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Differences Between Aqueous Coating And UV Coating?

What Are the Differences Between Aqueous Coating and UV coating?


Are you confused about aqueous coating and UV coating when you design a box? In the previous articles, we’ve talked about spot UV and aqueous coating respectively and you may notice there are some similarities between the two coatings yet not very clear about the distinctions.


Today you’ll learn more about the differences between aqueous coating and UV coating, which can help you better know what you exactly need.


spot UV



Way of Drying 

The biggest difference between aqueous coating and UV coating is how they are dried. The water-based, fast drying aqueous coating is dried by infrared. It acts as a screen against fingerprints and smears. UV coating is cured by ultraviolet light


Protective property

The main role the coating plays is a shield to protect printed piece from being scratching and smudging. UV coating has a better protective property than aqueous coating since it is an additional layer on the paperboard while AQ is blended into the cardboard. But UV coating is also easier to be cracked compared with AQ which is thinner and inclined to dissolve when it meets water.


Glossiness and shine

Aqueous coating contains matte coating and gloss coating, while AQ gloss coating still be dwarfed by UV coating in glossiness. If you are pursuing an eye-catching box, go for the later one, which can be the most glossy of all coatings. AQ is more welcome by people who follow simplicity.


Influence on environment

AQ is more environmental-friendly than UV coating, since the former is water based while the later is chemically-based. The water-based coating is better for the earth than UV coating. Hence AQ is more friendly to people who are eco-conscious.


Allowable to be written on or not

It’s impossible for you to write on UV coating with a marker, since the felt ink will “Bead” and not stick. The water-based AQ coating is allowable to be written on, the words written by a marker will stick to the coating. If you have the requirement of writing words on boxes, AQ coating is your ideal choice.


Coating area

Both coating can be used as either flood or spot. he former is mainly applied as a flood to protect the entire surface, as opposed to UV coatings, which is most utilized to highlight spot area that is important to you.



Aqueous coating is made in line with the printing process while UV coating works in a separate process. Because of the fewer steps of aqueous coating, it is more cost-effective than UV coating.


Aqueous Coating


Similarities :

AQ coating and UV coating both own the basic functions of coating. The first is to protect the packaging from fingerprints, smudges and other more possible wear and tear. The second is to enhance the quality of your packaging and the last one is to shine your brand and products. The difference is that the effect the two coatings offer are in varying degrees.


Whether AQ coating or UV coating has its own unmatched strength. People who are both cost-conscious and environmentally-conscious give priority to aqueous coating. If you strive to make your products stand out from the crowd, UV coating is more competitive. Anyway, the one suits you is the best!


As usual, if you still have questions about the two coatings and other more printing techniques, just feel free to contact us.

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