New LexJet Metallic Photo Paper

I've been testing LexJet's new metallic photo paper (http://www.lexjet.com/i-14286-LexJet-Sunset-Photo-Metallic-Paper-SPMP2400.aspx) and so far it seems very nice indeed. And I can print on it using my HP Z3100 printer – no need to have the printing done at a lab!

I'm wondering how other photographers present their work on metallic, Fuji Crystal Archive, or Kodak Endura media. The paper actually seems fairly resistant to scratching, but I'd really like to provide some protection for prints.

Any suggestions or pointers?


– Jack

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  1. I also have this paper and a HP Z3100 printer. I have invented a Box mount that works really great with this paper. I apply Premier Art Print Shield coating after mounting. Contact me if you are interested in learning how to do this box mount. I have sold many hundreds of this mounting with other fine art and photo papers. My customers love them without glass protection.


  2. Thanks, David! I checked your website & like your box prints – the way I’ve been framing actually resembles the box prints with a border, but the frame produces a lip around the print. It would be nice to be able to display without the border, too.

    Have you tried the Art Print Shield on this paper? I usually use the Hahnemuehle spray, but I haven’t been entirely happy with the results of my initial tests on the metallic paper…

    Thanks for stopping by & sharing your knowledge!

    – Jack

  3. David, I really like the “floating mount” & “floating frame” methods, too – you have some very nice presentation styles!

    – Jack

  4. Update: I’ve had a chance to print more images on Sunset Photo Metallic, and I’m really enamored of this paper! Still trying to figure out which images work best with it, but really, I haven’t found any that look bad on it.

    The big issue I still have is presentation. I’ve not had consistently good results with my usual coating or another I’ve tried. Mounting directly behind glazing without matting is my current solution for letting that metallic pearlescence shine through, but I’m definitely still looking for suggestions!

    – Jack

  5. I have applied Print Shield on several more Sunset Metallic prints. I brush them off first with a horsehair brush. After the first coat of Print Shield there are lines across the print that must be from the brush. They look like fine scratches. They are not visible before coating and after coating you only see them in the glare of reflected light. I washed the brush in case it was putting oils on the print and that didn’t change things. A second coat of Print Shield covers them pretty well so the final print looks good. I use this brush on all our prints and never had a problem, even with luster photo paper and print shield. It must be that the brush is scratching the high gloss surface.


  6. That’s good to know, David! I often use a brush, too, but in my tests so far I’ve been using a very soft lint-free cloth so I haven’t run into any scratching problems…

    I’ll have to give Print Shield a try. Do you use the aerosol can or HVLP sprayer? How many coats do you apply?

    Thanks for keeping us posted!

    – Jack

  7. I apply two heavy coats. They are about as heavy as you can get without it running. As I said above, the second covers some scratch lines left by the first. I am using the cans as a convenience. I buy them by the case from inkjetart.com.

    Have you tried LexJet Water-resistant Satin Cloth? When mounted on foam board and after applying two heavy coats of Glamour II gloss it looks like glossy photo paper but is more durable and works with our Gallery wrap elite. More info on REDIpix.com.


  8. I just ordered a couple of cans for testing – sounds promising based on your experience.

    I haven’t tried the LexJet Satin fabric – I’ll have to take a look at that!

    – Jack

  9. I have always been tempted to try out these metallic papers, only for curiosity on what the finish looks like. Is it possible to photograph or describe it Jack?

  10. Hi, Mark!

    I haven’t had any success photographing a printed image in a way that captures the special qualities of the metallic paper, so I’ll try to describe it.

    To start, it’s a bit on the silver side of white in surface color. LexJet told me it won’t profile correctly because of the reflective nature, but that you can use the profile for their e-Satin paper, which is what I’ve done. I think it prints a bit warmer than the e-Satin, but that hasn’t been a problem for anything I’ve printed so far – it looks a bit different from the e-Satin, but I’ve been happy with the images & haven’t tried to adjust to compensate.

    The reflectivity of any area depends on the ink density, so lighter/brighter areas reflect more. This gives a nice shine or glow to things like autumn leaves, reflections on water, waterfalls, etc. while denser/darker areas like rocks, dark moss, etc. look more like they would on a satin or glossy print.

    Things get especially interesting where you have a nice interplay between the two – in the image “Big Hill in Autumn 9715” (added to the original post above as an example), the blending of lighter leaves among the darker ones gives the print a really nice sense of depth and atmosphere.

    I think that to see it to best effect you need to be able to view the print from different angles, either holding it in your hand or by changing viewing position if the print is hanging.

    For ArtWalk, I ended up just putting a piece of plexi in front of the print, sandwiching the print between the plexi and foamcore. I put this in a black metal frame with no mat. I think it looks pretty good – the black metal frame is just enough to set it off from the surrounding wall, and the plexi protects the print while letting the reflective/pearlescent quality show. I didn’t use glare-free plexi for these prints, so you have to watch the viewing angle to avoid glare, but overall I think this is a decent way to present images on this paper.

    – Jack

  11. Mark,

    I can send you a free sample. I have a 3×3″ test pattern with photos and gray scale. I have it in color and B&W. Find my email at REDIpix.com and send me your postal address.


  12. Thanks Jack and David. I asked LexJet for some sample pieces, I’ll see what they respond with. I have too many rolls of paper and boxes now that I thought I would like, and didn’t end up using. If they can’t provide a few sheets, I’ll definitely take you up on your offers.

  13. Well, LexJet did call me back – no go on the sample pieces. They did offer to allow me to return an entire pack or roll of paper if I didn’t like it, but that adds more hassle for me in shipping the stuff back.

    So David, Jack – I’ll take anything you care to spare. 🙂

    I’ll send my address.

  14. Hi, Mark –

    No problem – too bad about the samples, and their return policy is great (I returned a roll to them once), but I agree it does add to the hassle (and upfront cost) of trying a new paper.

    I might have your address, but I’ll wait to hear from you to be sure I don’t send it to the wrong place…

    – Jack

  15. Jack, I was wondering if you would kindly share the printing profiles & paper settings you used for the Lexjet Metallic paper … and …

    Did you Print directly from Photoshop or use a RIP ?

    I have an Epson 7900 …

  16. Hi, Jack –

    I moved your comment to this post, hope you don’t mind!

    I use the same printer settings for LexJet Metallic as I do for LexJet eSatin. I have an HP Z3100 and have used eSatin for a while now, so I already had a profile for it that the HP produced.

    If you don’t have any way to create your own paper profiles, LexJet has some at http://www.lexjet.com/Profiles.aspx. For the 7900, they seem to have a profile only for use with the printer drivers, not a RIP…

    Oh, and I do all my printing out of Lightroom, which has worked really well for me.

    If you try the Metallic paper, please stop back & let us all know what you think!

    – Jack

  17. I received a roll of the sunset metallic paper, but I have had a lot of problems with it. I am printing on a Canon 8300 and I am having a lot of flaking. I have had another printer here in town try the same roll using the Custom paper settings and Profiles created by Lexjet. They are having the same problem.

    Is anyone else having these problems and how can I fix them? I love the paper, but I am very disappointed with the flaking.

  18. Hi, Brenda –

    I’ve made numerous prints on my Canon ipf5100 without any problems – maybe you got a bad roll? I’d call LexJet right away – they really do bend over backwards to help track down problems with their papers. If you still have prints from both printers, they might want you to send them to help troubleshoot the issue.

    One of the most common causes of flaking is dust or other particles on the paper, which might have been there before it ever reached you – if you haven’t already, you might want to try gently brushing the surface with an anti-static horsehair brush just before feeding it in, just to see…

    Please do come back & keep us posted on what you find!

    – Jack

  19. Hi, Brenda –

    Just visited your website – lovely work! From what I read there, I’m guessing you’ve already tried brushing the paper… Do keep us posted on what you find, please!

    – Jack

  20. Hi Jack,
    Thank you for the response and kind words about my website. Yes you are right, I called lexjet and they really have been trying to help. Unfortunately I have had no luck whatsoever. 3 rolls and two different lots later, I am still having problems.

    To recap I am printing on a Canon 8300, using the plug in , Lexjet custom paper settings and profiles.

    I am so disappointed, I don’t know what else to do. The images are gorgeous minus the flaking.

  21. Hi, Brenda –

    I’m sorry to hear that – it must be really frustrating… :-/

    I always print from Lightroom, so I haven’t printed using the Canon plugin, but that doesn’t seem likely to be the source of the problem. I know the 8300 uses a different inkset formulation than the 5100, but I’d expect it to have fewer issues, not more. Also, LexJet has the latest printers – did they mention whether they’d tested on the x300 series?

    Wish I had more to offer here – please keep us posted!

    – Jack

  22. Thank you guys for sharing all of this wonderful knowledge! While I am an absolute amateur now, I have wanted to have the skill of a professional photographer since I was a little girl. I fell in love with Kodak’s metallic paper when I saw it displayed in collage format at a gallery party a few years ago, and its brilliance has not left my mind. I got my hands on a Rebel a few years ago and through lots of trial, I finally have lots of images I am eager to print on metallic paper. I am involved in a lot of other artistic endeavors, and many of the metallic prints I would like to produce will not be hung on the wall. Alas, all of these projects involving the Lexjet paper will require much trial, error, and exploring–but I am always up for a good challenge! I am off to research the printers, plug-ins and software you mentioned, and hope they can be here soon! Thanks again for all that you have shared! 🙂


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