Please mod my modpodge.
April 25, 2009 7:48 AM   Subscribe

I used the Rasturbator, and I'm going to mod podge (I think) the resultant pieces of matte photo paper onto painted plywood to make a couple of nice little pieces des art. How much mod podge do I need?

There are two pieces that are around 1.5' x 3' each. I can't find any reliable indication of how much surface area mod podge will cover, as it seems to be widely variant depending on the materials.

I'm planning to use the glossy acid-free mod podge for paper.

Again, it's on plywood, and the paper is matte photo paper. Any idea how much I should get? Other ideas for what will work better?

(I already tried epoxy on a smaller one. I think I could get it to work if I screwed up three or four more pieces, and it would definitely look the coolest, but I don't think I'm down to work with epoxy again for this particular project.)
posted by nosila to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hm... I have an 8 oz. container of Mod Podge that I've used for two projects so far. One involved multiple coats (let's say... three? It was a while ago) on what I'll estimate to be 500 square inches, and the other involved 4-5 coats on ~160 square inches. I still have a little left in the jar, but not much. (It's matte rather than glossy, and I used it on matte non-photo paper.)

Are you planning on using mod podge to glue the paper down and finish it afterwards? Mod Podge is great for gluing things down, but it's hard to use it for the top coat without leaving brushstrokes. You might want to look into spray polyurethane for the finish.
posted by pluckemin at 7:57 AM on April 25, 2009

If you minimize water content you will minimize warping in your ground and image. If you apply the adhesive with a palette knife the surface application will be more efficient. Plywood warps easily on application and drying; the prepainted surface area may preclude some of that.

A water borne acrylic primer in heavy viscosity would be ideal. Several artist material brands make primers in heavy viscosity in satin, matte and glossy. The matting agents are small crystalline substances to encourage adhesion. The more matte your substance, the more opaque and toothy the substance.

The finish could be a satin or glossy acrylic varnish, non-removable. Apply with a thin acrylic brush, Flat, in two thin layers. Minimize dust, allow each layer to dry completely between applications, otherwise the image will fog.

Don't breath volatiles into your lungs and they are also bad for Mommy Gaia as well. Hope this is helpful and happy pasting!
posted by effluvia at 8:10 AM on April 25, 2009

Best answer: Buy a couple of 8 oz. containers; if you have extra, you can always use it for something else. I stretched one container to cover the surface of a 4 foot card table -- both glue-down and finish. I used a foam brush and found that the brush strokes weren't really an issue, but if I'd been keen on a perfectly smooth surface, I would have probably gone with something else in the first place.

Keep a razor blade handy slit bubbles in the paper as you go, and try not to freak out when it all seems like it will turn into a warped mess. As long as you are patient and diligent, it's pretty hard to fatally screw it up.
posted by hermitosis at 8:11 AM on April 25, 2009

Check to see if the Mod Podge is going to make the ink on your images bleed before committing to it (if you're printing at home, that's a big possibility. But you may have already checked this). I think you could probably get away with one 8 oz. jar, personally -- the stuff tends to last forever.

I second the recommendation of an acrylic varnish/polyurethane for the top coat. I've had much better luck with it than Mod Podge, which tends to stay tacky a long time (and also gets tacky again in humidity).
posted by darksong at 9:08 AM on April 25, 2009

Best answer: I just finished a coffee table (you can see a picture + cat here to get an idea of size) with Mod Podge. I bought the Hard Coat Satin Finish type of Mod Podge which is designed for furniture.

It took 1 jar to glue down all the pages, and about 1 3/4 jars to do 6 coats of the top, but the old paper I used for this was very 'thirsty' and there was a lot of layering. The photo paper you're using may not need as much. I'd get 2 jars and see how the first jar goes. You'll know if you need more, or have enough left over for additional projects.

I used a foam brush, and you have to be about 3 inches from the surface and at an angle to see the brush strokes. Because of that I decided not to go with the wet sanding and polishing that the directions on the jar suggested.
posted by Caravantea at 7:23 PM on April 25, 2009

Response by poster: I feel like the best answers I marked were somewhat arbitrary. These were all great and helpful answers. Thanks a bunch!

Caravantea: that coffee table is fantastic. Great idea.

That kitty is also obviously a ninja.
posted by nosila at 5:36 AM on April 26, 2009

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