When printing with inkjet canvas printers it is usually important to protect the image from scuffs damage and marks. Adding a giclee varnish to a canvas print protects the image and also softens the canvas which makes it easier to stretch over the frame. The canvas must be tight on the frame and should bang like a drum once stretched, giclee varnish will ensure that this is achieved.
There are many brands of varnish available and they range from the brilliant to terrible, You usually get what you pay for with giclee varnish. Different types are available, Matt varnish, Semi gloss and glossy varnish. Semi gloss is preferred as the matt varnish can usually have a chalky finish to it where as glossy is deamed to not look natural enough. The semi gloss varnish is preferred as it is the best of both.
Varnish can be applied by roller or aerosol. Only the best varnish applies well with a roller and often needs two coats, it is for this reason that not many companies still do it as they are looking at throwing as many prints out the door as they can.
The varnish coating will enhance the colours on the canvas and add additional Uv protection to the image which is essential in ensuring the inks will last there 75 years without fading.
There are other important factors relating to what makes a good quality canvas print and many people often ask about the different types of frames for canvas prints. High quality canvas prints should not be stretcher over a cheap stretcher frame, this defeats the object of creating quality artwork. There are a few different types of stretcher frames for canvas prints. Many companies use fir wood frames which come in sizes of every 2 inch. Fir bars are good but lack any weight, they often come in a number of depths. These frames are usually imported from china, they are cheap to manufacture but the quality isn't always there. The joins on these frames can often be out so that it does not have a true 45 degree angle and they can sometimes be warped so that the bar is not straight. Fir stretcher frames usually use plastic wedges in the corners, this looks cheap to the consumer.
The other type of stretcher frame for canvas printing is a pine profile. These are usually cut from lengths of wooden moulding. This style of stretcher frame is usually cut with a mitre guillotine, it can either be held together with underpinner wedges or some styles have space to add a wooden wedge. A pine moulding stretcher bar is also heavier than a fir wooden frame and gives the feel of a better quality product to the end customer.
The biggest advantage of creating stretcher bars from lengths of moulding is that they can be cut to exact sizes to fit the artwork. Other styles of stretcher frames come in pre cut sizes of 2 inches and therefore cannot always create a frame to the size that you need. When ordering your photos on canvas its always a good idea to make a little research into the type of stretcher frame that the company is using.
We are theimagebox.co.uk and we hand varnish all of our canvas prints before they are stretched. We use the highest quality varnish on the market and each canvas has two coats applied before they are stretched. The varnish that we use enhances your digital photos on canvas and long with the other quality materials that we use you can be ensured of a quality product.