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How to make the Perfect Super Sauce Mixture for Image Transfers

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Materials Needed:

Super Sauce is a medium used in transferring inkjet prints onto alternative surfaces like wood, metal, plexiglass, etc. The super sauce mixture is made of super sauce concentrate and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol. Super Sauce is sold by DASS Art and is available in two finishes. The choices are matte or gloss finish. We recommend a gloss finish for more non-porous reflective surfaces like plastic, glass, and plexiglass. For porous surfaces like paper, wood, etc, you will want to use the super sauce concentrate with a matte finish.

Before we get into the mixing, you should consider safety precautions. The smell of isopropyl alcohol is quite strong so it is a good idea to wear a face mask. Next, you will want to consider wearing goggles to protect your eyes. You will not want to get super sauce in your eyes as it is not something you ever want to have contact with water. If a super sauce mixture (including the alcohol) makes contact with water, it will turn into a thick foam that can not be put down a drain. This can make washing anything out of your eyes quite difficult. 

Creating the mixture is dependent on having the right measurement for your ingredients. For every 1 TBS of super sauce concentrate, you will need 4 oz of 91% isopropyl alcohol. You must use 91% isopropyl alcohol. Any other grade simply will not work. Taking the above measurements, mix the two slowly. Once you have the contents in the mason jar, you will want to secure the lid fully so that you can begin to mix the contents.

 You will want to let the jar sit for at least 6 hours, periodically shaking the jar vigorously during that time. Again, please note that you should never add any water to this mixture or your brushes. It can cause severe damage to plumbing and will render your brushes unusable. Once the 6 hours have passed, and you have a consistent mixture, you will be ready to start transferring your images!

Once you begin to use the super sauce mixture, you will want to keep the brush you use inside of the jar with the mixture when it is not in use. The brush you use will not be able to be used for anything else after this. We recommend that you use this brush until it is no longer usable and at which point, you will need to throw it out. Once again, we remind you not to put this brush anywhere near any sinks or plumbing.

Storing the mixture with the brush is where having the mason jar with the lid and outer band comes into great use. You will want to remove the lid permanently. When you are not using the super sauce, put the brush inside the jar and wrap a plastic bag somewhat loosely around the brush and jar. Then, take the outer band and screw it tightly onto the mason jar. This will keep the seal airtight without the brush poking through and letting air in. You can see our example in the image at the beginning of this article.

We have quite a few super sauce tutorials based on different applications. We encourage you to experiment with this method on multiple surfaces to get an idea of its capabilities.

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Finding the Perfect Substrate

Image of wood panel and canvas sheet
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Everything you need to know to make long-lasting works of art!

When it comes to finding an acid free surface there are 4 different categories to consider:

  1. Acid-Free: Acid-Free materials are going to be top of the line, gallery-ready materials. When making fine art, you will always want to look for these materials first. These can be quite expensive, so selecting the cheaper non-acid fee surfaces will be tempting. In this situation, remember that you get what you pay for. If you are making work intended to be sold at a gallery or to a collector, you will want to be sure you are using the best materials. 
  2. Acid Neutral: While these are still good quality, they contain acid and buffers to fight against it. For this reason, these kinds of papers are great for testing prints but not necessarily selling in a gallery. Acid Neutral paper is quite a bit less expensive so we recommend this for test prints. 
  3. Not stated: In some cases, the material won’t state whether it is acid-free or not. In this case, you can assume it is not acid-free. You can still use these but it is not good practice to submit to galleries or sell to collectors. 
  4. Specialty Surfaces: Sometimes, you will come across a material that is not guaranteed to be acid-free in any form. In this case, there are tools you can use to test the PH level of the material. These surfaces can be differentiated from Category 3 because there might be a reason you might need to use these materials. For example, you may want to transfer your image to an aluminum substrate. This is an aesthetic that can not be created using paper. While the acidic qualities are a bit unknown, it doesn’t mean that the metal will deteriorate quickly.

Archival Substrate Examples:
Acid-Free Watercolor Paper
Stretched Canvas with Archival Quality Gesso
Plexiglass

Do you have the perfect substrate picked out? To use any of the tutorials available on our site, your images must be printed onto DASS Transfer Film using an Inkjet Printer. Through our company, Kirkpatrick & Co. Specialty Printing, we can print your images to this film for you. Order your print today

We are here to answer any questions you have along the way. Follow us on Instagram to see what others in our community are making and join in on the conversation!