Flecks on Prints

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Today’s Question: We are experiencing some small issues of flecking on our large prints. I have made sure that the head and print areas are clean, covered the printer and used an anti-static draftsman brush before printing. Still white flecks.

So I guess my question is what do you recommend for spotting luster and matte inkjet papers? I am a veteran of the Spotone days (I know they are gone).

Tim’s Quick Answer: Actually, it sounds like your issue may relate to debris on the paper rather than within the printer. I recommend using an air blower or high-quality brush designed for this type of use to remove all debris from the paper before printing.

More Detail: From your description it sounds like debris (such as remnants from the paper cutting) are preventing ink from reaching the paper in certain areas, revealing a tiny white spot when the debris falls away from the paper.

You may have noticed white “dust” inside your boxes of photo inkjet paper, especially along the edges where the sheets were cut. That “dust” and other small debris can get onto the surface of the paper. The result is that where that debris sits on the paper during printing, the ink sprayed by the printer will get onto the debris rather than the paper surface.

When the debris falls off of the surface of the print, the white area where the ink wasn’t able to reach is revealed.

Fortunately, I’ve found that a quick spray with an air blower, or a quick brush with a camel hair (or similar) brush does a great job of removing most (or hopefully all) of the debris, preventing the “flecks” you’re referring to.

I should hasten to add that the days of “spotone” aren’t really over. You can still touch up a print using products such as those from SpotPen. For example, a set of colored pens can be found here:

http://timgrey.me/1RgQ1CW