Aqueous Coating: One of The Best Finishing Options For Packaging

Making an everlasting impression on the customer can have tremendous benefits for your business. For this reason, packaging companies have been increasingly exploring finishing coats to enhance the overall look of their products. Brief Introduction About Finishing Coats The function of any packaging is to secure the product and protect it from physical damage during transit. However, the outer appearance of the packaging is equally important as it adds an aesthetic appeal to the product. Finishing coats are one of the most popular options available for achieving a premium look. It is not just about making the package attractive. Still, finishing coats also enhance the durability, reliability, and performance of the package. There are different types of finishing coats available. They include:
  • Gloss coating
  • Matte or satin coat
  • UV coating
  • Aqueous coating
  • Others
In this blog, we will focus on the aqueous finishing coat. We will look at what it is, various types of aqueous coatings, including gloss, matte, satin, soft-touch, pencil receptive, and dry erase. We will also study the process of applying aqueous coating on paper packaging. Let’s get to it.

What Is Aqueous Coating?

As the name suggests, aqueous coating is a finishing coat applied to packaging with water. Since aqueous is a liquid, there’s no need to dry it before using or shipping the packaging. Thus, it offers fast-drying capabilities. The aqueous coating is a relatively new finishing coat option, and it has found the most use in the following industries:
  • Household product
  • Food
  • Fast-moving consumer products
The suitability of using aqueous coating on a product packaging depends on the industry it belongs to. For example, aqueous coating is not suitable for fragrances since water can alter the composition of the liquid inside the package. Similarly, some food items like dairy products need to be protected against the ill effects of water. On the other hand, aqueous finishing coats work perfectly on shampoos and body wash products. Most high-quality cosmetic products like skincare items come with an aqueous coating finish.

Types Of Aqueous Coating

Aqueous coating is a versatile finishing option that can be used for different types of packaging. Typically, the type of aqueous coating used depends on several factors such as:
  • Environmental conditions
  • Customer preference
  • Available equipment
Let’s take a closer look at the various types of aqueous coating available.

Gloss Aqueous Coating

High-gloss aqueous coating is the best choice for packaging with a smooth and shiny finish. Gloss aqueous coating is also perfect for products with glossy labels. The most common application methods for gloss finish include the rotogravure printing process and silk screening.

Matte Aqueous Coating

If you are looking for a more subtle or less shiny finish, you should opt for a matte aqueous coating. The packaging is usually run through an oven for this type of coating. This step dries out the water in the coating and also reduces the gloss levels.

Satin Aqueous Coating

You should go for a satin aqueous coating if you want a matte surface with a slightly reflective sheen. Satin aqueous coatings are available with both matte and gloss levels.

Soft-Touch Aqueous Coating

Opt for a soft-touch aqueous coating if you want a very subtle or soft touch of sheen on the packaging. This type of coating offers the lowest sheen levels and acts as a protective barrier. It is also available with either matte or gloss levels.

Pencil Receptive Aqueous Coating

This type of coating is ideally used for product packaging that needs to be marked with a pencil. Pencil receptive coating makes it easy to write on the package.

Dry Erase Aqueous Coating

This type of coating is used for products that need to be marked with a marker. Dry Erase coating usually works best on the packaging with a white background. It offers a high gloss finish that can be marked easily and cleaned off. Now that we have an idea about the different types of aqueous coating let’s see how they can be applied to paper packaging.

How Is Aqueous Coating Applied?

Dedicated coating machines usually apply the aqueous coating. The process can be broken down into the following steps:
  • Packaging is cut to the required size
  • The sheet of paper is inserted into the water
  • The coated sheets are stacked onto each other so that the water can drain to the bottom
  • The sheets are then dry using hot air or a freeze-dry machine
  • The gloss level of the aqueous coating can be regulated by altering the heat levels
  • The type of surface being coated determines the final level of sheen.

Helpful Tips

The aqueous coating can be applied to the print labels before being affixed to the packaging. On the other hand, it can also be applied after the labels are affixed to the packaging. Applying aqueous after the labels have been affixed is a cheaper option. It saves the cost of reprinting the labels. However, applying aqueous coating before affixing the label to the packaging is more accurate. This method allows you to get the perfect alignment of the label with the packaging. Finally, let’s talk about the benefits of using aqueous coatings for your product packaging.

Top Benefits Of Aqueous Coating

The coating has numerous benefits over other types of coatings. Some of the key benefits include:


Aqueous coating is wholly water base and thus does not release any VOCs (volatile organic compounds). That makes it much safer to use when compared to solvent-based coatings.

Safe For The Environment

The aqueous coating does not contain any harmful ingredients. Additionally, making the aqueous coating is entirely eco-friendly and leaves very little to no carbon footprint.


It is one of the cheapest types of coating because it requires very little energy to make. Also, the materials us for making it are easy to source.

Highly Versatile

The aqueous can be apply using various machines. That widens the scope of opportunities in terms of product packaging designs.

Minimal Up-Front Investment

This coating does not require any special machines to get started. Hence, it is an excellent option for starting a packaging company without investing much up-front. All of these benefits make aqueous coating an ideal choice for paper packaging. If you are looking for a supplier of this kind of coating or any other finishing coat for your product packaging, give Plus Printers a call.

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