What Is Aqueous Coating?


What Is Aqueous Coating?

There are several types of coatings used in the printing industry. Not only do they protect printed items, but they also add visual appeal and give finished products a professional edge. If you’ve heard about various coatings but didn’t know anything about them or which one to use, you’re not alone. Read on and learn how aqueous coating improves your direct mail, marketing pieces, and more.

Defining Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coating, UV coating, spot varnish, and lamination preserve printed pieces. Each one has advantages and disadvantages. For now, we focus on aqueous coating. It’s commonly used because of its low cost and ease of application.

A clear water-based material, aqueous coating is applied as a liquid to print pieces during the press process. It serves to protect ink and/or toner and provide a smooth, high-quality finish. It’s available in different finishes like matte, satin, or high gloss.

Aqueous coating works best with coated paper. The surface of this paper keeps the coating on top and allows for a smoother application.


If your printed pieces are handled often (i.e. book covers, presentation folders, brochures, direct mail, and greeting cards) a coating is a must. Dirt, scratches, ink smears, moisture, and fingerprints ruin or lower the quality of a printed piece. Aqueous coating not only protects inks and toners from everyday handling and exposure, but once applied, it provides a professional touch.

With so many finishes on the market why choose aqueous coating? One reason is that it’s fast drying. It’s better than varnish for allover coverage because it is easier on the environment, won’t yellow over time, and withstands additional printing processes like addressing postcards.

What Items Benefit from Aqueous Coating?

The list of print products that this coating can enhance is endless. But some common items are presentation folders, business cards, brochures, reports, postcards, direct mail pieces, print advertising, book covers, and posters.

Consult a Printing Professional

Although most print items benefit from a coating, there are times when it just doesn’t work. A calendar, the inside of a greeting card, the address side of a postcard, or anything else you may want to write on are better off bare. There are plenty of other coating options available, and with so many to choose from it’s best to consult an expert. Most professional printers have samples of coated pieces on hand to help you choose.

Call Disc Hounds at 610-696-8668 with any questions about print coatings. We can help you decide what works best for your project.

Older Post Newer Post