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Subject: Protective Coating for Custom Tokens? rss

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Hi all,
I made some custom tokens for a board game out of chipboard and label paper.
After punching the tokens and sticking the labels on with the token images printed on them, I would now like to coat the tokens with a material to preserve them from handling and the wearing of the ink, as well as from the chipboard itself from splitting and fraying since these pieces will be handled a lot. Does anyone know of a coating (either paint or spray) that I could cover the tokens with that will not smear the ink?
 
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Ken Kmak
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I have successfully used Testors Spray Lacquer.
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Great, thanks! I saw the Testors Clear Coat online so I'll give it a go. Thanks for the recommendation.
 
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James Thompson
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I saw a thread here a while ago asking a similar question, and someone suggested (collectable) coin covers...

I loved the idea, but it would end up taking up a considerable amount of room as opposed to spray on protective...
 
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Jared Quintana
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If you go the route of sealer, I have heard to use a brush on glossy first then a spray matte.

Supposedly the glossy is a "harder" finish.
 
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Chris Robbins
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A UV protective clear spray will seal the printer ink.

http://www.papilio.com/spray%20uv%20clear%20laminate%20clear...

If the cardboard backing fails, you're playing too rough.
 
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Paul Burkart
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I asked a similar question about protecting label paper placed on custom boxes a little while ago. You can check out the responses here: Sealing PnP project w/inkjet printing

I started using one or two quick sprays with a Rustoleum gloss clear coat, to protect my print outs, and then three or four light sprays with a Krylon satin coat to further protect the print outs and to de-shine them a bit. I've had good luck with this, although I'm constantly experimenting with the number of sprays. Essentially, any of the hobby craft sprays should work without smearing the ink, but I think that Rustoleum and Krylon offer the best products for the price. Make sure that the one you get is made for paper products and not just plastic and wood -- those might work, too, but I prefer to play it safe. Testors also makes an excellent product, but it's geared more toward model makers -- it's quite expensive for what you get, but it's also quite good. I've never used it on paper before, although apparently others have had good results with it on inkjet prints.

Personally, I prefer the look of a brushed-on finish, but for inkjet prints, that's really hard to do. I haven't had any luck on bigger items like boxes, but when I made custom tokens using label paper placed on painted wood blocks, I was able to spray the label paper with a heavy enough spray (I think I used three or four sprays with a Valspar satin finish that left a very rough texture that I strongly disliked) that I could then brush my own Americana DuraClear varnish on top of it. It's a much smoother feeling and smoother looking finish, but you really have to spray the heck out of those counters to get to the point where the ink won't run. It's a trial-and-error method that worked for me, but I'd recommend testing this out first on a scrap to make sure that the ink doesn't run.

In terms of sealing the cardboard itself, I haven't worried too much about that with my PnP efforts. I've seen glue or Modge Podge used to seal the edges before, but I haven't experimented with any of that myself. Both of those items WILL seal an inkjet-printed label with a glossy, somewhat tacky finish, but it'll also smear the print if it makes direct contact with it. Your best bet in sealing the cardboard is probably to use the same spray that you use on the inkjet labels, but if you want something more heavy duty, then I'd recommend spraying everything first with several coats, then covering it all with something like glue or Modge Podge, then either spraying it again to cover up the tackiness or brushing on a better, smoother finish. I haven't tried this method, but my best guess is that it wouldn't cause the ink to run and would give a very resistant finish. It's a lot of work, though, whereas a simple spray is easy and probably good enough for your purposes.

 
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