liquid gelatin to paint on as a coating? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Does anyone know if there's such a thing as a liquid gelatin product (clear and non-flavored...) that I could use as a painted-on protective coating for inkjet prints on watercolor paper?

Or, if there's a reason why this is a completely stupid idea, please let me know that too...

~cj (Seattle)

-- chris jordan (, May 16, 2002



Art supply stores sell protective sprays for this purpose. This might be an easier choice. Of course, gelatine may well give an effect you're after and if so, you can buy Knox unflavored gelatine in most supermarkets.

-- Brian Yarvin (, May 16, 2002.

A protective spray (or varnish) would be great, if one existed that had these qualities: --guaranteed not to turn yellow or crack or otherwise mess up the print for at least 100 years; --adds a layer of slightly shiny material to the surface, that would help darken blacks and richen colors overall --makes the print so bombproof that it could be displayed without glass.

Is there such a thing that anyone knows of?

-- chris jordan (, May 16, 2002.

There are fixatives and protective varnishes sold in art stores (they are designed for pastels and charcoal drawings) - they might do the trick. Note that some of these varnishes do turn yellow, especially after a long time but the better ones can typically be removed with a wash of turpentine. You could also try starch or plain gelatin, which is available from places like photographer's formulary. Cheers, DJ

-- N Dhananjay (, May 16, 2002.

Never tried it, but this might be what you're looking for:


-- Eric Mims (, May 16, 2002.

Gelatin is often used to size paper for alternative photographic processes; most people who use it for this purpose subscribe to the idea that the gelatin must be hardened with formalin or glyoxal; if left in its natural state it provides food for bugs or encourages mold or fungus, thereby compromising the potential longevity and integrity of the paper. For that reason one of the other protective coatings recommended here might be better for your purposes.

-- Katharine Thayer (, May 16, 2002.

Chris: a 'creative idea' but not a good one. Some of the newer synthetic chemicals come closer to having some of the required properties as for example acrylics. These combine good and permanent flexibility and good light stability. There can be the odd great old recipe in the Farmers Almanac but when it comes to chemicals most of these great grandma recipies have been replaced by better stuff. Look for products from reputable manufacturers and test them. Aerosols all contain propellants and their long term effect on the prints is unknown unless the manufacturer guarantees the product, and even then....

-- Julio Fernandez (, May 17, 2002.

Chris it sounds like you need to consider laminating those images to get the protection you're after. I am assuming you are using pigmented water resistant inks, if not, any water based product you apply will cause your inks to run. Liquid Lamination could be another option, however a very expensive one.Here is a link to some laminating options.

-- Ed (, May 17, 2002.

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