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How I Ruined My Gel Plate

Yup, I ruined a plate. It’s taken me years to figure out how to do it, however I have now done it! But as I duplicated what happened for you in the video with a little experiment, the mystery deepened. What I expected to happen, didn’t. One plate was able to be saved. But one wasn’t, sort of. It’ll make sense by the end of the video.

But in the process of ruining a plate, there was an opportunity to add layers to a print in a way I haven’t before this happened.

Want to more about gel printing? Check out my page of gel printing resources, especially the Dos and Don’ts of Gel Printing!

{ 26 comments… add one }

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  • Denise Neumark Reimer June 4, 2021, 5:20 pm

    Great as always.
    thank You,

  • Linda E Jackson June 4, 2021, 5:30 pm

    Good information about the masking tape. You had a perfect remedy!!

  • Erika June 4, 2021, 5:42 pm

    Hi, Carolyn! You’re so close! It’s not the brand, the width, or the type of tape that got you, it’s the age and heat treatment the tape got before you used it. The heat in your garage damaged the adhesive – heat changes the properties, and ten years in a garage is PLENTY of time for the adhesive to degrade. You’re seeing what sometimes comes across as tape that “doesn’t hold” anymore, and the next step in degradation is for it to get brittle and not unwrap from the roll well anymore.

    You might try acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover, to try to get the sticky off the first plate you ruined. I don’t know how the plate will react to the acetone, but it’s a good solvent for bad sticky stuff. And if you’ve already written off the one side of the plate, there’s not really anything to lose, right?

    • Carolyn Dube June 5, 2021, 9:09 am

      That would explain it Erika. Will give acetone a try next time I pick some up.

  • Amy Schneider June 4, 2021, 6:37 pm

    Ingenious! Thank you!

  • Nancy June 4, 2021, 6:40 pm

    Great ideas. Fun watching you. Glad you saved it

  • Amy Hodgson-Smith June 4, 2021, 8:23 pm

    Foiling on gummy prints? Love the embossing powder technique.

    • Carolyn Dube June 5, 2021, 9:07 am

      That would work too! And be a lot less messy Amy!

  • Sharyl Peterson June 4, 2021, 9:20 pm

    Okay, maybe technically I didn’t “ruin” my gel-plate with what I did, in the sense that it still works fine for paint, but … I decided (having seen a wonderful demo on-line) to try stencils and alcohol inks on my plate. Which worked nicely and gave some beautiful effects. The downside is — the plate absorbed ink-color, so it is no longer clear. The color is not removable … it has somehow bonded with the gel-plate material. So … you can still use it … you just can’t get a very accurate visual “read” on any colors you put on it. Sigh … somewhere in the fine print (which I went back and re-read after messing up the plate) it does say that inks may stain the plate — well, guess what, they do indeed! Lesson learned, I guess.

    • Karen Bennick June 5, 2021, 2:17 am

      Have you tried Goo Gone which removes stickers, grease, gum, tar, crayon and tape? Made by Magic American Corporation, Cleveland, Ohio
      Phone 1-800-321-6330
      It works for so many stickies. I use it for taking labels off jars or cans that wouldn’t soak clean. I use them for making artfull containers with paints or new stickers. I never used it on a gel plate though. Love using glitter.

      • Carolyn Dube June 5, 2021, 9:05 am

        I use UnDu for sticker and sticky stuff removal, it is amazing!

        • Andrea Lampert June 5, 2021, 4:20 pm

          Hi Carolyn,

          Yes, I highly recommend trying Un-Du on the sticky residue. They even have wipes made for removing gummy residue from scissors. They work very well. The wipes are more expensive, though, so I just soak a part of a folded paper towel with Un-Du, hold that section against the sticky area for a couple of moments to let it soak in, and then wipe. The Un-Du evaporates so quickly that it usually takes more than one application. It has worked on any surface I’ve tried it on, although I don’t have a gel plate to use it on.

          If your wondering why I’m here, even though I don’t have a gel plate, I just enjoy your videos a lot. They are helping me to decide if I want to invest in a gel plate. 🙂

          Thanks for all of your sharing and the fun you bring to crafting!

    • Carolyn Dube June 5, 2021, 9:07 am

      Sorry that happened to you Sharyl.

    • Amy June 6, 2021, 4:51 pm

      I wonder if some kind of barrier between the gel plate and alcohol inks would reduce the absorption like maybe a layer of gel medium or clear gesso?

  • Donna June 5, 2021, 1:14 am

    Goooooeeeeeeeyyyyy is all I can say. lol

  • Judy Samson June 5, 2021, 1:53 am

    Interesting test and outcome!! Thanks for sharing

  • Adrienne McMurdy June 5, 2021, 10:18 am

    Great info Carolyn! Yay for the save! I am thinking that the old masking tape was degrading which caused the problem…but I am no scientist! LOL!

  • Chris Vernon June 5, 2021, 1:22 pm

    Hi Carolyn,

    Have you tried Goo-Be Gone?
    That might work.

    Thank you as always for the fun & education!

  • Deb June 7, 2021, 7:23 pm

    Very interesting. I will share the way I found to ruin my gel plate. I used masking fluid on my plate. The kind that is blue initially but dries clear. It basically etched the shapes into the plate so those shape now always show on any prints. I’m thinking I’ll cut the plate up into little mini gel plates.

  • Cathy June 14, 2021, 4:09 pm

    Is it possible the gel plate I purchased was too old? I’ve found that after two or three pulls, the paint grabs some paper off my sheet (using rice paper) and that’s what is sticking to the plate. A real mesh to clean up. Tried GooGone but found that the packing tape worked best. Too time consuming to try and clean after only a few pulls. Sucks.

  • Phyllis September 1, 2021, 4:23 pm

    Found your video very helpful. In fact, I watch more of your videos than all others because you make it fun and easy to follow.

  • Madeline December 29, 2022, 10:07 pm

    I love your teaching style Carolyn! Thanks so much😊

  • Madeline December 29, 2022, 10:08 pm

    I love your teaching style Carolyn. Thanks so much!

  • Patti Gates April 28, 2023, 9:25 pm

    What a great video. Your prints were amazing.

  • Angela October 24, 2023, 4:48 pm

    Great video, very informative. Hugs, Angela xXx

  • j robin June 6, 2024, 3:47 pm

    WD-40 is great for removing adhesive and far less harsh than most solvents. it removes everything from sharpie to tape adhesive to tar on your car….and it normally doesn’t damage the paint job.