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Printing Photos on Canvas with RICOH DTG Printers



In this guide, we’ll be reviewing the steps and supplies needed to print a great-looking canvas with your Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printer.



Canvas is just another cotton substrate, which allows the DTG machine owner to expand their product offerings.


Required Supplies

  • Foam brush
  • Pretreatment or Inkjet coating
  • Printable canvas
  • Wagner Spray gun or mister

Choosing Your Canvas

We went with the boxed canvas sold at Walmart This Canvas does not have an inkjet coating. This is a very inexpensive framed canvas that worked great for testing. A higher quality canvas will produce a better print, but more testing is required as each brand’s style can be different. We also used a flat canvas that has an inkjet coating that we found on Amazon.


You can use any canvas for this print application. Different canvases will require some adjustments with print settings and treatment applications. Here are the links for the canvas we tested and printed with the Ri1000/Ri2000.


Studio Stretched Canvas, 100% Cotton Acid Free Canvas, 12"X16", 6 Pieces - : PPD Inkjet Canvas 100% Real Printable Cotton 13x19" 340gsm 125lbs x 10 Sheets PPD-85-10 : Office Products


Pretreating Your Canvas


For our sample prints, we used a small amount of Firebird Gen 3 Pretreatment to coat the surface of the canvas. The pretreatment was applied to the box canvas that came with no coating.


You can apply the treatment with various methods including a Wagner sprayer, mist sprayer, or foam brush.


Wagner Pretreatment Sprayer   |  Mist Sprayer   |     Foam Brush


Wagner Pretreatment Sprayer BeautifyBeauties Hair Spray Bottle – Ultra Fine Continuous Water Mister for Hairstyling, Cleaning, Plants, Misting & Skin Care (5 Ounce) : Beauty & Personal Care Pro Grade - Foam Brushes - 2 Inch - 48 Piece Poly Foam Brush Set


You can also purchase an inkjet coating rather than using your pretreatment to create a printable surface for your DTG. The link below has various coatings for different applications.

inkAID Inkjet Receptive Coatings (


Graphic Settings

For our prints, we created a graphic that was .5″ larger than the actual canvas itself. This helps make sure the entire canvas is printed evenly. The graphic we used is a high-resolution image, set at (300dpi). We recommend you place a t-shirt on the platen then place the canvas so any overspray around the edges will be collected by the t-shirt rather than onto your platen.

Printer Settings

You may find that printing max color will cause ink bleeding or blurriness. In this case, we fixed this by lowering the ink output to a setting that worked best for us (testing is required to find the best setting). We tested at a setting that was about 50% of the normal output. We changed our print settings to 1200 x 1200 and set the printer to print uni-directional. If you would like our custom preset hot folder, which we created in the color gate for Canvas, contact your Ricoh support team.


Note: We only printed CMYK as the canvas was already white.


Ink Curing

When curing the ink, it is easy and almost unnecessary. We printed at such a low ink output that our ink dried extremely fast, but to be safe we did a few sweeps across the canvas with our heat gun. You could also use a heat press to hover over the canvas for about 30 seconds to one minute. It’s also possible to let the canvas sun dry or set it in sunlight for about 5 minutes.




Sealing the canvas surface

After the ink has dried it’s recommended to use a UV coating or a clear acrylic spray to seal the surface of the canvas. This will prevent ink removal or fingerprints if the canvas is touched.

Below is a link for the product we found on Amazon.

Krylon K01305 Gallery Series Artist and Clear Coatings Aerosol, 11- Ounce, UV-Resistant Clear Gloss - Spray Paints -

Contact Ricoh Support team

Email: or Phone: (877) 626 2538, Ext. 2