Bonding Beyond Limits: The Magic of Spray Adhesives in Screen Printing

Posted by Eli Koppel on

The process of screen printing demands precision and stability. One often-overlooked yet invaluable tool in a screen printer's arsenal is screen printing spray adhesive. These versatile adhesive products play a crucial role in securing materials, reducing shifting, and ultimately improving the overall accuracy of prints. 

Let's delve into how spray adhesives are transforming the screen printing process.

Understanding Screen Printing Spray Adhesive

Spray adhesives come with varying degrees of tackiness to cater to different material types and thicknesses. Pallet adhesive, web spray adhesive, and frame adhesives are some popular choices among textile screen printers because they deliver long-lasting stickiness while allowing easy repositioning when needed.

These adhesives offer a range of benefits from securing materials and improving accuracy to providing an easy, versatile printing solution for a range of applications.

Securing Materials

One of the primary functions of spray adhesives in screen printing is to firmly secure materials to the printing surface. Whether it's fabric, paper, or any other substrate, a light, even coat of adhesive ensures that the material stays in place throughout the printing process. This eliminates the risk of shifting or misalignment, resulting in cleaner and more precise prints.

Reducing Shifting and Misalignment

Screen printing often involves intricate multi-color designs that demand precise registration. Spray adhesives play a pivotal role in achieving accurate alignment by preventing screens and materials from shifting during printing. This is especially crucial for achieving sharp, detailed prints where even a slight misalignment can lead to flawed results. With the help of spray adhesives, screen printers can confidently tackle complex designs with ease.

Improving Print Accuracy

Accuracy is the cornerstone of successful screen printing. Spray adhesives contribute significantly to achieving consistent and accurate prints. By creating a stable and secure bond between the material and the printing surface, adhesives ensure that each pass of the squeegee yields a clean, sharp impression. This level of precision is essential for producing professional-quality prints that meet the highest standards.

Versatility Across Substrates

Spray adhesives are remarkably versatile and compatible with a wide range of substrates commonly used in screen printing. Whether you're working with textiles, paper, cardboard, or even more unconventional materials, the right spray adhesive can adapt to the specific demands of the job. This adaptability empowers screen printers to explore various substrates and expand their creative possibilities.

Ease of Application and Cleanup

One of the key advantages of spray adhesives is their user-friendly application. They can be applied in a controlled and even manner, ensuring that the adhesive is distributed precisely where it's needed. 

Additionally, most spray adhesives are quick-drying, allowing for efficient workflow and minimal downtime. Moreover, cleanup is a breeze, as the excess adhesive can be easily removed with solvent or water, depending on the type of adhesive used.

Types of Screen Printing Spray Adhesives

Screen printing spray adhesives come in various formulations, each tailored to specific needs and substrates. Understanding the different types is crucial in selecting the best one for your project.

Temporary Spray Adhesives

These adhesives offer a temporary bond that holds materials in place during the printing process but allows for easy removal afterward. They are ideal for projects where repositioning or multiple prints on the same substrate are necessary.

Permanent Spray Adhesives

Designed for projects where a lasting bond is required, permanent adhesives provide a strong and secure hold. They are suitable for one-time prints on materials that won't be reused.

Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives

These adhesives create a bond when pressure is applied. They are excellent for achieving even contact between the substrate and the screen. Pressure-sensitive adhesives are versatile and can be used on a wide range of substrates.

High-Temperature Resistant Adhesives

Some projects, like those involving heat-curing inks or high-temperature drying processes, demand adhesives that can withstand elevated temperatures. These specialized adhesives ensure that the bond remains intact even under high heat.

Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) Adhesives

For eco-conscious screen printers, low-VOC adhesives provide a more environmentally friendly option. They have reduced levels of harmful emissions, making them a greener choice.

Specialty Adhesives

Some projects may require unique formulations, such as adhesives for printing on heat-sensitive materials or those designed for specific substrates like plastics or metals. Specialty adhesives cater to these specific needs.

How to Choose The Right Screen Printing Spray Adhesive

When choosing a screen printing spray adhesive, consider the following factors:

  • Substrate Type: The material you're printing on will dictate the type of adhesive you need. Different substrates may require specific formulations for optimal adhesion.
  • Project Requirements: Determine whether you need a temporary or permanent bond, as well as any specific characteristics like high-temperature resistance or low VOCs.
  • Application Method: Consider the ease of application. Some adhesives may be more user-friendly or suitable for certain application techniques.
  • Environmental Impact: If eco-friendliness is a priority, opt for low-VOC or environmentally-conscious formulations.
  • Testing and Compatibility: Always conduct compatibility tests on a small scale before committing to a particular adhesive for a large project. This ensures it meets your specific needs and performs as expected.

By carefully evaluating your project's requirements and understanding the different types of screen printing spray adhesives available, you can confidently select the best adhesive for your specific application, ensuring optimal results and efficiency in your screen printing endeavors.

Using Spray Adhesives in Screen Printing: Best Practices

The key to a flawless screen print lies in the correct use of spray adhesives. Ensuring your prints are perfect each time can be achieved with the right approach.

Preparing the Screen and Substrate

To start, it’s essential to clean your screen thoroughly using a screen opener. This will help get rid of any leftover ink or residue that could affect your next print. It also preps the surface for adhesive application, ensuring maximum bond strength.

Next, prep your substrate - be it paper, textile, or another material - by making sure it's dust-free and ready for printing. You want an even coat of adhesive on this surface too so take care not to rush through this step.

Proper Application Techniques

Spray adhesives are most effective when applied evenly across all surfaces involved in the process; that includes both screens and substrates alike. For best results with aerosol spray adhesives like mist-type sprays, hold the can about 6-8 inches away from the target area while spraying lightly back and forth until you've achieved an even layering effect.

This practice reduces overspray which is not only wasteful but also harmful if breathed in over long periods. As always though, please remember safety first. Always use these products in well-ventilated areas where possible because they're pressure-sensitive materials after all.


In the dynamic world of screen printing, precision and accuracy are non-negotiable. Spray adhesives have emerged as indispensable tools in achieving these standards. By securely bonding materials, preventing shifting, and improving overall print accuracy, these versatile adhesives are revolutionizing the screen printing process. 

Their compatibility across various substrates, ease of application, and quick cleanup make them an essential component of any screen printer's toolkit. Embracing the power of screen printing spray adhesives opens up a world of possibilities, allowing screen printers to push the boundaries of their craft and deliver exceptional results.