Screen Printing 101: How to inefficiently get shit done

Learning how to screen print can be taxing (and expensive)

Learning how to screen print can be taxing (and expensive)

When engineered properly, a half roll of duct tape, bed sheets, bath towels, and paper bags prove to be the ultimate partition when sealing a bathroom from light. Who would have known that Frank and Lee’s bathroom would double as the perfect darkroom for screen printing? With a singular red light as our guide, we traded duties burning and hosing off screens. When it was all said and done, red emulsion paint peppered the bathroom tub, an inch of water covered the floor and clutter consumed every viable inch of workspace. Below is a step by step description of how we inefficiently got shit done and avoided burning our house down!  

Darkroom or bathroom? That's NOT our shampoo.

Darkroom or bathroom? That's NOT our shampoo.

Step 1: Steal screen printing supplies from Frank’s mom.

Step 2: Transform bathroom into a darkroom and prep screens with emulsion.

Step 3: After screens dry, keep screens away from light (Taylor skipped this step and was redirected to step 1).

Step 4: Use a light table to burn desired images into the emulsion covered screens.

Step 5: Feed the garden hose into the bathroom & rinse out the burned designs. Water and electricity don’t mix. Thankfully, we avoided dropping the red light in the bathtub.  (See this Instructables article about how normal people screen print at home).

POW! Now we have the outline of our images and we’re ready to paint!  

Dumbbell weights (for getting huge and screen printing)

Dumbbell weights (for getting huge and screen printing)

Step 6: Place the object under the screen and spread the paint. An awesome design is now in place. Caution: WET PAINT!

Our Humble fan, Rory Mckee, rocking one of our new t-shirt designs.

Our Humble fan, Rory Mckee, rocking one of our new t-shirt designs.

Step 7: Set the paint by putting it under a tremendous amount of heat. We chose our kitchen oven. Problems we encountered: smoke, smell and fire. Who would have expected our cardboard six packs to catch on fire when placed in the oven? Lesson not learned. Later we attempted to screen print t-shirts which also caught on fire.

Step 8: Let images finish drying outside of the oven.

Step 9: Hire interns.

Check out this Forbes article about How To Hire Interns and don't do anything that we did. For a radical 2 minute breakdown of the screen printing process, reference this video by teesane

 

Frank KruegerComment