Can a regular printer print on cardstock? Certainly. Printing on cardstock creates various fun projects, from invitations to creative crafts. However, the process can often seem daunting, especially when using traditional printers primarily designed for standard paper. But don’t be afraid! With the proper technique and a few helpful tips, you can achieve professional-quality cardstock printing at home.
I. What Is Cardstock Paper?
Cardstock is a heavier, longer-lasting paper than standard printer paper. Typically measured in pounds (lb), it is more durable and ideal for applications such as invitations, greeting cards, business cards, and art projects. The heavier weight enhances its longevity and professional appearance.
There are many types of cardstock, each offering different finishes and suitable for different projects. Matte, glossy, textured, or colored cardstock offers options for different looks and uses.
II. Can Cardstock Be Printed on Both Laser Printers and Inkjet Printers?
Card stock can generally be printed using laser printers and inkjet printers.
Laser Printer: Laser printers produce durable prints that are resistant to smudges and water damage. However, there is a higher heat output during the printing process, sometimes affecting certain cardstock types. You will need to choose the type of card stock that matches it.
Inkjet Printer: Inkjet printers can produce high-quality prints, especially in color accuracy and detail. However, printing on nonporous or coated cardstock can take longer to dry. If handled too early, staining may result. Additionally, inkjet printing may be more susceptible to water damage than laser printing.
For excellent print quality, we recommend choosing a printer that matches the type of cardstock you plan to use.
After learning about cardstock and the printer, it’s time to do some cardstock printing. Read on to learn how to print on cardstock using your home printer.
Step 1. Select the Right Cardstock
Cardstock comes in a variety of weights and finishes, so choosing the right type is critical to successful printing. Considering the weight of the card stock, the printer can typically handle up to 110 lbs or 200 gsm. But it’s a good idea to check your printer’s specifications to find out the maximum weight it supports. In addition, choosing cardstock with a smooth surface will prevent ink smudging and ensure clear prints.
Step 2. Prepare Your Printer
(1) Check Printer Specifications
The first thing to do is check your printer specifications and compatibility with card stock. Observe whether your printer supports cardstock and the expected size and weight. Ensure it matches your printer’s capacity to prevent potential paper jams and other printing problems. The printer’s official website usually contains this information, so take a few minutes to browse it.
Common printers that can print on cardstock include Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000, HP OfficeJet Pro 9015, Xerox VersaLink C400 Printer, Canon PIXMA PRO-100 printer, Canon PIXMA PRO-200 printer, etc.
(2) Adjust Printer Settings
Correct printer settings are essential for printing on card stock. Try to find it on your computer: “Control Panel” → “Hardware and Sound” → “Devices and Printers” → Right click to select the printer → “Printing Preferences” → Various printer settings. Here’s what to consider:
- Paper Type: Choose the appropriate paper type: “Printing Preferences” - “Paper Type” and look for options like “Cardstock,” “Heavy Paper,” or “Thick Paper.” The printer will adjust its settings for thicker paper.
- Quality Settings: Select a higher print-quality setting. This improves ink absorption and crisper prints on a denser cardstock surface. It can also be found on the Printing Preferences page.
- Paper Tray Adjustment: Find it in “Paper/Quality,” “Paper Source,” or other options related to paper, and then click “Manual Feed.” Most printers have removable paper guides in the tray to accommodate different paper sizes and thicknesses. You’ll need to manually feed the paper to help your cardstock fit securely on this guide, preventing misfeeds and jams.
- Print Preview: Always preview the document before printing. This allows you to check for formatting issues and ensure that cardstock printing is acceptable. It’s located on the Printing Preferences page.
Step 3. Feed Your Card Stock
(1) Check the Printed Cardstock
Please observe that the cardstock paper is in good condition and not bent or folded. Store your card stock properly before printing, ensuring it has a flat surface and no bends or folds that could cause printing problems.
(2) Correct Loading
Loading card stock correctly is critical to preventing jams and printing errors. Please follow these steps for the best loading results:
- Check the Printer Roller: Accumulating debris and dust on the printer rollers can cause paper-feeding problems. Wipe it gently with a lightly dampened, lint-free cloth. For printers like HP, it’s usually behind the cartridge, near the OPC drum. For Brother printers, it’s always inside the drum unit.
- Print One Sheet at a Time: We strongly advise loading card stock one sheet at a time to get the highest quality prints. Stacking multiple sheets of paper may make it difficult for your printer to handle the thickness or weight correctly, leading to issues like paper jams or misalignment.
- Manual Feed Option: As mentioned earlier, find it in “Paper/Quality” or other paper-related options, and select “Manual Feed.” This should be done when adjusting the paper tray. If your printer has this feature, use it when printing on thicker cardstock. This provides greater control over the paper path and reduces the risk of jams.
Step 4. Test Printing and Adjustments
Before finally printing your project, do a test print on plain paper. You can make any necessary adjustments to alignment, color settings, or content placement based on your tests. For example, modify settings such as paper size, type, and margins to match cardstock specifications. Consider printing orientation (Portrait or Landscape) for best results.
Step 5. Final Printing
(1) Maintain Adequate Ink/Toner Levels
Make sure there is enough ink or toner in your printer. Due to the thickness of the cardstock, printing may use more printing supplies, so you’ll need to keep a good supply.
(2) Print the Cardstock
- Open the printed document, click “File” and “Print.”
- Check Printer Settings: We completed the necessary print settings before but need to check. Plus, don’t forget to specify printing options such as print range and duplex printing.
- Finally, click “OK” and “Print.” You will get a beautiful piece of cardstock.
Want to print more pieces like this? Reload the card stock into your printer, then open the file and print again.
After printing, wait for the printed cardstock to dry completely to prevent smudging or ink transfer.
Problems may occur when printing on card stock. Follow the troubleshooting tips below to get it right:
- Paper Jam: If the printer jams, carefully remove the cardstock paper, check for debris, and clear the paper path before trying to print again.
- Ink Smudging: To prevent smudging, allow printed cardstock to dry completely before handling it. Also, consider using your printer’s advanced drying settings if available.
- Faded Prints: If your prints appear faded or uneven, check the ink/toner levels and consider adjusting the print quality settings for better saturation.
Printing on cardstock using a regular printer may seem challenging at first. But with the proper technique and patience, you can achieve impressive results and create exquisite prints.
Shop for affordable, high quality ink/toner cartridge replacements at True Image. Our single packs, 4-packs, 5-packs, and even 10-packs give you plenty of supply. E.g., HP 58X, HP 89A, HP 962XL, Brother LC401, Brother TN760, Canon 067, Canon 069, Epson 232/232XL.
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