat is applied, which helps the ink to stick to the aluminum surface, according to Wikihow. Pour precoat in a line on the top of the sheet. Get a coating bar and spread the precoat down across the aluminum surface. Make sure the coating is even. You can buy inkjet precoat from a local art supply shop or an online store.

Attach Paper to the Flashing

Get some masking tape and put the flashing flat on the paper to tape it to the paper. The surface of the flashing that you want to print should face up. Attaching paper is done to make it travel through the feed of the printer.

Ready the Image on the Computer

Create a document, and paste the image to be printed in it. Adjust the position of the image by keeping in mind the end result that you want.

Put the Sheet into the Printer Feed

Now that everything is ready, simply load the aluminum sheet into the feed, so that it prints that side that you sanded and applied precoat to. If you do not know which side the printer prints on, load a test sheet to find out.

Get the Print Done

Load ink into the printer and get it ready. Now press the print button, and a flashlight will run through the sheet to transfer the image. Remove the sheet once it has been printed. Put it aside to allow the ink to dry.

Carefully follow each of the above-mentioned steps, and you will end up with a great looking metal print!

Last Updated: August 4, 2021

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