Full color wash letterpress

I have seen some really nice works with full color wash sections on business cards and some greeting cards. My instincts tell me these people are using cylinder presses but their web sites indicate platen presses. What are the best tips out there for getting nice even colors on a platen press?

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Each particular job will require different procedures, but in general, I like to double strike. I’ll cut the color down with opaque white, then double strike which brings the color back up to the chip. The mixing/coverage part takes some practice if you need to match a pantone, but double (or even triple) striking covers a multitude of sins. The opaque white also turns the ink from transparent to opaque, which helps with coverage. Another advantage to double striking is that you can lay down light coats, which will keep any knock-out type crisp. Perfect registration is required. If you have a heavy solid along with finer type or images in the same color, you may need to run these separately to keep your heavies heavy, and fines fine.

I prefer double striking to double inking, as I don’t like to load up the cut or type with too much ink. But that’s just me. Hope this helps.