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Old 03-06-2017, 01:12 AM
sbalderrama sbalderrama is offline
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Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

so I'm going to be playing with poly plate litho and have been researching fountain solutions. It seems to be the nature of the beast that these things are acidic. On the non-toxic printmaking site they mention using a solution of Gum Arabic and a bit of citric acid to avoid scumming.

My question is does the slight acidity of these solutions affect the long term longevity of the paper? Or is there enough buffer in non-acid papers to overcome any acidity from fountain solution?
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:18 PM
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winking cat press winking cat press is offline
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Re: Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

yes... even a slight acidity will have an effect on the longevity of the paper. Over 50 years or so, it will slowly attack the paper, turning it brown. Eventually it will cause it to crumble. I've got a ton of materials I printed in the 1960's. and it's all turning brown.

The simple solution is to not use an acid fountain. IF, and that's a big IF, the acid is only used to prevent scumming, then simply don't use it.... just be prepared to toss the solution before it goes bad. However, acid is also used to gain a bit more resistance to the ink, and to help it spread across the plate evenly so not using it may or may not cause a problem, depending on your ink, the plate and your water. Since I've not used poly plates for litho (I'm a stone guy) I'm not sure how vital the acid is.

What I'd do is make a test using the fountain without acid. If it works, then just leave the acid out when doing your prints. You may also want to try using a little baking soda instead of acid.

If that fails, and you must use acid, all is not lost. Tallas sells an acid neutralizing spray, or you can make your own using a spray bottle and soda. Just mist it onto the surface and let it dry. Prints treated that way last a long, long time.
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:04 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

I looked at some of my old prints, and they're not the least bit brown.
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Old 03-11-2017, 11:13 AM
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karenlee karenlee is offline
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Re: Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

BeLing, did you print off a plate or a stone?
Printing off stones, I never used an acid fountain solution. No browning.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:24 AM
sbalderrama sbalderrama is offline
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Re: Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

thanks for the responses. I found out some others are just using a gum Arabic solution to wipe between inkings also and only use an acidic fountain solution for initially cleaning plates. That makes sense to me also.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:10 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: Litho: acidic fountain solution and longevity

You're right, we used gum Arabic as the "acidic" solution while printing, both stones and metal plates.
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