How to Glue Paper to Wood for Art

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There are so many different adhesives, choosing the right one can be a challenge. Paper is particularly tricky because the wrong kind of glue can damage it. When gluing wood to paper, a lot depends upon the type of project you are doing.

Things You'll Need

  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush or sponge applicator
  • Adhesive
  • Paper trimmer, scissors or craft knife
  • Brayer
  • Varnish (optional)
  • Sand the wood, if necessary, to prepare it for the project. Wipe with a damp cloth. If desired, you can paint the wood a base color with acrylic or latex paint.

  • Use a polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue product if you are decoupaging on wood or wrapping the wood in paper. For decoupage, a clear-drying PVA glue also can be brushed on the finished product as a sealer. If you are mounting an important or delicate piece of paper onto wood, select an acrylic-based spray or a starch-based paste to prevent wrinkling as the glue dries.

  • Trim the paper to the desired size.

  • Spread the glue on the surface of the wood. If you are using spray glue, spray it on the back of the paper.

  • Place the paper on top of the wood. Position one edge or corner of the paper exactly where you want it, then smooth it with your hand until the entire piece is in contact with the wood. Avoid wrinkles by smoothing it outward toward the edges. Do not tug or try to stretch it; it is more likely to tear than stretch.

  • Roll over the paper with a brayer, a small craft roller that smooths and flattens. Again, work from the center, rolling toward the edges to push out air bubbles and wrinkles.

  • Allow to dry. Brush on another clear coating of PVA glue if desired, or apply a varnish to protect the surface of the paper.

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