What ink is best for screen printing?

Posted by Jeffrey Gononsky on

Screen printing is used to print on many different substrates besides fabric, and paper.  You can screen print on glass, metal, ceramics, vinyl, walls, floors, powder coated aluminum to name a few.  

So understanding what you will be printing on, will determine the screen printing ink you need to use.  The ink system will also determine the type of photo emulsion, and the mesh count you need to use on your silkscreen, but that will be for another blog post.

Screen printing ink

Here are some of the most common printing surfaces, and the ink systems you would potentially want to use.

  • Water Based Fabric Ink
  • Water Based Discharge ink
  • Plastisol Ink (not water based)
  • Water Based Poster Ink
  • Oil Based Poster Ink
  • Enamel Ink (solvent based)
  • Enamel Ink (solvent based)
  • Coroplast Ink (solvent based)
  • Gloss Vinyl Ink (solvent based)
  • Enamel Ink (solvent based)
  • Epoxy Ink (2 part solvent based)
  • Vinyl Ink (solvent based)
  • Gloss Vinyl Ink (solvent based)


Have a look at our online custom screen burning page to get a sense of the information required to make a silkscreen.