Varnish and Lamination for Cards

Lamination protecting card from water droplets

Varnish and lamination are two ways that you can finish your cards to protect the ink and prevent scratches.

Varnish is the most common finish type used for playing cards. This liquid gloss finish is applied by the offset printing press to seal in and protect the ink.

Lamination is the most protective card finish. Lamination is a thin polypropylene film that is applied after the printing process is complete. As seen in the video below, a lamination machine glues a roll of film onto the printed parent sheet to produce the desired effect.

You can choose from glossy or anti-scratch matte lamination. Glossy lamination produces a reflective shine, while anti-scratch matte has a flat finish. Anti-scratch matte lamination makes cards difficult to shuffle, so it is never used with poker decks – however, it’s a good option for cards that don’t require much shuffling. Ask your Customer Service Ninja if one of these card lamination options is right for your project.

Adding lamination to your cards will make them water-resistant. This is a great option for party or kids’ games where food or drink could be spilled on your game. If you’re looking for fully water-proof cards, consider our white PVC luxury option. With that being said, laminated paper is still very water-resistant. It’s also much cheaper than PVC.

Be sure to read about all of our cardstock weight and material options. Plus, check out our other specialty printing options.

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We’ve created a custom card game pricing calculator just for card games so you can explore printing choices, shipping methods, and accurate order prices for your project. You can also customize just about anything, from game card sizes to specialty options like embossing and debossing.

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