Printing on Black Stock

I’m wanting to do a project for a client that wants to print silver on black. I have a couple of inks now for the project, (both a standard metallic, and a can of tough tex) but am really unsure about what paper to use. We want to do a hit on both sides, and ideally the thicker the better.

I was wondering if the German Etching in black in 600 gsm is going to be a suitable paper, or am I going to be disappointed with the results? I have a c&p 12 by 18, and now a kluge 10 by 15… Finding resource information on this is tough! Hoping someone who’s played with black paper can help.


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Printing silver (or gold) on black or other dark stock has never been a problem the times I’ve done it. The important thing is that you and your client understand and want what the end result will look like. I won’t look like foil stamping, for instance, it will be more of a matte look, but it should look good. If you haven’t printed metallics on dark paper before, I strongly recommend you do a test or sample run, using any plate or form you have, on any black paper, to satisfy yourself as to how it prints and what it will look like. Try it! It’s easy (except maybe cleanup), fun, looks great!

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

I printed 3 vibrant strong colors on black cover stock a year ago. I printed 2 hits of opaque white, then two hits of each of the three colors. Orange, lime and purple.
They came out so vibrant that they look like foil stamping.
There are two tricks: one is very good registration so that you “trap” (overprint) the previous layer of ink perfectly. (expect a reasonable number of rejects), start with far more pieces than your finish count.
The second is “dry trapping”, that is print the second hit when the first ink is dry.
Gold and silver inks get their color from the gold or silver metal pigments and are inherently opaque. You should be able to get a reasonable job without the opaque white, but it will help. (Transparent white will help as well.)
Good luck

thanks! Do you guys have any recommendations for a great paper to use?


The Herbal broadside here
was printed on German Etching Black. Great paper.

Though, any metallic inks aren’t quite going to look silver or gold or whatever. If you want a true metallic look you need to use bronzing powders.


Beautiful work Gerald! Thanks for the input!

I’m not too worried about how metallic it looks. I don’t think my client is either. We were trying a thicker version of the Plike paper - which is incredibly silky, and definitely a coated stock. The paper took an impression well, but the ink was bleeding so badly, even with the tough tex. Trying to find an alternative, that doesn’t involve another purchase I end up finding unusable. :) I will give the German Etching a shot. My understanding at this point is that Atlantic Papers is the only place to purchase it?

I have also heard people suggest just using a mat board - the standard heavy weight stock used for matting photos. Any thoughts?


I’m not certain where to get German Etching but it is one of the printmaking standard papers so should be available through those sources. I would think Legion would carry it, Daniel Smith and others? These thick mouldmades though do need to be dampened for best results.

I wouldn’t know anything about mat board for printing. Sorry.


Nicole, French Paper has a nice black “musceltone”.
Not necessarly a printmaking paper.
For silver ink Toyo makes the best, its called Topstar
Silver Brilliant, about $100 per pound, it is registered
product. The 877 pantone silver is at best metalic grey.
Best james

Van Son’s silver ink is really nice as well. I got a 2 pound tin from the source and it looked like someone had alchemically distilled silver into mercury. Beautiful.