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Getting Your Trading Cards Ready to be Signed

Getting Your Trading Cards Ready to be Signed


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Trading cards have been one of the most popular items to get signed in sports and the entertainment world, but have you put much thought into getting the card ready to be signed? Nothing is worse than having your card signed by someone and when you look down at the card, you see that either the ink is just floating on the surface, or is not drying. This is because a majority of modern cards have a glossy finish that prevents the ink or paint from properly sitting on the card, and you have to wear down the coat to ensure proper adhesion.



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There are four different ways to prep the card for signing ranging from using the palm of your hand, to using baby powder to remove a layer of gloss. But with all four methods, there are things to remember - if you don’t do them carefully, you can easily damage the corners of a card or bend it, and it’s best to practice the technique a few times before actually taking the card to be signed. One thing to note is that vintage trading cards and modern cards in the style of vintage cards, do not have a glossy layer that interferes with getting signed. 



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First is the palm of your hand – this is used extensively by fellow SWAU moderator Kevin Potter to much success, and is especially useful in a pinch when you have nothing else to prep the cards with. Place the card on a flat surface, holding it in place with one hand while using the palm of the other hand to gently rub the surface of the card. 

Next is using a dryer sheet that you normally would use after doing a load of wash (and you can I utilize one that’s already been used), and gently use it to wipe the surface of the card. 

The third way of doing is using a white artist’s eraser (make sure you wear down the sharp edge when you open the eraser, prior to using it), using light pressure, gently rub the eraser’s edge on the surface of the card. I like to do half of the card at a time, so can hold it down without damaging the card. 

Finally, you can also utilize baby powder to take down the gloss coat. I’ve begun to favor this method over the eraser one because it’s not only faster to do (especially when you have a stack of cards), but I’ve found that it’s best to use on super glossy items. To do this method, you use a very light amount of powder on a standard card, and use a facial tissue to lightly rub the powder around the surface of the card. Once done, blow on the surface of the card to remove the loose powder, and then use a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface of the card, removing what’s left of the powder. 

Hopefully these tips will set you up for success the next time you want to get a trading card signed. Just remember that it’s always a good idea to practice these methods before getting a card signed, and to play around with some extra cards after prepping them to see if you did it right, or if you need to try a different approach. 


Good luck and happy collecting!

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