Interested in hosting a steamroller event? Don’t be daunted by the scale of this effort. It does require a lot of prep, but it’s doable and it’s so much fun! Jesus De La Rosa, our go-to for Steamroller since the beginning, collected this information to share with the greater print community. If you have comments or suggestions, please let us know at info@printaustin.org so we add to our document!

SUPPLIES, as the host, we provide these items

  • Paper roll. We use Arnhem 1618 paper, 50” x 150 yards
  • 6 cans Gamblin Etching INK
  • 2 Carpet Cushions
  • 6, 8’x4’ MDF Boards to use as jigs
  • 2 rolls of Gorilla Tape
  • Cleaning Supplies such as paper towels, vegetable oil, Simple Green, Gloves, contractor trash bags
  • Clips for hanging prints
  • Brayers
  • Glass tops for rolling ink
  • Newsprint
  • Steamroller. If you can’t find someone to donate a steamroller for a weekend, you can rent a double barrel upright roller, 36″ width will work with the dimensions below. 
  • Three 6′ tables. 2 for tearing and storing paper and 1 for inking.
  • 10×10′ tent so inkers have a respite from the sun
  • Have volunteers help as your clean hands team. High school art students are great for this


  • Printing Time: 12PM – 5PM, Blocks will be printed on a first come first serve basis.
  • Block/Image Size: Maximum Size: 30” X 48”, Minimum Size: 24”x 30”
  • Block Thickness: Maximum Size: ¾ inches, Minimum Size: ½ inches
  • Block Condition: Blocks must be sealed with shellac or polyurethane and must be dry. Particles from unsealed blocks and wet shellac or polyurethane ruin the ink and brayer. Unsealed and wet blocks will not be printed.
  • Each block will be printed once; twice, time permitting
  • Please either take your print at the end of the event or pick up Monday during business hours
  • The Artist is responsible for cleaning ink off their block: Please bring supplies for your needs. In the past, some artists have enclosed their blocks in large plastic contractor bags for easy transport to clean at a different location. Please remove or dispose of your block by the end of the event.
  • PRINTAUSTIN will provide ink and paper, and limited cleaning supplies.


  • Use MDF vs plywood. No grain to fight with. 
  • Consider keeping your hand carving tools very sharp. 
  • Don’t be afraid to try a router or Dremel tool in order to finish your block
  • Vacuum or dust off your block very well before applying sealant
  • Make sure to volunteer and help with the event. Don’t forget to thank the worker bees organizing and inking up!