Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Which Glue for Decoupage

Glue is of course important in the art of decoupage. Not any glue stick would do. The glue should be water-based and waterproof and fluid enough so that it can be spread evenly on the surface of the paper cutout with a brush. There are a number of specialist glues on the market for the needs of decoupage and craft enthusiasts. Inklinks has had experience with Decopatch, and  Marabu glues and with Daler and Rowney's Decoupage Medium but there are other options to be explored.

Decoupage Glue Pro by Marabu (Decoupage Kleber Profi) is a German-made transparent water-based glue that comes in a 250ml plastic tub. It has a milky white colour and relatively thick consistency compared to Decopatch glue – a little goes a long way. The paper cutouts I use for my pebble paperweights are not tissue-paper-thin and I find that Marabu has stronger adhesive powers compared to Decopatch. Spreadability is also quite satisfactory: once Marabu has been applied evenly on it, the paper cutout can then be smoothed on to the pebble (for example) to achieve a bubble-free surface. Because of its thicker consistency I am more confident to use Marabu on more porous surfaces. I apply the glue over the cutout as well to create a waterproof layer and prepare the surface for the application of varnish.

Decopatch glue is designed to use with the Decopatch range of decoupage paper. It is of a relatively thin consistency compared to Marabu and ideally fitted for use with tissue-thin paper. It works with heavier paper too and I tend to use it either mixed with Marabu or on its own on delicate corners and creases where more flexibility is needed. It spreads on paper really smoothly. Decopatch comes in 3 sizes (the bigger, the cheaper).

Note the difference in consistency between 
Marabu glue (top) and Decopatch (bottom)

Daler-Rowney Decoupage Medium is a gloss medium of milky white colour with adhesive properties. It has the consistency of a liquid, not of a glue, and works well with thin paper in papiér maché and collage projects, and also to increase the flexibility and transparency of poster color. Its liquid consistency may help to soften paper cutouts so that they can be smoothed more easily on surfaces. However, I found that on occasion it causes the surface of the paper to deteriorate, and it is not always appropriate for my thick paper cutouts. I use it as final water-resistant sealant. 

 Daler-Rowney Decoupage Medium: note the liquid consistency and milky colour. 
It dries clear, and comes in 300ml glass bottles.

I intend to test out more glues so I'll let you know of the results in later posts. 

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