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Paste Paper Techniques

I've been reading over the good responses on the paste paper thread.  Here
is my two cents worth.
I always prewet the paper (Mohawk Superfine text 80#) with a layer of the
paste/acrylic mixture.  My paste papers are usually several layers of
colors.  I just use the first layer of color to prewet my paper.  I have
found that immersing the paper in water or brushing water on with a sponge
retains too much water and results in the acrylics diluting or the paper
curling too much.  And besides, the paper relaxes quicker when I brush on a
base color paste mixture evenly throughout the sheet since the mixture has
less water in it.  By the time you put on another layer of the same color
or another color the paper is relaxed.  I like using the foam brushes but
they don't last forever.

I use methyl cellulose powder (paste) which I purchase through bookbinding
suppliers.  I dilute about 1/4 cup with 4 cups cold water and stir with a
wire wisk, let sit 30 min. until it thickens some and add  6-8 more cups of
cold water.  I stir it vigurously here and there over the next few hours.
I usually do this the night  before I plan on using it.  The consistency is
of heavy cream and it lasts for months.  I find that the methyl cellulose
mixture creates a smooth matte finish while the wheat/rice starch paste
results in a more textured finish.

Then I just add acrylics - 1-2 tbls. or more per 6 oz. plastic cup.  I've
used both Liquitex and Golden.  As was mentioned before, if you want a
deeper color, add more acrylics or use a deeper color.  There is a fine
line though-if you add too much acrylics it becomes globby.  Too little and
the color dilutes.  The outcome depends upon the quality of the methyl
cellulose, the amount of paints added,  mixing the paste/paint thoroughly
and applying to the paper in a consistent manner with patience and rhythm.
Sometimes the result will surprise you in the end.

I have never had a problem with the colors running after it dries or
loosing color when gluing it out for covering books. I dry my papers flat
on a drying rack.
Once they are dry I flatten them 5-10 sheets with a board covering them and
weights on top. They lay perfectly flat after this.  The papers can be
treated with a gloss medium or Krylon spray or other fixitive to prevent
dirt from building up or sticking to the paper.  But I haven't found it
necessary unless someone is going to eat off  it.

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