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How to Print on Polyurethane

Updated July 20, 2017

Polyurethane is a substance used in many products including footwear, insulation, adhesives and furniture. It commonly is used in a wide variety of products because it can form either a soft or hard material. One of polyurethane's most common applications is making plastic. You can print on a plastic sheet using screen printing techniques and gloss enamel printing ink, which is designed to adhere to difficult surfaces.

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  1. Choose a copyright-free image or design your own image to print on the plastic polyurethane sheet.

  2. Draw or print this image on an A4-size sheet of acetate. Put thick cardboard on your work surface. Cut out the parts of the image you want to print. You have created an acetate stencil.

  3. Place newspaper over your work area to protect it. Lay the plastic sheet flat on top of the newspaper. Place the acetate stencil on top of the plastic sheet in the desired print location.

  4. Lay the printing screen over the stencil. Mask off any areas on the underside of the screen with masking tape that are not covered by the acetate stencil.

  5. Place gloss enamel ink on the top of the screen. Drag the ink down the screen using a squeegee. This is known as a pass. The squeegee should be held at a 45-degree angle to create the best print.

  6. Pull up the screen from left to right. Leave the printed plastic sheet to dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Acetate
  • Thick cardboard
  • Craft knife
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic polyurethane sheet
  • Silk screen printing frame
  • Gloss enamel ink
  • Squeegee

About the Author

Hazel Black started writing professionally in 2010, specializing in music and the arts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and is studying journalism at the University of London.

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