Picture of Cheap enhancement of printed photos
The cheap printers does his work very well, but the printed photos are very sensitive:
any droplet of water ruins them.

The "photo" paper to print photos is very expensive. The normal paper provides regular results.

I used normal 75g A4 paper for this try. My printer is a HP multifunction 1200 series.
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Step 1: The recipe

Picture of The recipe
You can protect them very fastly, easily and cheaply.

You need:
-An iron whith temperature control
-a stearin or paraffin candle
-a casserole or pot

Step 2: Doing

Picture of Doing
--Set the iron temperature in LOW-MIDI.
--Connect it to the electric line.
--Put the iron over the casserole, with the hot plate up.
--Put the paper over the hot plate. The print can be up or down.
--Slide the candle over the surface. The paraffine must melt and impregnate the paper

Step 3: Reviewing the work

Picture of Reviewing the work
Obviously, the result of the above process is uneven. We need to remove excess wax.

You can use kitchen towels, scrap paper, or so. I used printed paper. The clean face is touching the fotos.

Below I put another sheet of paper.

Then carefully slide the plate on the paper sandwich.

Excess paraffin was absorbed by the top and bottom papers.

Step 4: Ending

Picture of Ending
Analyzing the back of the photos, you can see is lacking some paraffin. It should be uniform, do the work again for this points.

Now, the photos are almost water-proof!

Another way to preserve your photos is to use spray colorless varnish, in 3 or 4 layers. The problem is that the varnish is never really colorless, and the photos gets yellow.
You could also just use wax paper to iron on and the wax from the wax paper should saturate your picture better and more evenly
rimar2000 (author)  skinned_kitten2 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion, skinned_kitten. Frankly, I did not even know there is such a wax paper. Anyway, my method is cheaper, and effective.
cope075 years ago
 Another (admittedly more expensive option) is to use some clear artist's fixative.  It can give you matter or gloss prints that are protected and they are not soaked in wax.  It is still probably a cheaper solution that photo paper

rimar2000 (author)  cope075 years ago
Yes, the clear artist's fixative is quite expensive, and photo papel too.
A cheap alternative to artist's fixative is a can of cheap aerosol hairspray. I used to use it in art classes. It works just as well as fixative but you can get it for a couple bucks a can.
rimar2000 (author)  kstruve4 years ago
That is a very good info, thanks.
Louise5426 years ago
I really like this idea! I, too, have printed pictures on regular paper - because photo paper IS expensive - and I've been disappointed with the results, BUT this sounds like it would really enhance the quality of the printed photos. Thank you for the Instructable!
rimar2000 (author)  Louise5426 years ago
Yes, this procedure enhance the prints, but you do'nt wait magic. You can also soak the paper in melted wax, and perhaps get better results, but this is more laborious.