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GOLDEN Silkscreen Medium is a water-borne system designed to blend with acrylic paints for silk-screen application onto paper, wood and other suitable fine art materials. This product is designed to increase working time and prevent paint from drying in the screen too quickly.
NOTE: GOLDEN Silkscreen Medium is NOT intended for use on fabrics to be laundered. Use GOLDEN Silkscreen Fabric Gel for such purposes.
Although any addition of GOLDEN Silkscreen Medium will increase the open time1 of a paint, a good starting point is to blend even parts of paint and medium. Higher levels of the medium will increasingly affect the transparency, but also will increase the open time. Lower levels of Silkscreen Medium produce mixes with the greatest opacity2, but that are more likely to clog in the screen.
Mixing With Other GOLDEN Products
GOLDEN Silkscreen Medium can be blended with any of the GOLDEN Acrylic paint lines, Gels and Mediums to lengthen the working (open) time for silk-screening. It is a pourable blend of acrylic, retarder & water that, unlike retarder alone, will form a film, thereby increasing durability and thinning the paint while retarding the drying time.
Silkscreen Medium is not designed to impart opacity. The opacity of the mixture will be determined by the nature of the color being used and the ratio of paint to medium used. Higher levels of the Silkscreen Medium will be increasingly more transparent.
Adding GOLDEN Titanium White to a mixture will increase opacity. Any addition of white will lower a color's chroma and value.
Additionally, transparent colors, including Iridescent and Interference Colors, can be made to appear more opaque when a "base coat"3 is screened first. For example, GOLDEN Iridescent Gold will appear to have greater opacity over a buff-colored base coat. Refer to screen-printer's books and other reference material for further suggestions.
(Consult GOLDEN Pigment Identification Chart to determine the opacity ratings for the various colors).
General Product Information
Do not mix with oils. Paint on any non-oily surface. Abrade non-absorbent surfaces for increased adhesion. Minimum film formation temperature is 49oF/9oC. Avoid freezing. Clean screens/tools with soap and water. Safe to use with minimal odor.
Thickness, also termed "viscosity," can greatly influence how a printing ink performs. Thinner inks have a greater risk of "bleeding" into the paper or other porous substrates, but perform well on tighter mesh screens and dry quickly on absorbent substrates like paper. Thick, pasty mixes have a higher tendency to clog tighter mesh screens, but can offer increased opacity (due to a thicker film) and are less likely to bleed when screened onto fabrics. These considerations should be addressed before beginning large printing runs.
Choosing a line of GOLDEN Acrylic Paints to use with the Silkscreen Medium depends on the thickness needed for a particular job. GOLDEN Heavy Body Acrylics have a buttery viscosity and will therefore make thicker screening inks. GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics have the same pigment load as our Heavy Body Paints, but are the consistency of heavy cream, and are quite pourable. Mixtures with Silkscreen Medium will remain thin and pourable.
Improving Working Time
While Silkscreen Medium dramatically helps to prevent paint from drying in the screen, it does not eliminate the possibility. As soon as a clog becomes apparent, it should be removed with a damp cloth. If the clog is allowed to dry in the screen, it will be extremely difficult to remove. For multiple clogs that develop, stop printing and thoroughly clean screen with water, using a non-abrasive sponge or cloth to remove the clogs. Pat the screen dry and continue printing.
Work quickly, with minimal time between prints. Have screening inks pre-made in sufficient quantities before beginning screening.
To maximize open time, add 5 - 15% GOLDEN Retarder to the GOLDEN Silkscreen Medium/Paint mixture. This will increase the open time, but not dramatically alter the opacity.
It is beneficial to pre-wet the screen with a water/Retarder mixture (1:1) before screening. Keep a plant mister bottle filled with this mixture at hand, and lightly spray the screen periodically to prevent paint from drying. Avoid excessive misting, as this can cause bleeding on the paper.