A clear coating applied to a printed piece, usually done in-line as a fifth ink on the printing press. This coating, which can give a gloss, satin or matte finish to the printed sheet, also improves durability of a printed piece and helps to prevent ink smear by immediately “sealing” the inks before the sheets of paper stack up on each other. For this reason, many color printers will recommend the use of an aqueous coating. It is called “aqueous” because it is water-based and commonly distinguishes from a UV coating, which is done as a separate process, adding time and money to a job. Because aqueous coating is done with a plate, it can be applied as a flood coat or to only specific areas of an image.

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