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Colour matching set of water-based inks for screen printing paper, plastics, glass, wood and other substrates

AQUATONE® – Solvent-Free Colour-Matching Inks

AQUATONE® Inks are part of the PERMAPRINT® Premium range of inks for paper and other substrates. The AQUATONE colour-matching set of 12 bases includes 9 colours plus Black, White and Extender. This set enables the printer to mix 1869 colours, making the AQUATONE Ink range excellent for applications that require specific corporate, brand or logo colours. AQUATONE® Inks are provided with a spreadsheet to assist with colour mixing. 

Eco-friendly screen printing  
AQUATONE Inks are water-based, with superior performance and colour brightness. They eliminate the use of solvents and are safer for the environment and the printer.  

Broad application 
AQUATONE inks can be used in a broad range of applications on a wide range of substrates.  


AQUATONE® Inks have lower viscosity than PERMASET fabric printing inks, more similar to that of shampoo, so a finer screen mesh will typically be required. As with most water-based inks, the image area should be flooded between prints to prevent the ink from drying in.  

AQUATONE Inks do not require heat curing. They can be air dried, or may be jet dried at maximum airflow. 

AQUATONE Inks have a satin finish, are intermixable and light-fast with non-bleeding colours. 

AQUATONE Inks are low odour and do not contain ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFCs and HCFCs, aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic solvents, phthalates, lead or other heavy metals and as such, are safer for the environment and for the printer to use. 


AQUATONE Inks can be printed on sealed paper, board, Tyvek®, polyesters (Mylar®), polycarbonates (Lexan®), PMMA (Plexiglass®/Perspex®), Corflute®/Coroplast®, polystyrene and some coated metals.  Printers have also enjoyed success with these inks on leather, wood and cork.  

Care should be taken with some vinyls as plasticizer migration may soften the ink over time. Care should also be taken with some uncoated papers as cockling may occur. 

Use cases

AQUATONE inks are designed for screen printing high lay-down hand-printed wallpaper, art reproductions, posters, packaging, notebooks and book covers, stationery, business cards, wrapping paper, placemats, cork mats, coasters and slip mats through to skateboards, stickers and backlit displays.

Typical Properties

Information on DryingThinningWash UpMesh RangesStencil TypesCoverage and Ancillary Products are available in the PERMAPRINT Premium Colour Card and  PERMAPRINT Premium Technical Data Sheet

AQUATONE® Inks for colour mixing

We’re a purely water-based, eco-friendly print shop who use PERMASET Inks because we want to screen print without killing the planet plus deliver higher quality prints. The AQUATONE Inks enable us to deliver precise brand colours when printing posters, packaging and fine art prints.

Charlie, PrintLords Screen Printing

A water-based screen printing shop in Brookvale, 
on the Northern Beaches of Sydney

Frequently Asked Questions

We recommend a mesh range of 61-120 T (155-305 tpi) for AQUATONE colours and 43-90 T (110-255 tpi) for the Pearl Colours, Opaque White and Matting Agent

When printing with AQUATONE Inks, it is essential to flood the image area between print strokes, immediately after lifting the screen. Small deposits or thin films of ink retained in fine mesh are prone to dry in quickly. 

By flooding straight away, fresh ink will wet out these deposits and prevent drying-in. 

  • Ensure screen is hydrated before starting the print run.  
  • Ensure a nice even flood between prints, around 1-2 mm thick 
  • Ensure humidity is greater than 40-50% RH in the print room 
  • Sometimes a slightly lower mesh count can help. Maybe drop to a 77 T (195 tpi), although this should be balanced with the propensity of low viscosity ink to run through a coarser mesh.  

The AQUATONE Ink colours are extremely vibrant that comes hand in hand with great transparency. Therefore when printing on dark backgrounds, you will need to use PERMAPRINT Premium Opaque White as an underbase. Opaque White is not part of the colour matching set, so you will need to purchase this ink separately.

The AQUATONE colour matching set can be used in conjunction with the PERMATONE® Mixing Guide. This is a database of colours with the proportions required to mix each colour. 

Emulsions must be water resistant, fully dried and cured. Dual cure direct emulsions are recommended, particularly for long print runs and maximum print resolution. Care should be taken to ensure that stencils are properly dried and exposed as under-exposure will render most direct emulsions sensitive to premature breakdown with water-based inks. 

Find more PERMASET FAQs here