Making Papier Mache Shiny

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Shiny papier mache enhances certain projects.
Shiny papier mache enhances certain projects. (Image: Jupiterimages/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Papier mache is an artistic medium that is very versatile and inexpensive. It can be used by children to make simple projects or by artists to create complex works of art. There are many ways to make papier mache and some will leave the completed project looking shiny.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry papier mache project
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sealer
  • Paper mask
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Sponge brush
  • Gesso
  • Lacquer, shellac or varnish

Children’s Projects

Check the papier mache project to make sure it is completely dry.

Spray a sealer on the project and let it dry.

Paint the project as desired and let dry. Some paints will already leave a glossy surface.

Apply several layers of lacquer, shellac or glossy varnish using a paintbrush, allowing layers to dry between coats.

Adult Projects

Check the papier mache project to make sure it is completely dry.

Sand the surface of the project until it is as smooth as possible.

Shake the Gesso well before opening the container, then apply one coat with an inexpensive sponge paintbrush. Let the Gesso dry, then sand until smooth with fine sandpaper. Be sure to wear a mask to avoid inhaling the dust.

Paint the project as desired and let dry.

Apply layers of glossy varnish, lacquer or shellac with a paintbrush to achieve more shine if desired, allowing the project to dry between coats.

References

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