Last Updated on March 27, 2023 by Fredrick Miller
Sublimation on slate is a modern-day way to showcase your home. By using sublimation printing, prints can be created with a high-quality, and durable finish. Blending colour and texture with the natural beauty of slate.
Sublimation printing on slate is an easy way to transform ordinary slate into personalized gifts and keepsakes. Slate is a natural material, resistant to scratches and moisture, making it ideal for framing photos or artworks.
In this post, you will learn what is slate, How to Print on Slate at Home and also you will get complete information about Sublimation Slate.
What is Slate?
Slate is a hard, fine-grained, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock. It has been subjected to high pressure and temperatures, which causes the minerals to recrystallize into very flat, smooth and hard layers.
Additionally, slate is suitable for use as flooring tiles or countertops in kitchens and bathrooms. It can be polished to look like marble or granite or left unpolished for a rustic look.
Material Required for Sublimation Printing on Slate
The material required for sublimation printing on slate is as follows:
- Sublimation ink
- Sublimation printer (for printing the image onto the slate)
- Heat press machine (for transferring the image from the printer to the slate)
- Sublimation transfer paper
- Thermal head
- Glue stick or glue gun
- Lint Roller
How to Print on Slate at Home?
Sublimation is a process of transferring heat-sensitive ink onto a non-heat-sensitive surface. The result is a durable and moisture-resistant image with vivid colors. Here is step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Prepare Your Slate
You should prepare the slate first before printing on it. You’ll need to find a flat surface and put down some newspaper or cardboard so that the ink won’t get all over your floor. Then place your slate face down on the paper so it won’t move while printing.
Step 2: Clean Your Slate
Before printing on slate, you’ll want to clean it thoroughly with water or alcohol. This will help remove any dirt or oil from the surface of your slate so that the ink sticks better when you print on it later.
Use warm water if possible because this will make it easier for the ink to stick as well as help remove any grease or oil from the surface of your slate before printing on it.
Step 3: Prepare Your Slate for Printing
After cleaning, it’s time to prepare your slate for printing! You can use a pencil to trace around the design you have created on the blank slate. Make sure that the lines are nice and sharp and follow each other closely, so there’s no room for error when cutting out your image later.
Step 4: Cut Out Your Image
Once you’ve transferred your design to the slate, all that’s left is cutting it out. To do this, you will need to use a sharp pair of scissors or an exact knife.
Step 5: Apply the Ink
It’s time to apply the ink. If possible, use a paintbrush with an angled tip so that it will fit between all of the lines on your slate.
Step 6: Let Your Slate Dry
Once you’ve applied the ink, let it dry in an area where there are plenty of airflows.
Step 7: Remove the Transfer Paper
Now, remove the transfer paper by rubbing it with your fingers or a lint roller.
Step 8: Seal Your Slate
After removing all of the transfer paper pieces, seal your slate in a matte finish spray. Maintaining its brightness and crispness will help it last a lifetime.
Sublimation Slate Problems
Sublimation slates are a great way to capture and display your memories. In addition to weddings and parties, they are also popular for memorials and funerals.
Even though it’s made from natural minerals, sublimation slate is still susceptible to some problems. These include:
Cracks and chips: Any time there’s a temperature or humidity change, your sublimation slate’s surface could crack or chip. In particular, it’s more likely to fade if it’s exposed to direct sunlight or a hot source of heat, such as a fireplace or stove.
Bubbling and peeling: Sublimation slate can bubble or peel if exposed to too much moisture over a long period. This is especially true for slates that have been painted because paint absorbs moisture more easily than bare stone does.
Fading: If you have your sublimation slate outdoors, it’s likely that the color will fade over time. It is possible for stains and marks to appear on slates, even after they have been sealed with a clear coat.
Deterioration: If you leave your sublimation slate sealed, the sealant will eventually break down and lose its protective properties. This can lead to stains or marks that are difficult to remove.
How long do you sublimate slate?
Depending on the size of your print, the process takes between 1-2 hours. We recommend starting with a small test piece first to see how long it will take for your particular product.
Can you do sublimation on slate?
Yes! Slate is one of the most popular substrates for sublimation printing because it provides a high-quality look at an affordable price. The material absorbs inks well without affecting their quality.
What is sublimation printing?
Sublimation printing is a process where the ink is directly transferred from a ribbon onto a substrate, usually paper. Heat is then applied to the substrate, melting the ink into its fibres. In this way, a permanent image can be produced that can never be washed away.
Can you heat press onto slate?
Yes! Slate is a sublimation-friendly substrate so that you can heat press directly onto it. You can also use transfer tape to apply your designs before pressing to ensure they’re firmly in place.
It is one of the most important materials that work best with sublimation printing processes, but it’s not as widely used as the other materials. Still, this doesn’t mean it’s worth your time to research and use. If you want something different, something exotic and amazing, and something that people will remember, then slate is what you need to look out for.
Fredrik Miller is the Founder of PrinterLake.com, a platform dedicated to providing information on sublimation printing. With a Master’s degree in Information Technology from 2012, Fredrik brings a wealth of technical knowledge and expertise to the site.
He leads a team of writers who are experts in the field and strive to deliver the best and most comprehensive information on sublimation printers, inks, and paper.