Perhaps you want to show off your art on customized products, or perhaps you love do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and want to print fun designs on vinyl. Whether you want to print on vinyl for business purposes or wish to decorate your laptop with stickers—the question remains the same: Will a regular printer do the job? 

Inkjets and laser printers are perfectly capable of printing on vinyl. Usually, people want to print their unique designs, cool images, and graphics on vinyl sheets with adhesive on the other side. The size of these sticker sheets is usually 8.5 inches by eleven inches. You will soon discover that printable vinyl sheets also come in a variety of finishes and can typically be found in office-supply and craft stores. 

After you print a design, you only need to cut the vinyl sheet into the right shape using Roland vinyl cutters or a pair of scissors and stick the vinyl sticker on a smooth surface. 

Here is more information about what printable vinyls are, how to print on them, and some tips and tricks for your next project. 

Why Use Printable Vinyl?

Vinyl is a type of waterproof and water-resistant material made from ethylene and choline. Its application is similar to sticker papers, but adhesive printable vinyl is more versatile. It's an excellent material for personalizing items such as mugs, tote bags, and notebooks. 

People also use printed vinyl stickers to decorate cars, laptops, and walls. Vinyl can be used on multiple surfaces and is waterproof and water-resistant. These qualities make it a favorite in the printing industry, although if you are a DIYer, you will want to check out the cost of a sticker maker, too.

How You Can Use an Inkjet Printer to Print Vinyl 

Printed vinyl sheets are available in many colors. Their design and color structure is important to determine whether you should go for an inkjet or another means of printing.

Die-cutting machines can also create any shape of printed vinyl. You should use a die-cutting machine when you plan to print single-color designs, or when there will be a lot of printing frequency. 

On the other hand, an inkjet is ideal for complex designs involving multiple colors and intricate detailing. You need a laptop and an exacto knife (or another cutting tool) to get started. Before you begin with the inkjet, make sure your ink cartridges are full and your printer settings are optimal. The good news is you won't need any special ink. To create sharp and vivid prints, try using OEM ink cartridges. 

Steps for Printing Vinyl With an Inkjet 

If you decide to go the route of an inkjet printer, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Select a design you can print. Use your laptop to create an image that fits on 8.5-inch-by-eleven-inch sheets. After the design is finalized, don't forget to test it before you use the vinyl. Use the print preview option to check your design. 
  2. Next, use a four-color inkjet printer to print one or multiple copies. Place the printable vinyl on the paper tray keeping the non-adhesive side facing down. 
  3. Now print and cut your design. You can use an exacto knife, scissors, or other cutting tool to shape your design. 

How to Use a Laser Printer to Print on Vinyl 

High-quality laser printers are great for producing professional-looking prints on vinyl sheets. Before you start, make sure the printer settings are correct. Use specialized toner to get better results with the laser printer and printable vinyl. 

Steps for Printing Vinyl With a Laser Printer

To print a design on a vinyl sheet using a laser printer, follow these steps:

  1. Select the right kind of vinyl sticker sheet that works best in your laser printer. To print on a laser printer, you can use gloss and matte paper-backed adhesives, polyester film labels, and transparent protective overlays.
  2. If your laser printer has adjustable settings, determine the paper type and density that generates outstanding print quality. If you want top-notch results, try selecting heavy to thick paper density. Use a glossy or matte paper type to complement the printing. Also, don't forget to use the printer driver that’s compatible with your laser printer model. 
  3. Laser printers can overheat, so be careful because the heat can ruin your printable vinyl. Once temperature adjustments are made, put your vinyl sheet in the printer and print your design! 

Bottom Line

Printing vinyl with inkjet and laser printers is an easy way to get your printing project done quickly. We recommend a laser printer over an inkjet if you want better-quality prints with sharp details. 

For more creative ideas, be sure to check out our recent post on vehicle vinyl wrap equipment!