I have a project that requires the use of really valuable ink - particularly GOLD ink (made with real gold and a water based adhesive - very fine and smooth in texture), in order to get a near perfect print I'm planning on using an ink jet printer. The print will be on soft-type paper and occasionally greeting card like paper.

For this reason I'm looking to fill an inkjet printer ink cartridge with the valuable ink in order to print what I'm after.

Since this is my first time filling an ink cartridge and I'm using really expensive ink it begs me to ask the question: Can I use any type of ink, even super expensive ones to fill an ink cartridge?

Will I waste a lot of ink? Will it work with the printer? Or is this unrealistic?

I've looked around the internet for answers and it doesn't seem like it's a popular question, which brought me here.


  • 1
    Well at our work the researchers down the hall use inkjets to print vitamins, painkillers and stimulants :) They also printed stuff that dissolved the paper so they could cut neat holes in the paper. They did destroy 200 custom printer heads this year but hey. I'll ask them to print gold as soon as my vacation ends im pretty sure they will try.
    – joojaa
    Jul 11, 2014 at 20:39
  • Here is a tutorial I wrote on getting a gold foil effect: instructables.com/id/Embossed-Foil-Name-Cards
    – Phil
    Jul 11, 2014 at 21:02
  • You should post it here because it could be a good answer and I know if vote up on it.. providing a link serves no value if the other site goes down. . So if someone flags me that it doesnt work ill delete your comment..
    – user9447
    Jul 11, 2014 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


Can I use any type of ink, even super expensive ones to fill an ink cartridge?

That would depend on the printer and what ink is allowed.

Most inks are designed to only run on certain types of machines and that is why you see so many. You will probably run into issues. Using a typical inkjet printer, I don't see any way you won't be clogging the heads. There are specialized inkjet printers like those used in the DTG industry and those designed for specific ink formulations that might be more likely to handle your ink well, though those can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars.

A safe and less expensive option is screen printing. If it's something small you can go to about any hobby store and get a small kit. You can also search for "screen printing starter kit" online.

screen printing kit

If you are thinking about this approach play close attention to the screen mesh and test with small amounts of ink before you do a run. Also, test the reaction time, cure time, reaction to the screen and if its so expensive be patient.

There will be no way to prevent waste unless you try and mask off every letter and try to apply it with a brush. Your best option would be to burn the screen and come back with a foam brush and apply it gently. The problem with that approach is you will not get the best print results but if you're more worried about the ink wasted that may be your only option.


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