The Ultimate Screen Printer’s Checklist: 5 Must-Haves

Posted by Ellie Batchiyska on

When it comes to printing custom clothing, bags, and other items, having the right screen printing tools is a surefire way to achieve quality designs that your customers will love. If you want to best set yourself up for success with screen printing, make sure you have the following items ready. 


Pre-Burned Screens

Any skilled screen printer knows that using pre-burned screens is the way to cleaner, crisper-looking prints. No matter what type of garment, fabric, or ink you’re using, pre-burned screens allow screen printers to create more complex and advanced designs like gradients, half-tones, tiny prints, and fine lines. 

Customers will be able to tell the difference between prints that were made with conventional designs and ones that were made with pre-burned screens. All in all, the quality of your prints will be noticeably better with pre-burned screens. You can find pre-burned screens in a variety of sizes right here at Arena Prints



As a screen printer, your squeegees are an important tool that will see a lot of action. They are what you use to pull inks across the surface of your screen and onto the garments. You’ll probably want to have a few squeegees on hand in a variety of hardness levels and blade sizes to pair with different ink viscosities and designs. Plus, make sure you’re buying squeegees that have ergonomic handles for comfortable use since you’ll be using them so frequently. 


Inks & Stir Sticks

The inks you use are what bring your screen printing designs to life. The two main types of inks you can choose from are water-based inks and plastisol inks. They each come with their own properties and appeals, so screen printers can use their own personal preferences to decide on which to use. 

Whichever type of ink you choose, make sure you’re using a high-quality brand that will result in long-lasting prints. Don’t forget to have wooden stir sticks stocked to ensure your inks are well-mixed and ready to use. 


Screen Cleaner

Part of maintaining the quality of your screens is cleaning them properly after each use. Doing so will lead to consistent prints and long-lasting screens. So, make sure you are thoroughly removing any remaining ink residue from your screens to keep them in great condition and ready for future use. 

When you’re using plastisol inks, you can use the Camie 480 Screen Opener and a paper towel to wipe away excess ink and keep your screen in optimal condition. This screen opener is the recommended option for Arena pre-burned screens, and will quickly work to keep your screens from plugging up. Plus, it isn’t a harsh compound that will damage the delicate mesh in your screens. 


Painter’s Tape

With the right painter’s tape, you can achieve precision and clean edges with all your prints. For multi-color prints, you can use painter’s tape to mask off areas of the screen that you will be printing in a different color. Having quality painter’s tape in your screen printing arsenal will help you create designs exactly how you envisioned them.



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