I found this forum to be very helpful and came across it searching for an answer to this thread question. So after reading, I conducted the following experiment.
First off, I just bought an Epson R380 and experienced major smudging when printing on inkjet printable CD-R’s to the point I almost returned the printer, but thought I may have the same problem even if I switch printers. I figured I’d take the advice here and put it to work. So, on this thread there seem to be 2 major contenders for clear coat sprays. I went to Wal-Mart today and bought 3 different brands.
The first was the cheapest I could find, and is made by Color Place fast dry spray paint clear glossy. The can was under $2. The second was Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic with “Protective Non-Yellowing Finish”. This can was about $3.50, and the third was the famous Patricia Nimocks Clear Acrylic Sealer, which was $5. Then I put them to the test.
I printed 3 identical CD’s which were mostly white so I could test for yellowing. The first round, I probably didn’t coat them enough, and I tried really hard to smudge the ink. I was able to smudge a little of all 3. Then I did it a second time, giving each, 2 nice coats of spray. They all held up pretty well. None of them showed any instant yellowing, so if any were to happen, it might be over time.
Then I ran each under water. Hands down, the water test seemed to be a differentiator. The Patricia Nimocks was the only one not to shed any ink. The Krylon shed a little in spots that weren’t perfect, and the cheap stuff was spotty as well.
From the experiment, I have to say I will definitely stick with the Patricia Nimocks spray, but the other 2 held up well enough that I won’t be tossing the cans. Who knows, maybe I just needed to give one last extra shot. You’d have to try really hard to smudge everything, and that includes holding the CD under water spraying out of a sink.
I hope this helps any others that come up with this problem.