Gold paste

Hello everybody!

does anyone know the gold paste?

The man who sold me my press, gave me some ink cans including one with pale gold paste, he supposed that it must be mixing with a varnish, (he was the son of the press’ old owner) and there also was a can with the varnish .

A few a days ago, I called to Sigma color (the ink’s brand) and I asked about paste, they explained me that there are two kinds of varnishes, one colorless and other colored special for gold, to improve it. And I asked if it worked for letterpress printing, and he told me that i should try.

In aregntina, these days, there isn’t many people who knows about letterpress printing.

Ok, today I tryed this mixing, but it seems to be too fluid for letterpress, i a think i gonna get a print with exploited edges. Does any one knows this paste? And know how to thicken this ink? I tried with cornstarch but i don’t know if it is the best way.

This paste seems realy good since it shine even in absorbent papers like grey cardboard. I attach some images with the paste, the varnish and a proof.

image: IMG_0135.jpg


image: IMG_0134.jpg


image: IMG_0146.jpg


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I am not familiar with this brand of ink- but if the varnish is an oil base, you could attempt to add body builder or some body gum to it to increase tack and make it less flowy.

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I would talk to the ink company (Sigma color) again, and ask them how to make the ink thicker. Perhaps they have something you can add to the ink to make it thicker, or they may be able to sell you a thicker varnish you can use with the gold paste. If you did that, and Sigma color agreed to help, I think you would be more likely to solve your problem quickly.

Did Sigma specify the proportions or ratio of paste to varnish for mixing? Before adding anything else, I would try just adding more of the gold paste (or if mixing a new batch, less varnish) until it’s the consistency you want.

It’s been a long time since I mixed a two-part gold ink, but as I recall it worked well and gave a very nice gold. (Nowadays I’m lazy and prefer the convenience of the premixed Pantone gold colors 871 – 876 such as I sell in tubes, which also give a nice gold print.)

Dave (the Ink in Tubes guy)

Thank you for the advices!

Today i was seeing the form you sent me, and i couldn’t decide wich gold ink. Anyway I was afraid that the grey cardboard absorbes all the metalic particules overshadowing that little shine. But i think i Should try them.

Metallic inks should be somewhat fluid and runny on letterpress. Forget about the texture/density on the mixing slab…keep a record of the mix and try it on the actual paper and plate/form. Remember to let dry overnight as the most beautiful impression and color is useless if the ink won’t dry on the stock. Trial and error, trial and error. but remember it should not be too stiff. Perhaps a first impression of clear varnish, allowed to dry, then followed by an impression of the gold ink. Let us know about your progress. Good luck.

Many years ago, when our presses were still new, metallic inks were sold in two parts, a vehicle and a paste, and the pinter mixed them just before use. They could not be mixed and left on the shelf without separation or oxidation.
Modern metallic inks are usually pre-mixed, no problem if used in normal commercial amounts, which are cans, not just a spoon’s worth. Take ten years to use a can and there will be problems.
Daniel Smith still sells two-part metallics, and you can use the paste part to increase the pigment load of a regular metallic ink, or add metallic to a non-metallic ink (PMS has a whole range of colored pastel metallic mixes).

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I understand this ink is no longer made, but if you have it, try mixing with a colored ink and watch it separate to look like a two color run. Particularly effective with green or red.