I just got a new Canon Pixma Pro-100, which came with a few sheets of luster paper. I calibrated the printer, and printed 2 sheets looking sharp. Then, I printed one photo... it came out pretty good: not amazing, but ok, and pretty sharp.

After that things just started going south, as each photo I printed after that would just get a smudged-looking wet paint look, with blended ink. I mean, it just looks bad and freaky looking.

The ink is very wet on the sheet, and it just keeps blending in.

I tried printing from Adobe Illustrator, and Mac Preview, with the same result.


  • 7
    I would say that you have put your paper in upside down. But Im not sure so I wont post an answer. Nov 28, 2012 at 6:57

3 Answers 3


I have seen this before when printing on the wrong side of the paper.

Photo paper has a specific side that it needs to be printed on to keep the ink from spreading as only one side is usually prepared for printing. It is possible, however, to get double-sided photo paper.

If you are using matte paper, the whiter side will usually be the printing side, and in many printers the paper needs to be face down, but you should always check this on printers that are new to you. And, of course, the shiny side on gloss papers is the printing side.

If you are uncertain about the way the face needs to be placed, the printer usually indicates it.

  • 1
    I would be careful about stating face down. My Canon 9500 II requires the print side always face up, either through the feeder tray or when feeding single sheets through the flat feeder. Printable side down is not a universal constant...one should consult their printer manual for proper orientation. Additionally, when it comes to fine art papers, one should always be VERY careful about sending them through non-flat feeder paths...especially for thicker papers, you can break or shatter the base substrate, rendering the paper unusable. Use single-sheet flat paths with FA papers.
    – jrista
    Dec 6, 2012 at 4:11
  • On the good side, doing it "wrong" could lead to some wildly artistic results if you're into that sort of thing. Either way, follow his advice =) Mar 27, 2016 at 6:55

You're printing on the wrong side of the paper... High quality photo printer paper is usually single sided (unless specifically labeled otherwise). The two sides will often be visibly different and the 'wrong' side will often be marked with a manufacturer's watermark. The 'right' side has a coating that is highly absorbent in order to pull the ink into the surface and limit the diffusion of ink, keeping the printed images sharp and clear.

  • thanks! i also noticed now that printing on glossy paper looks like crap.. i guess my printer is now configured for luster and that's why?
    – Sonic Soul
    Nov 30, 2012 at 13:50

Looks a little like the setting you are printing with isn't on par with the paper being used. Different paper settings make the printer disperse the ink differently. You might want to check you have everything setup correctly.

  • i agree. and i couldn't find the paper type setting in illustrator print menu, but i think the bigger problem was that the paper had bad surface on one side.. initially i assumed the paper was two sided but this does not appear to be the case
    – Sonic Soul
    Nov 28, 2012 at 14:27
  • 1
    Right. Most photo papers are one-sided since one side is expensive and only one is likely to be used.
    – Itai
    Nov 28, 2012 at 15:12

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