Craft Painting

Tips for Painting Paper Mache

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Painting paper mache is surprisingly easy to do. Paper mache can be found in nearly any craft store and is available in a variety of sizes and shapes. The porous texture of paper mache allows paint to adhere quickly and easily to its surface, making it a snap to finish a project in a very short time.

Acrylic paint works best for painting paper mache. It's wise to purchase a good quality paint because they are generally thicker than less expensive brands that are available. Thicker paints can always be thinned with a few drops of water to acquire a consistency that can be easily applied.Cheaper paints are often thinner and your project may require a number of extra coats before you achieve your desired look.

Using a flat bristle, or even an inexpensive sponge brush, apply 2-3 coats of paint noting that colors such as reds and yellows often require more applications than cool colors such as greens or blues.

Make certain each coat dries completely before applying the next to insure a smooth, even surface. Painting over a coat that hasn't completely dried may create lumps or pull paint off of your paper mache item. If this occurs, allow the paint to dry completely, sand lightly, and apply another coat of paint.

After you have finished painting your paper mache piece, use a sealant such as a spray acrylic or brush-on varnish to protect your piece (make certain when you begin this step that you are working in a well-ventilated area). After the varnish dries completely, your project is ready for display.

The sky's the limit when working with paper mache. Stenciling, sponge painting, tole painting, and one-stroke are all excellent decorative styles to use for your next project. It's an inexpensive way to make something personal for yourself or a friend.

More about this author: Diane Reiter

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