Printmakers Liquid Asphaltum Quart Size

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Printmakers liquid asphaltum is a tar product used as an acid resist in etching and an inking base in lithography. It is a thick, viscous liquid that dries to a hard, black surface.


In etching, liquid asphaltum is used to create a ground on the metal plate. The ground is a protective layer that prevents the acid from biting into the metal where it is applied. The artist can then draw or scratch through the ground to expose the metal in the areas where they want the acid to bite. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath, and the acid bites into the exposed metal, creating the etched image.


In lithography, liquid asphaltum is used to create an inking base on the lithographic stone or plate. The artist applies the asphaltum to the stone and then buffs it to a smooth finish. They can then draw or write on the stone with a greasy crayon or lithographic pencil. The stone is then dampened with water, and the artist rolls an ink roller over the stone. The ink will adhere to the asphaltum but not to the dampened stone. The artist can then print the image from the stone.

Other Uses

Liquid asphaltum can also be used as a varnish to protect metal plates from rust and corrosion. It can also be used as a coating for the backs of plates prior to immersing them in an acid bath.


Liquid asphaltum is a flammable liquid and should be used with caution. It should be used in a well-ventilated area and away from open flames. When working with liquid asphaltum, it is important to wear gloves and eye protection to avoid skin contact and eye irritation.


Printmakers liquid asphaltum is a versatile product that is essential for many printmaking techniques. It is easy to use and produces excellent results.

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