So, I repeated my experiment today, the same image on three different papers:
- Staples Multipurpose Copy Paper (aka, Plain Copy Paper)
- HP's Everyday Matte Photo Paper
- JetPrint's Matte Imaging & Photo Paper
I used my heat gun to heat all 3 transfers from a beige-glue look to a glossy, clear finish, and it took about 3 minutes per transfer. I'm surprised I didn't burn out my heat gun - I don't think stamp embossing guns are meant to be run for 10 minutes at a time. You can bake your transfer in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, per the website's instructions (you have to click through to the instructions), but I just didn't want that smell ending up in my food later. If you have a dedicated toaster oven for things like polymer clay baking, I recommend you use that to bake your Transfer Goop transfer, instead of using your heat gun. It only goes for about 3 minutes, and you have to check for when it changes from a powdery beige to a clear, glass finish. But that's better than risking a $20 heat gun. :D
Here are the scans of each transfer. The images on the Left started out on the Plain Copy Paper, the images in the Middle on the HP Everyday Matte Photo Paper and the images on the Right started out on the JetPrint Imaging & Photo Paper.
(As always, you can click on the image to enlarge it, and really get all the details)Again, the plain copy paper did not perform so well. It was hard to get all of the paper off, and when I was rubbing the paper off, some of the black ink smeared around on the transfer. A lot of the ink came right off with the paper.
The HP Everyday Matte Photo paper and the JetPrint Matte Imaging & Photo Paper both did equally well, with the HP paper being slightly easier to get off the transfer. Very little ink came off with either paper.
I still had trouble with browning this time around, too, although not nearly as much as I had before. It seems to happen on the edges more, and could be because I was using a heat gun and not an oven. I would have to heat an area to change it from powdery-opaque to glass-clear, but the heat would inadvertently keep heating an area that had already changed to clear. Thus, some browning.
I also had a problem with air bubbles. Tons of tiny air bubbles:
(click to enlarge)
They tell you to stir it well prior to brushing the Goop onto your transfer, which you need to, as it separates out into this thick, latexy substance with a top coat of clear, oily stuff. You're then supposed to either bake or heat your image first, for about 3 minutes, to remove any humidity from your image. Humidity can cause air bubbles in your transfer, per the website. Immediately after heating your image, you need to brush your well-stirred Transfer Goop onto it.
I only heated my images for about 1 1/2 minutes each, because I live in Colorado, where it is notoriously dry (although we have been having a rainy season this year - finally!).
It's possible that's why I got so many air bubbles - I didn't heat them long enough. I'm inclined to think it was all the stirring I had to do, prior to brushing it onto my images. The contents separate out pretty quickly, so I didn't see a way to stir it all up, and then let it sit for 15 minutes, until all the air bubbles rose to the surface. So, there are many, tiny air bubbles baked right into the transfer.
I'm pretty much never using Transfer Goop again - I don't care how strong, stretchy and clear the transfer skin is (which I must say, it is). It's too smelly, and since I'm not going to bake it, it's too much of a pain to use a heat gun on it. There's also the need to bake your image before you coat it, and any brush you use to slap on the stuff is now a Transfer Goop-only brush. I can get similar results with Gel Medium, with no baking, no smell, and no dedicated brushes. Better results, actually, since there's no browning or air bubbles.
But your results may vary. Transfer Goop was made to be ironed onto things, and with how strong it is, it might be a product of choice for you, in the art you do. It is a clear transfer (barring air bubbles and/or overheating) and very strong. Your photos will come out very clear, versus other ways of doing inkjet transfers. But for me, a paper-arts girl, the smell and time it takes makes other methods for image transferring much more fun.
ETA: I just checked, and our humidity is a whopping 39% right now. That's pretty high, if it's not raining here. So it really is possible that I didn't bake the water out of my images enough, and that's why I have the air bubbles. Now, don't all you folks in humid states want to come to Colorado? *grin*