In printing colour the paper may be slightly damper than it should be for key-block impressions, and a heavier pressure is necessary on the baren if the colour masses are large. If the baren is pressed lightly the colour will not completely cover the paper, but will leave a dry, granular texture. Occasionally this quality may be useful, but as a rule a smooth, evenly printed surface is best. It will be found that smooth, even printing is not obtained by loading the block with colour or paste, but by using the least possible quantity of both, and nearly dry paper.

In beginning to print from a colour-block, care should be taken to moisten the block fully before printing, or it will not yield the colour from its surface; but the block must be wiped, and not used while actually wet.

The printing proceeds exactly as in the case of the key-block, except for the heavier use of the baren. The paste should be added after the colour has been roughly brushed on to the block, and then the two are smoothly brushed together. The Japanese printers put the paste on to the block by means of a little stick kept in the dish of paste. Experience will soon show the amount of paste needed. It is important neither to add too much nor to stint the paste, as the colour when dry depends on the paste for its quality. Too little paste gives a dead effect.

Some of the colours print more easily than others. With a sticky colour it is well to wipe the block with a nearly dry sponge between each impression, so that the wood gives up its colour more readily. In the case of a very heavy colour such as vermilion a drop of glue and water may help; but with practically all the colours that are generally used the rice paste and careful printing are enough.

The amount of size in the paper is another important factor in the printing of colour. If the paper is too lightly sized the fibres will detach themselves and stick to the damp block. Or if too heavily sized the paper will not take up the colour cleanly from the block, and will look hard when dry. One very soon feels instinctively the right quality and condition of the block, colour, and paper which are essential to good printing; and to print well one must become sensitive to them.