Finishing coats can be the missing link between your brand and unmatched success. Finishing coats are a way to enhance the appearance of the packaging and make your product feel luxurious or high-end, even if it isn’t. And because the coatings are non-toxic, they can be food contact approved for a wide range of applications, including paperboard, corrugated fiberboard, plastic, aluminum foil, and more. They add a much-needed extra layer of protection to your product, which can protect it from moisture, dust, dirt, and other things that may damage the packaging. They are present in lamination, varnish, and UV coating. These different options have various characteristics that help enhance the visual aesthetics of your custom packaging. One of the most popular finishing coats is the aqueous coating. This blog will look at an aqueous coating, the types of aqueous coating (matte, gloss, satin, soft-touch, pencil receptive, and dry erase), the aqueous process, and the benefits of aqueous coating. Let’s head right in.

What Is An Aqueous Coating?

Aqueous coatings are use in all industries, not just food contact. They can be applied to various substrates like paperboard, plastic, aluminum foil, and more. It is a thin (approximately 10 microns) liquid layer made partially of water. That means the physical properties aren’t consistent. They are thin enough to be breathable (allowing the product to “breathe”). Still, they provide an extra barrier against outside contaminants like dirt, moisture, and dust. Read more about UV Coating. Aqueous coatings are considered water-based because of their thin makeup of water. Most coatings used today are aqueous because of their ease of use, environmentally friendly properties, and cost-effectiveness.

How Do Aqueous Coatings Work?

Because the aqueous coating is applied as a liquid, it’s straightforward to see how this process works. Two rolls are use that applies two separate layers of liquid on top of each other. The first roll applies the aqueous coating, while the second roll removes any excess coating. Depending on your needs, that can be done in one or two machines. Then the sheets pass through a quick drying process. The result is a protective, breathable layer with outstanding durability. It is important to use paperweights or other ways to ensure that the sheet remains flat and doesn’t shrink or wrap as it is being dried.

Types Of Aqueous Coating

Many different types of aqueous coatings offer varying levels of gloss and texture. For example, a matte coating would be dull and non-reflective, while a gloss coating would be shiny and reflective. The most common types of coatings for custom packaging are:

Matte Finish

A combination of high opacities (the ability to block light) and good whiteness makes this an ideal choice for packaging that you want to highlight.

Gloss Finish

This coating offers a high-gloss look with the opportunity to create bright, vibrant colors and images on your packaging.

Satin Finish

The satin finish is a cross between matte and gloss finishes that create a beautiful luminescent color that catches the light without being too shiny or reflective.

Soft-Touch Finish

The soft-touch coating creates a tactile, velvety surface that offers the look of leather or suede. It is excellent for showcasing product images on your packaging.

Pencil Receptive Finish

This is very similar to the soft-touch finish, but it also works well with pencils and other writing utensils.

Dry Erase Finish

This finish is excellent for custom packaging used for promotional events or educational purposes because you can easily use a dry erase marker on this surface.

The Benefits Of Aqueous Coating

There are many benefits to using an aqueous coating on your custom packaging, which include:


Your packaging can be made from recycle content and non-toxic materials, making it environmentally friendly. The aqueous coating contains water as its base ingredient.

Durable Finish

Aqueous coatings provide an extra barrier against outside contaminants like dirt, moisture, and dust. It is also scratch-resistant & heat-resistant. This coating is strong enough to stand against the wear and tear that stacks the paper face during shipping, handling, and storage.


Many packaging companies offer various options for you to choose from, including materials, finishes, colors, and sizes. You can quickly get exactly what you need for your needs and specifications.

Sealed Finish

Aqueous coating provides a protective, water-resistant finish on the product’s packaging. It forms a thin film of protection that adds durability to the product and gives it an extra layer of security against moisture and other contaminants.


Aqueous coatings are very cost-effective options that also protect against the elements. It can be use with recycled materials and other eco-friendly components.

Environmentally Friendly

The coating is water base, making it safe for the environment and easy to dispose of. In addition, this method entails no air pollution, which makes it the greenest option for custom packaging. The water-based formula also reduces VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to less than 25% of what is require by FDA regulations. I think you want to know more about UV Coating: Packaging’s Hidden Gem Many other benefits come with using an aqueous coating, including:
  • No harmful fumes or gases that pollute the environment
  • Reduced VOC levels and odors
  • Better printability than other coating options
  • Increased opacity and coverage that prevents see-through images or colors
  • Readily available materials and environmentally friendly base ingredients
  • No impact to the environment during production, use, and disposal

To Sum It All Up

Aqueous coatings are a cost-effective option for your custom packaging. With the ability to offer a high level of durability and protection against moisture, dirt, dust, and other contaminants, this unique coating is an excellent choice for creating a durable finish that stands up well to shipping processes and provides extra layers of outdoor security. In addition to all the benefits that come with using an aqueous coating on your custom-printed product packaging, you can also use these coatings to customize lamination for individual items or even entire retail displays. Plus, Printers understand the importance of using aqueous coatings in your custom packaging design. We offer various coating options that are incredibly durable, water-resistant, and eco-friendly. Get in touch with our team today and take your custom packaging to the next level.  

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