Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links, at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclaimer Page.

We are all used to printing on white papers and other colored or neutral surfaces. It is the reason people think it is difficult to print on black surfaces using white colors. But there are cases when you need to elevate printing images and make your promotional materials stand out from the crowd. In such a case, you will need to have white images printed on darker media.

The standard CMYK printers cannot print white. However, with some changes, you can confuse the printer to print shades of white. But to print pure white, it may be necessary that you make use of newer CMYW cartridges that are designed to print white on black surfaces.


Currently, most print media are white, so it may require some process before you print white colors on colored materials.

Also, you may need a white ink cartridge, which is more expensive. Read on to understand how you can print white on colored surfaces.

Can Printers Print White?

When you print, the surface that should be colored must have all the colors. A white surface has all the colors which enable it to create a variation that makes it easy to print on it.

But there are special printers that operate on CMYW (Cyan, Magento, Yellow, and White) color spaces and feature white ink toner.

You can use such printers to make white printings on dark or colored surfaces. Here are some methods to use to print white.

Use White Foil Paper

It is another option you can use to print white colors. Foil comes in many textures and colors that include matte, gloss, and metallic finishes.

The matte and opaque white gloss mimic the look of white paints. So, with it, you can use them to achieve special effects. This option is ideal for professional printers, but it is costly.

Indeed, printers allow you to print in various colors, but printing in white can be difficult and requires that you go through a few extra steps to get the desired results.

Notice that the traditional printer is not designed or set to print in white. It is the reason why you will need to fool it a bit. And even though it will only give you shades of white.

CMYK scheme represents the four ink cartridges. So, the printer mixes the colors to give a selected shade of color. The printer assigns a numerical value to the cartridge with 0 meaning blank or off. Thus, you will have 0 cyan, 0 Black, 0 Yellow, and 0 Magento. As a result, white becomes the background, so printing on it is difficult.

Luckily, you can go around this problem and comfortably print white on a black background. Microsoft Word allows you to set different colors for images and text. You can set your text and images as white. It allows you to print in white easily.

You can do this by simply creating a white Ink Effect. Here you may choose a shade of white to help fool the printer so that it does not treat white as “0”.

As a result, it mixes the CMYK to create a white shade that it can print on the black medium. It will print some white shade instead of avoiding printing in the perceived white area. This method can help you print white, but the final images will not be pure white.

Using CMYW Printer

These are new printers that do not have the standard CMYK but they feature Cyan Magento, Yellow and White toners. You can use them to print white on black media, but they are expensive.

Can Any Printer Print White On Black Paper?

You need a particular printer to print white on black paper. But you can not use any other printer to print white on dark surfaces. The best you can get are shades of white. Therefore, it is almost impossible to print white letters on black paper with the CMYK cartridges.

Even though you can still print white on black using the white foil, you will need a specialty white toner to allow you to print white letterpress ink on black paper.

But to get the best results, you need to use a coated paper, and you may need to add some silver ink to the white ink.

One reason why it is challenging to print white on black paper is that the color printing inks are transparent, and so the ink does not show when you print white on the black background. Here is a simple procedure that can help you print white on black media.

Step 1

You must decide on the computer program you will use. Adobe InDesign or Photoshop could be the best option for complex printing.

But if you are printing something simple, you may need the simple Windows Paint. However, ensure you choose a program that will make it easy to fill your background page.

Step 2

Open the program and create the background using the fill option and choose 100% black. If you are in paint, click on color 2 and choose black. Click on the paint bucket and allow the paint to fill the page with black paint.

Step 3

You will then need to select white as the foreground color and create the text. If the document is available in a different color, make it white by selecting it.

Step 4

Put the paper you want to print on in the printer, connect it to your printer and print your document.


How Do I Get My Printer To Print White Ink?

To print in white, you need toner cartridges and white ink. Also, you may need a printer model that will accept such toners. It explains why printing in white has always been difficult to most people.

However, advancement in printing technology has resulted in devices that can now print white on black surfaces. So, all you need to print is a toner printer and white ink.

Initially, printing white ink was impossible because of the four cartridge CMYK system that most printers use. This system relied on mixing colors to produce any chosen shade. You cannot print white with this system because no combination of colors can give you the white color.

CMYK assigns numerical values to the four colors.

The white colors are then assigned “0” zero, which the laptop interprets as off. It means that when you give it instructions to print a white image, it leaves it blank, and that is why you don’t get anything printed.

Therefore, when you try to print on black paper, you end up with a black surface instead because the printer interprets it as blank.

But you can print on white using a white toner using either filling the blanks left when you use the traditional CMYK manually or using anything that is a close substitute to white.

Creating A White Ink Effect

When you use a substitute, you trick your printer which treats the white parts as a printing color. It assigns a numerical value to replace the zero-value assigned to the white color.

Filling the Blanks

It is a labor-intensive method, but it can help you achieve a white finish on the non-white letter. It means that you may print the white images using white paint.

Unfortunately, the results you get using this method may not be suitable for the office.

Using the White Toner

For an office that needs a high-speed printing solution, using the above methods may not optimize your printing work. You may need to consider using the new printing technology that allows you to print white easily.

You will need to use a CMYW cartridge that allows you to print pure white colors on card decals and window clings.

The cartridge uses Versalink C800w technology that boosts the contrast of colors to print a layer of white colors on the media, which it then uses as a canvas of the final printout.

The problem with the black cartridge is that they contain the primary colors, which you can combine to get other colors.

Unfortunately, you cannot combine any of these colors to get white. So, if you want to print your documents in white colors, you must first buy a white toner which you will swap with the black toner cartridge in your machine.

Can A Laser Printer Print White On Black?

It may not be possible to print white on a black surface using a standard laser printer. But It is possible to use a laser printer to print on black media if you have a specialized printer. You will also need to buy a particular white toner cartridge. Besides, the ink should be opaque white if you want to get the desired results.

To get better results, you may need to experiment with colors. You can do this by adding colored outlines until you better the results. Also, you may try using transparent labels.

A color laser printer can therefore print the white text. A mono printer can easily print white texts on a black background. However, the quality of the work done may not be high. Also, the running cost of doing the job could be high.

So how can you make your laser printer print white?

If you have the four-color cartridge, you will need to replace it with a CMYW white cartridge. It deceives the printer and will help you print white on black media. Installing the white toner is easy. Just open the printer and remove the black cartridge and replace it with the white toner.

But if you are looking forward to opaque white printing, you will need to go to the system and set the black to 5 while setting other colors to 0. This way, you will confuse the printer and make it think that it is printing black. But in reality, it will be printing white.

Go to the set-up menu and scroll down. It helps you to make some adjustments and ensures that you set everything to black.

It is a convenient and the cheapest way to print documents white from home. Thus, if you have a laser printer, you can easily print white by swapping the black toner with a white one.


Although we are used to printing on white media and surfaces, it is good to explore the possibility of printing white or black, or neutral surfaces.

Also, there is a good reason to find out if it is possible to adjust the printer and print white on black media. A typical cartridge operates on White, Cyan, Yellow, and Magento.

Therefore, it cannot print on black paper. But the modern printers operate on CMYW spaces and feature a white ink toner which makes them suitable for printing white on black material. `