What Is Aqueous Coating Printing

Posted July 7, 2023 Aqueous Coating Printing

Are you into making things perfect with the impressive effects you add to your product packaging boxes? You need to have the information that can make a boost come true. So, what is an aqueous coating, why use it, why it matters, and much more in this blog. We will give you all the information you need about different features, the benefits of these effects, how to use them, and more. Plus, you can read about other add-ons you need to bring.

What Is Aqueous Coating?

The aqueous coating will work amazingly if you want something that looks high-end and intends to use it for your packaging. It offers you the following features you will love:

  • It is a water-based varnish for your printing jobs
  • You can get a fast drying process with this one
  • Also, you do not have to worry about fingerprints on your packaging when you use this one.
  • Using this one can make your packaging more unique and worth it.
  • It is among the best types to look fantastic and avoid bruises on your products.
  • At the same time, it is eco-friendly, which you would love.

These features make this effect unique. You can use it for food, consumer products, and daily life goods. Moreover, this one lets you create unique designs, so we will discuss some types.

When Should We Do Coating?

When it comes to the question of when you should try using coating for your boxes, here are some pros that you should consider. If you want to have any or all of these pros for your boxes, you should try using these:

Better Aesthetics

Better aesthetics are among the top pros you need to have for your products when it comes to this kind of add-on.

Visual Impact of Different Types of Coating

Using it for gloss coating gives you a tremendous reflective surface that offers a vibrant look and makes your images pop. Using gloss coating also provides a sense of luxury and makes your boxes look modern and impressive.

On the other hand, using matte coating can help you get a soft and velvety texture. Also, you can try using spot UV coating to make certain elements look great, like the patterns, logos, and text. At the same time, you can get metallic looks that come with gold, rose, and silver metallics. Also, you can rely on them for the textural appeal they can offer.

Types And Benefits Of Aqueous Coating?

You can find a list of features that make this coating type stand out. So, we will discuss them to determine which will go for your job. These benefits work for your aqueous coating printing, so you should know them.

Gloss Coating

Gloss coating is the type that makes your product’s packaging reflect light off it. This way, you can make it look shiny. The reason behind this effect will be the smoothness of the product’s surface and impact. If your product has some irregularities, you can get better results.

But if there are too many irregularities, the surface will become dull. So you can make the look light and soft with this type.

Gloss Finish

When it comes to the results you can get with a gloss finish, you can have it for a great shine and vibrancy. At the same time, their use can help you get high-quality images that would make your boxes look vivid and richer. Also, you can use them for a great feel of luxury and sophistication alongside a premium category feel.

Such coating would work perfectly for cosmetics, electronics, and jewelry products. It would also offer impressive sharpness and great definition alongside a smooth surface. At the same time, you make text, fine lines, and details look clearer. With its design, you can also achieve increased visual depth and stand out on the shelves.

Matte Finish

You can use this one if you want great sophistication alongside luxury. At the same time, they are a great way to make things look minimalist with modernity. This one would allow you to use bold colors, clean lines, and high-quality printing. Using these would also make your boxes feel more tactile with almost a velvety texture. Their use would also reduce the glare of your products.

Some other benefits you get with these include that you do not have to worry about imperfections. At the same time, you can get fingerprint resistance with these. You can also rely on the versatility they offer with boldness and subtility. This finish would also provide your cardboard boxes a clean and professional look. Also, you get a natural and earthy feel when you need them for an organic look.

Satin Finish

Using this type would add visual appeal with a subtle sheen that can help you achieve sophistication and elegance with your boxes. At the same time, they offer a flat matte finish that offers a high-end and luxurious look. Using this finish would not offer a good glare. Also, you can use them for impressive versatility that allows you to achieve great aesthetic appeal alongside bold and colorful graphics.

Primer Coating

They may not be the best choice for cardboard boxes, as they can have issues like unevenly absorbed ink. This coating can help eliminate this issue by allowing microscopic gaps that can create a smooth and even surface. This way, you can get a more professional look alongside sharp details and richness.

This type would also offer you a fantastic finish across different cardboard grades with varying absorption and texture rates. Also, you can rely on this type for consistency in ink application. At the same time, you can have better printability when you need special effects on your boxes. This way, you can get more metallic effects with richer visual impact and deeper gloss.

Dry Erase Coating

This one allows you to write and erase on surfaces. Drying these is difficult, and they work amazingly well for rub resistance. So you can use them easily and make your product look high-end. At the same time, this kind of surface will allow you to print more easily.

Matte Coating

This type has its benefits, and you can make things perfect for sticking multiple materials. So, it works with foils, papers, and films, which can be helpful. In addition, you can get rid of any issues with chemical-based eroders. Also, you can use it with contemporary printing methods, like offset and flexographic methods.

Also, you can get low gloss, ensuring incredible clarity for your packaging. You can rely on how adhesive and strongly built your add-on will be and the resistance factor it offers. It works well to provide receptivity for ink, and you can apply it more effectively.

Satin Type Of Coating

Satin works well for protecting against common factors like fingerprints and other issues. It can make your product stand out, and you do not have to spend a lot on it. You can rely on it when you need something glossy yet decent with good print smoothness.

One big difference from other add-ons is that you get results between matte and gloss coatings.

Soft Touch Aqueous Coating

It is among the best when it comes to making things more premium-looking. Also, you can make your packaging feel softer and offer unique properties. When you touch these, you can get a soft feel that you can consider velvety. At the same time, it works when you want it to adhere to your packaging surface.

You can apply it with a liquid inline for an impressive, luxurious feel. Cosmetic packaging is among the most common product types. How Is Aqueous Coating Applied?

When it comes to the coating process you need to follow here is what you need to have:

How Is Aqueous Coating Applied?

When it comes to the coating process you need to follow here is what you need to have:


When you have a pre-printing application, you can use the following application methods for aqueous printing:

Application Methods

A uniform coating layer is used with the roller if you have a high-volume printing requirement. You can also try gravure coating, which offers an engraved cylinder that helps transfer coating onto a substrate. This way, you can get detailed applications from them. You can also try flexographic coating, which offers a flexible printing plate with raised area transfer.

This method offers cost-effective solutions that come with various printing needs.

Some Other Similar Types of Add-Ons

Now, we also have some other add-ons you can try to make your work easier and enhance the beauty of your packaging.

Laminate Coatings

To understand laminate coatings, you can say they are plastic films you apply to your product. It is common practice to use them on both sides of a product. This add-on allows your goods to be protected and durable.

Ultra-Violate Coating Or UV

This coating makes things look impressive, and you can add a specific part to your packaging. You apply it in liquid form and treat it with ultraviolet rays that add to your product’s surface. It works perfectly well against bruises, scratches, and similar issues.

Silk Lamination

This lamination type offers strength with better aesthetic appeal. It can improve quality and soften your exterior. A good feature of this one is a balance between the shine and matt effects of your packaging. This way, you may get a more natural look to balance things.

Some other things you get with it:

  • You can make your product more resistant to stains, smudges, and bruises.
  • This add-on would make your packaging smoother and give it a better tactile feeling.
  • It works for hang tags, postcards, invitations, and many more.
  • Using this add-on goes for multiple products, and you can try them to ensure your product looks special.

They give you the ability to make your product identification easier and better.

Gloss Lamination

Also, you can find gloss lamination that allows your surfaces to look more vibrant and improves the look of your print’s color. Then, matte laminates make things look more sophisticated, and you can get a more decent look. At the same time, it would ensure you get a natural look to allow you to read tests easily.

Using gloss lamination works best when you want a more elegant and mysterious look. It also has a lot of vibrancy. You can use it to ensure you do not worry about avoiding dust or dirt on your product. You can also make things selective to highlight certain packaging areas.

The Difference Between Aqueous And UV Coating

Here are some main differences between the two when it comes to different factors that you should keep in mind:

Composition of The Two

When it comes to aqueous coatings, they are water-based. Water is used with resins and additives that offer the protection and gloss you would be looking for. On the other hand, UV coating requires special resins, for which ultraviolet light is needed to cure.

When we cure these resins with UV light, the resins’ structure changes and becomes hard.

The Drying Process Of Aqueous Printing

When it comes to the drying process of the two, you have different mechanisms behind them. In aqueous coating, you can rely on evaporation, where water evaporation allows you to achieve the desired results. So, in the process, you make sure it goes through a heated printing press for drying.

Also, there are two stages of drying, where you do 90 percent of the water drying within the first process. In the second process, the remaining of the drying happens. The airflow and temperature of your process would make the real impact you would like to have. Also, a thicker coating would take longer as the water would take more time to evaporate.

UV Coating Drying Process

When it comes to UV coating, you can solidify it with ultraviolet light. Exposing the photoinitiators to UV light activates them, helping with the solidification of the coating. This way, you can get a durable film on your printed surface. The main difference between aqueous and UV curing is the speed difference.

The Comparison Of Flexibility

When comparing the two in terms of flexibility, you can try an Aqueous coating for its fantastic elasticity. This also means you do not have to worry about bending a box with this coating. On the other hand, UV coating is considered to be less flexible and more susceptible to chipping and cracking issues.

UV curing happens almost instantly after exposure to UV light.

Polyester Varnish vs. aqueous Coating

You can also try using polyester varnish as an alternative to aqueous coating, which offers excellent results. Its use can help you with the following:

  • Polyester varnish is a great choice when looking for solutions where wear and tear can be a problem. This type offers superior durability and brilliance in the form of a finish.
  • This type is also considered to be better when it comes to drying speed, which allows faster turnaround times.
  • At the same time, they have better waterproof and water resistance properties than aqueous coatings.

Pros of Aqueous Coating In Comparison

On the other hand, using aqueous coating is better in terms of eco-friendliness than polyester varnish. At the same time, you may face different types of strong odors that can cause health risks for people dealing with polyester varnish. Also, you need to remember that using aqueous coating can be more cost-effective than polyester varnish.

Polyurethane Varnish vs. aqueous Coating

When we compare this type of varnish with aqueous coating, we get environmentally friendly solutions in the form of aqueous coating. For instance, you do not have to worry about volatile organic compounds with these. At the same time, you can rely on air drying for UV curing, which is quicker than other types. This type would also offer you great flexibility that comes with avoiding cracking. Also, you can rely on them for their cost-effectiveness.

On the other hand, this may not be the best choice if you want to have good durability compared to other types.

Epoxy Coating vs. Aqueous Coating

When we compare these two types of coatings, we can gain multiple benefits from them. For instance, epoxy coating can provide superior durability, strong adhesion, and high gloss. On the other hand, the aqueous coating allows for better eco-friendliness alongside low odor and easy cleanup.

When you use this type, you get easy cleanup that you can do with soap and water. On the other hand, you may need solvents when it comes to using epoxy coating. Also, you can rely on the fantastic flexibility of aqueous resin compared to epoxy, which means it can be bent or flexed slightly.

At the same time, you can rely on them regarding their affordability compared to epoxy.

Soft-Touch Varnish

The pros of soft-touch varnish include a luxurious feel alongside a subtle look. At the same time, you can get a sophisticated appearance. Also, you can have a glossy finish compared to an aqueous coating. However, you can also have issues like the visibility of fingerprints on the surface. On the other hand, you can have issues like durability and cost when compared with an aqueous coating.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the limited availability of this type of coating.


Are there any drawbacks to using aqueous coating?

The drawbacks of this type of coating may include issues like low gloss levels and a lack of water resistance and moisture protection for such applications.

What other coating options are there in comparison to aqueous coating?

Polyester varnishes, epoxy coatings, special effects varnishes, and lamination are the best options for this coating.

How do I choose the suitable coating for my packaging and printing project?

You need to understand the desired finish and determine the level of durability you want. At the same time, you should ensure that you are fulfilling the environmental concerns you wish to have. Also, be sure that you meet the budget requirements.

Can aqueous coating be used on all types of paper?

The answer to this question is that you can not use them for all types of papers, as not all will be compatible. On the other hand, you need to understand your requirements for specific needs.

How does aqueous coating affect printability?

When it comes to this type of coating, you can have better printability with these as they offer a smoother surface for your ink. This way, you can get sharper and richer colors

Packaging Hub Makes Your Printing Perfect

So, are you ready to add these effects to your packaging that make your work unique? Using these coatings makes your product packaging even more special. Your products improve when you make them look amazing, so order now.

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Steve Harsh
Steve Harsh, a packaging and printing expert who has been working in the field for over a decade. It has been my privilege to write on this topic, which I have been doing for years to help people learn about this essential field that helps millions achieve their business goals.

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