Q: What are EZScreen Stencils?
A: EZScreen Stencil is a material for creating custom stencils without the tedious process of cutting your own. Instead, it uses pure black images on transparency, sunlight and tap water to develop. And because it's based on traditional silkscreen printing with a light sensitive coating, you can create very intricate designs that are virtually impossible with cut out stencils. Plus, no expensive equipment, liquid emulsion or even emulsion sheets are required. EZScreen Stencils are reusable; clean with plain tap water, let dry and reuse.
- Learn more about EZScreen Stencils
- Click here for step-by-step instructions for creating your own screen print stencils.
Q: How do I know which EZScreen Stencil to use, Standard or HiDef?
A: There are a few things to consider when choosing Standard or HiDef.
Standard is typically used for fabric such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other porous surfaces. Standard is easier to clean after exposure to light source, easier to use when applying ink or paint, and is more suited for multiple printing. Standard is appropriate for most projects and can achieve incredible details. However, a mesh pattern transferred to the paint on hard surfaces may be more visible. Applying paint or ink to fabric or other types of porous surfaces will not have this problem.
HiDef is intended for artwork with smaller details or halftones and typically used for hard surfaces such as glass and metal. HiDef has a higher thread count so the green residue may cling to the mesh making it harder to clean after exposure to light source. More pressure may be needed when applying paint or ink. Not all paints are suitable for HiDef, such as ceramic, metallic or opaque inks; the pigments may be too large and may not go through the mesh. It is important to test the paint first. You can achieve superb details with HiDef and the mesh transferred to the paint is less visible on hard surfaces.
Q: How long will the stencil last and how many times can it be used?
A: Unused stencils have a shelf-life of approximately 6 months when stored in a cool place. Storing them in an area with lots of direct light or humidity, even when kept in the black protective bag, can shorten the shelf life. Once the stencils have been burned with your artwork, they will no longer have a shelf life and can be used over and over again. With proper care, the stencils can be used 100's of times!
Q: Can EZScreen Stencils be exposed on a cloudy or overcast day?
A: No. The exposure time may vary too much if it’s cloudy or overcast, therefore, we DO NOT recommend exposing on a cloudy or overcast day as it may filter the UV at different levels. Expose EZScreen Stencil in DIRECT SUNLIGHT only. You can expose EZScreen Stencil anytime day or night with our exposure light units.
Q: Can EZScreen Stencils print in multiple colors?
A: Typically no. EZScreen stencil is intended for one color printing. The color separation is a challenge. The silkscreen mesh will shift and will not align properly for the next layer of color. However, you can achieve simple multi color application that does not require precision registration, such as a heart on an "I heart New York" t-shirt.
Q: Can EZScreen Stencils be cut to the size I need?
A: Yes, you can cut EZScreen Stencil to the size you need. Allow at least a half-inch border around the artwork.
Q: What can I use to hold the stencil in place?
A: Most times, simply holding down the stencil during printing is all you need! Otherwise, blue painters tape can be used around the edges of the stencil, or the stencil can be attached to a plastic frame. For hard surfaces, repositionable tacky stencil spray can be used with our stencils to avoid bleeding.
Q: How large are the EZScreen Stencil sheets?
A: Our regular sheets are 8.5"x11". Mini kits and mini stencils comes in smaller sizes - 4.25"x5.5". Our largest size is the EZScreen Large Stencil, 11"x17", to be used with the large 13"x19" exposure frame sold separately.
Q: Can I make EZScreen Stencil with halftones?
A: Yes. Unlike traditional plastic stencils that are essentially silhouettes, our stencils can do halftones and line art and even contain floaters. Test out a small piece first before committing to a larger piece of EZScreen Stencil. Use larger dot per inch halftones. For best results, use transparency printed on the best print quality and heavy ink. EZScreen HiDef Stencil is recommended for more detailed images and halftones.
Q: How do I clean the EZScreen Stencil?
A: EZScreen Stencil cleans with regular tap water, and sometimes with soap for stubborn or partially dry paint on the stencil. Although EZScreen silk screening stencils are fairly rugged, do not scrub film side, fold or ring out to dry. After cleaning, place on flat surface on top of paper towels for drying or plastic canvas. Lay stencil with shiny (emulsion) side facing up. Note: Never place shiny side of EZScreen silkscreen on any surface while drying. Doing so will cause the stencil to stick to the surface. If this happens, re-soak the silk screen stencil until it releases.
Q: Do I need a photographic dark room to develop EZScreen Stencils?
A: No. EZScreen Stencils can tolerate a few minutes of exposure to light levels found in typical homes as long as it is kept several feet away from artificial light sources and is protected from direct sunlight. Minimize exposure to florescent tubes; they emit more UV energy then incandescent bulbs. Illuminate work area with yellow bug lights (60 watts or less) if additional lighting/working time is desired. Fully developed EZScreen silk screen stencils do not require protection from light. Do not remove protective clear backing until ready for use. Once backing is removed, handle EZScreen silk screen stencil from edges only. Avoid putting fingerprints or scratching surface of photosensitive film.
Q: How should I store EZScreen Stencils?
A: Keep undeveloped EZScreen Stencils in black bag and store in a cool place like the refrigerator. Protect from freezing and high humidity. Ideal temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. EZScreen Stencils degrades quickly above 110 degrees.
Q: Does EZScreen Stencils have a shelf life?
A: Yes. We recommend you use it within six months of purchase. Shelf life can be dramatically affected by temperature conditions while storing. For longer shelf life, store undeveloped EZScreen Screen Printing Stencil in your refrigerator.
Note: Once the stencil has been developed there is NO longer a shelf life. Be sure to store the stencil flat such as in a folder or sheet protector in a binder.
Q: Can I use my own artificial light source to expose EZScreen Stencil?
A: Many artificial light sources may work. However, there are too many to know what the individual exposure time would be or if it will work properly at all. Therefore, we do not support alternative light sources, other than our own exposure light unit. If you choose to use your own artificial light source, you will need to experiment with the exposure time using small test pieces. Halogen and blue lights do not work. Use direct sunlight if possible, or our own exposure light unit.
Q: What do I need to get started?
A: If you are new to EZScreen Stencils, view our Help Guide - Getting Started page.