I want to print metallic specialty paper. Should I use an inkjet or laser printer?

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The dry toner printing technology of a laser printer is preferable for printing on metallic papers than the wet ink printing technology of an inkjet printer. The dry toner better adheres to the metallic paper surface than the wet ink. In this video, we’ll talk about both printing options, report to you about our test findings, and give you our thoughts on which printer is best in most cases.

See examples of our printing tests:

Laser Printing Example Inkjet Printing Example
Aspire Petallics laser printing example Aspire Petallics inkjet printing example
Text is sharp and well defined. Text is less crisp and less defined.

Watch Other Videos in this Printing Series

Printing Linen Specialty Paper – Inkjet or Laser?
Printing Parchment Paper – Inkjet or Laser?

If you are going to print at home, before deciding on a specialty paper purchase, we always recommend that you review your printer specs to see what paper types and paper weights your printer will accept. Secondly, we always recommend ordering samples and testing the sheets that you’re interested in.

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10 Comments

  1. Daniel's Printing Place says:

    Hello… which laser printer do you suggest to print on your cover paper.

  2. JB says:

    Hi Daniel. If your your goal is to print papers with metallic finishes, then as you saw in our video, a laser printer is a good choice. As you narrow down your choices by factoring in brand recognition, price, size, etc., you should also consider the thickness of the cover stock that you’ll want to print and compare that with the maximum paper thickness handling of the printers on your short list. As you’re shopping for a printer, find the paper specifications section and notice the area that lists minimum and maximum paper thickness. For example, if you want to print on our Aspire Petallics line of metallic cover stock which are made from 98lb cover, make sure the potential printer can accept 98lb cover stock.

    Keep in mind that not all printer specifications will explicitly show “cover” weight. The paper weight range listed may refer to bond, text, or even grams per square meter. Unless you have a great handle on the different paper types and the way their weight is calculated in North America, you’ll probably benefit from watching our short video, Text Weight Paper, Card Stock Paper – Paper Density Explained.

    Please comment back if you have any further questions about printing and printer selection.

  3. Ivy Rubin says:

    Which laser printer do you recommend for metallic envelopes (brand/model)? The envelope
    may be a larger size and may also have a liner. I’m looking for one and I don’t know where
    to even begin.

  4. Barry Levine says:

    Hi Ivy,

    Here in the office, our trusty HP LaserJet P4015tn does a fine job, but we don’t have a specific printer model recommendation. Your options will depend on whether you are looking for a monochrome laser printer or a color laser. Color laser printers can be more pricey. In the color area, I have only used the RICOH SP410DN, but there are comparable models out there that will handle envelopes just as nicely. You’ve got to do some homework. We suggest checking the official forums at some of the big name printer companies’ web sites, searching for notes from people that have used the printers to print envelopes, specifically metallic envelopes. See what their experiences and challenges, if any, have been.

  5. Dana says:

    Hello,

    Which laster printer (model) would you recommend for printing on metallic cardstock?

    Thanks!
    Dana

    • JB says:

      Hi Dana,

      Most laser printers should print well on metallic paper, but cardstock can present a challenge because of its thickness/weight. We don’t have any specific models to recommend, but you’ll want to make sure any printers you’re considering can print up to the weight of paper that you want to print. Be sure to check the paper specifications and see up to what cover weight can be printed. You may want to look into the Xerox Phaser series, as some can print up to 100 lb cover.

  6. Emirpasha Kisyanto says:

    Hi

    I would like to ask, how to print white ink on metallic paper? i apologize if it has no relevance to the topic

    thanks!

    Pasha

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Pasha,

      The only way to print white is to screen print or foil stamp. Unfortunately there is no way to print white ink at home.

      If you are making just a casual design, you may be interested in hand writing with a classic white gelly roll pen. The opaque white ink really pops on dark metallic papers.

  7. Eve says:

    Dear LCI
    I have problem printing metallic paper in my laser printer it tends to curl or hot. Can you help me please to resolve this problem.
    thanks

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Eve,

      Laser printers use heat to fuse toner to the paper, and it’s this heat, in combination with the path the paper takes through the printer that causes the curling.

      To remedy this paper curling, you can try placing printed papers under a heavy object and/or bending it a little in the other direction. If possible, you might also try a printer that pulls paper through in a straighter path.