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Etching PCB with photopaper. Paper wont stick

Thread starter #1
I have printed my circuit on some laserprinter photopaper with a laser printer, then I try to iron it on to my board. But it wont stick.

What am I doing wrong?M
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Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
What printer are you using and it the cartridge a no name refill ?

Could be the iron is not hot enough or the copper is not clean enough.

The pulsarProFx.com website has a section on how to set the iron temperature.
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Thread starter #3
No idea about the cartridge. It is a Konica Minolta Bizhub c353. The iron is hot enough, and the copper is very clean! :) M


Well-Known Member
Could be a number of things.

Possibly the Photo Paper you are using. If you don't want to try multiple types, you might want to just go for the high gloss magazine paper.
Possibly the Printer. A business Colour Laser. Not certain how good the 'ink' is for this.
hey why dont you try using ohp sheet or u can call as transparent sheet which i find very effective and what i do is first clean the board using detergent soap and after that keep in mind not to touch the board with your fingers and remaining procedure u know it...
sorry my English isn't good
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its nothing like toner transfer doesn't work with color printer coz my friend has hp color printer and i some times go to him for the print out ....and i have never experienced that..


Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
ohp ?

EDIT: Ah Over Head Projector.

I luse pulsar paper. Good stuff if you can get it.

I tried everything I could get may hands on prior to finding pulsar. As I recall Alu foil and parchment would be great if you could keep the image from falling off.
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Thread starter #12
Finally! Most of it sticks now, however I have tried about 4 times, and about 3-10% just peels off with the paper.

Does anyone have a few tips?

Also, is it important that it is etched straight after, or may I store the board for a few days before etching it?

And any substitutes for ferric cloride? Can't get it where I live.



Coop Build Coordinator
Forum Supporter
What did you do to get it to stick ?

Unless you have paper with a high clay content the toner get between the fibers. Better to look for that sort of magazine paper as pointed out in many threads. But you might get this paper to work if you can get it to come off by gently rubbing the paper after soaking for some time in hot water. Some fiber will remain in the toner but that is ok.

You can wait a few days after you apply the toner.

See other threads for etchants.


New Member
For a substitute for ferric chloride, you can use a mixture of Hydrogen Peroxide and Muriatic Acid. Get the Peroxide at a dollar store, and the Acid at a hardware or pool cleaning store.

A 1 to 1 ratio is average. Many people use 2 cups Peroxide to 1 cup Muriatic Acid, but if you are only doing a 2" x 2" board, you can use shot glasses instead of cups

This is no joke, you can not put a lid on this stuff or it will blow the container to pieces from the pressure building up.

Do a search for Hydrogen Peroxide and Muriatic Acid PCB Etching and read the cautions and warnings.

You also want to do this in a well ventilated garage or outside because much fumage is produced.

Do not dump it in your moms sink, it eats metal remember?

If you do not have goggles and gloves, just erase this and act as if you have never seen it.

You will blind yourself and get acid burns on your flesh if you do not be safe.

Sunglasses and/or prescription glasses are in NO WAY a substitute for goggles. NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Standard dish pan gloves are fine.

Be smart, follow safety instructions, and this is a very good quick etchant.
Make what you need, as storing it can cause explosions, and that is not good.
Thread starter #15
Thanks for all this amazing information. Eventually, I gave up, and started patching the areas that just came off with black nail polish.

3v0: What did I do to make it stick? I changed the paper.



Well-Known Member
Did you clean the blank board first? Using an abrasive kitchen cleaner and water first then rinse well then use alcohol or acetone after. After cleaning don't touch copper surface with fingers.


New Member
Remember you have (or at least should) a soldering iron.

I use mine to "tack down" the sheet. Be sure to oversize your boards by a 1/2 inch or so, then in that half inch on the side and the bottom, have that as a filled in "ground plane".

This results in a big area of toner.

Rubbing a zig-zag over the side and bottom "toner planes" with your soldering iron does a real good job for tacking it down.

If you are using the laminator method, insert the tacked down edge first. This results in good transfer.

By modding/hacking the laminator, you can slow down the feed rate, and you can get to the point of only needing 1 pass.

By the way: Your soldering iron is a good way to see if the toner you have is even worth using for the transfer process. If you start to burn the paper and the toner does not stick, then you are just throwing your money away.

Run it over the back of the paper at about 1 inch per a "one-one-thousand" count speed, wait 10 seconds, and check for adhesion.

Do not try to remove the paper immediately before the toner has had time to cool. It needs to cool from the molten state in order to adhere.

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