One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how to seal papers before including them in resin. Here are a few of my tips:
Does the item you are working with need to be sealed?
The easiest way to know the answer to this is by asking yourself if getting the item wet will change the appearance. If the answer is yes, then you need to seal it.
How do you seal them?
Use a paintbrush and a clear drying glue to apply at least two coats to your papers. Be sure to also apply glue to the edges of your papers. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before including them in resin. This may be a couple of hours, but in my studio (because of the Florida humidity), it can take 24 hours or more. If they are not dry, and you put them in resin, they can still wick in moisture stains.
Here’s my process of sealing papers with glue:
If you don’t like using glue, you can also use packing tape. Apply a good quality, clear tape over the front and back of your papers so they overlap. Trim the edges of the tape as necessary, but be sure to leave a tape margin. Otherwise, the paper edge will be exposed and will allow moisture to wick in.
You can see what I’m talking about here:
My Pro tips
If I am printing the art myself, I use a “very bright white” paper (brightness of 96 U.S. or above). The colors will come through much brighter than they will on a standard copy paper. I also get much better clip art printing results with a color laserjet printer compared to an inkjet printer. The colors are crisper and they don’t smear when applying glue. If you don’t have access to a color laserjet printer, many copy/print stores will print these pages for you on a laserjet printer for a small charge.
When it comes to vintage papers, test a small practice piece in resin first before using in a project. I don’t know if it’s the acid in old papers or some kind of other chemical change, but even with sealing with glue, I sometimes have vintage papers cause bubbles in resin.
What other tips for how to seal papers do you have?
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