How to Dry Paper Mache Quickly
Paper mache is a sculpting technique used to create an object or mask from paper pulp. This material, made from a mixture of paper and glue, dries quickly to form a hard shell. Paper mache can be purchased in craft stores or made at home using newspaper as the base. In this article, you will learn how to dry paper mache quickly. The secret is simple: use thistle leaves and strips of nylon pantyhose! You can also use steel wool if you don’t have thistle leaves.
Stepwise Guide on How to Dry Paper Mache Quickly:
1. Dirt and Grease
The first precaution to be taken is removing all dust, dirt, etc., from the surface to be painted. Failing in this particular will result disastrously because it will show through after painting and produce a dirty effect when dry if not taken care of. To do this thoroughly, the use of a small brush or a vacuum cleaner should be adopted.
I have found the use of brushes to cause more harm than good as they are apt to scratch the surface being treated; therefore, I strongly advise using a vacuum cleaner to ensure perfect cleanliness. (For cleaning with soup, see article on “distemper restoration”) After thorough washing with water, let everything drain well before going on to the next step.
2. Paint Thinners
The use of turpentine or white spirit is essential in the initial stages of paper mache preparation. It will loosen the layers and make them porous to absorb more water when subjected to a dampening process later. However, the use of these thinners should be done with care after carefully reading all instructions on their labels because the wrong application will cause harm to both hands and surfaces.
Usually, solvent/thinners are used for cleaning purposes only. Still, in case there is no alternative to its use (when painting on easily movable surfaces). Great care must be taken while removing it afterward by using clean rags soaked in dulcified spirits (with sufficient lime added to it and allowed to dry up) or using clean cotton wool.
This is an essential ingredient in any painting, as it provides the medium (or paint) with which the required color effect can be obtained depending upon its quantity used. The same applies in paper mache when water is mixed with wheat paste, but a little more care should be exercised when using this mixture because of its increased absorbency power; therefore, it is essential that after mixing, plenty of water must be added so that the moisture content becomes equal throughout.
This will enable both sides to adhere firmly together without any wrinkles showing and prevent cracking whilst drying.
The maximum amount of water mixed with paste recommended by me would be in the ratio of 2:1, i.e., 1 cup wheat paste:2 cups water (or enough to make a thick liquid-like mixture). This will ensure that all layers are uniformly saturated with moisture when going for the dampening process. It is advisable to prepare a sufficient quantity at one time because if some remain undiluted, it might dry up before applying on surfaces and therefore be wasted.
The surface must be kept covered overnight, just as in the case of painting on paper, so that the paint has time to absorb into the uneven surfaces much better. Still, care should be taken not to leave them uncovered where there is a danger of dust coming in contact with freshly wetted surfaces, especially if they are porous or absorbent, as this would lead to uneven coloring.
The most important thing is that the material should be allowed to dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably away from direct sunlight and heat.
This should be done as fast as possible to avoid cracking or wrinkling of any unwanted kind; if these occur, then they must be dealt with at once by slightly dampening them with water mixed with weak glue (in proportion 1:3) and applying it on surfaces gently whilst rubbing firmly until cracks disappear.
When drying inside, it’s advisable to keep air circulating by using an electric fan so that the moisture evaporates evenly. Therefore there will be no danger of molding occurring during the drying process. After that, put a good coat of linseed oil on it to protect the surface from dust damage.
Precautions While Making a Paper Mache:
1. Use Soft water to prepare Paper Mache for making out of waste paper or paper products,
2. Grease the hands before touching a Mixture of Paper Mache to avoid skin problem later on and keep it safe from sticking to the Skin.
3. When the mixture is being prepared in an open place, do not inhale chemical smell as it might lead to breathing problems; this may cause trouble later on, especially when making a big piece of artwork.
4. If you have any allergy to chemicals, then be careful while working with Paper Mache as after drying, it leaves white spots, which can harm your health if met with direct touch. Also, after Drying, It will get dull. That’s why it’s good practice to wear Gloves while working; otherwise, wash them with soap and water to remove chemical reactions. This is the safest option for this purpose.
5. If you have any health-related problem or if anybody in your family is suffering from some illness due to Skin allergy, do not use this Mixture as it might cause trouble later on when drying paper Mache.
6. Not More than 4 Liters of water should be used to prepare a mixture of Paper Mache. If more quantity is used, it will increase the chances of having side effects on health and also causes skin and breathing problems.
7. Do not use too much detergent or Softener (Fabric softener) with Water when preparing a Mixture of Paper Mache because it may lead to residue dirt that will not let the mixture dry and causes health issues later on.
8. Do not use any Acids or Bases with Water to prepare a Mixture of Paper Mache because it would cause a reacting process. In addition, an additional odor will be produced due to a Chemical reaction that may cause skin problems in the future.
9. Always wear Gloves when handling waste paper & paper products as they are filthy; otherwise, you can clean them before using any soap solution to wash your hands with soapy water after finishing work which helps to protect you from getting hypo allergic reactions and breathing problems caused by chemicals used while making Paper Mache.
I hope this article has been beneficial for learning how to dry paper mache quickly. ENsure all the precautions while performing the process. Thank you, and have a nice day!