Drying Prints when Using Oil-Based Inks

The ever-helpful Michael from Cranfield has some top tips for drying prints when working with oil-based inks. We’ve summarised some of his advice to help us with our own printmaking:

When working with oil-based inks, the air in the room is very important in order for your prints to dry. The atmosphere should be warm and have a low relative humidity to increase the drying speed. Moving air is even better – an open window or a fan will help (but remember that some heaters can create water vapour and made the environment more humid.)

Damp studios at night are not ideal. The cold, damp atmosphere is not a good environment for drying prints. It can undo the lovely drying work that has happened during the day!

Adding driers
– Liquid driers like Cobalt Driers can be added up to around 5% – any more than 6% and the solvent in the driers can do more harm than good to the drying of your prints.
Wax driers have the texture more similar to ink so they can be easier to add. Around 7% should be the top end of the amount you would want to add to your ink but 3% should be plenty.

In conclusion, a warm, dry environment with well-circulated air should ensure your prints dry quickly. Add a little driers to speed up the process if you like.