Printing on wood

Hi all! curious to know if it’s possible to print on wooden cardstock or if it’s a bad idea. the cardstock in question is .025 inches thick, made of maple. I know that it will run through my laser printer and does hold laserjet ink pretty well.

after reading some other forum posts, I’m learning I should probably use an oil based ink and maybe a drier?

I’m rather new to the letterpress world so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Hello CheerUpCherup,

I’ve seen things printed successfully on real-wood stock. I wouldn’t print with metal type, though, since the wood would wear down the type pretty fast.


It works. The .025 wood stock is like thick card stock. You probably will start with about half of your normal packing. The wood is like uncoated stock and will absorb ink. You should run a few pieces as a test and see how they dry. Depending on how porous the stock is, there is a risk that it will wick the ink and result in a fuzzy print. Test before you run all your stock and find them all fuzzy.
If the wood wicks the ink, I don’t think oil base or drier will be the solution. I think a pre-printing thin coat of wood sealer would be the way to go.
I have only printed on wood once many years ago. I do not recall the variety of wood or which ink I used.

Inky. If you seal the wood. Wouldn’t it defeat the purpose?
I sealed a wood cut in order to be able to clean up the ink easily, just like wood type is sealed to be able to clean up.

Check out this previous discussion and yes you have to be careful not to over ink.

My suggestion that the wood may need to be sealed is intended to provide a much less porous surface and eliminate ink wicking into the grain of the wood resulting in fuzzy edge printing. Think of coated stock. Oil base ink printed on Chromecoat or similar coated stock looks sharp. One would have to be careful about offset.

Barbara, thanks. I plan to use photopolymer plates so won’t have any issues with wearing, i hope.

Inky, I have noticed that wicking effect a little with my laser printer. will keep that in mind once I do a test print. thank you!

Off to read the other forum thread.


Gotcha, you are completely right. This just happened to me a couple days ago, my print sucked on uncoated stock, but when I switch to coated stock, woah! just gorgeous.