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A Mixed Media Tip | To Seal or Not to Seal...

Happy Friday fans! I wanted to share a tip with you today for working with digital collage papers. You can purchase your images preprinted or buy them as digital images and print them on your own media. Many artists will choose to print their images on laser imaging machines so that they will take on the liquidness of mediums, sprays and adhesives for their projects. I like to print on my own inkjet printer. Because of this preference, I treat my images before using extra-wet products over the top. Below I share with you what happens with various media before and after treating them with a "sealer." For this demonstration, I have used Elmer's White School Glue for my sealer. Primarily I use this as I buy it in bulk during back to school sales and have quite a bit on hand at all times--we like to glue at our house! I also prefer this as a sealer as it has some fantastic properties--when used with paint it will naturally crack and when used with Distress Crackle it will created deeper and wider surface cracks. For other applications it creates a safe, inexpensive seal to the images while bringing out the depths of color of the image.

The image on the left was treated first with the glue and then misted with Pearl Maya Mist--the mist on the sealed image was able to be spread on with a brush. The non-sealed image immediately soaked into the paper and was not able to be manipulated.
The image on the left was sealed with glue before painting on some Niji Watercolor. The paint on the image on the left created a pearlized glaze but left the image crisp and clear. The image on the right was not treated and the wet paint made the image colors bleed out.
The image on the left was sealed with white glue before being painted over with plain brown watercolor. The image on the right was not treated. Again the image on the right bled where as the sealed image on the left kept the wet medium from penetrating through to the paper.

For my challenge piece I treated the images of the ladies with white glue prior to layering them onto the art board and coating with multiple layers of Mod Podge. For this project I used my favorite tools : EcoArt Board, Paris Trunk Inks, Altered Pages Collage Images, Plaid Mod Podge and rubber stamping! I created this set of Mixed Media Tiles for the Alter Your Creativity Challenge on the Altered Pages Challenge blog. Join the Altered Pages Design Team and enter your own Challenge Projects! Thank you for looking, I hope you enjoy my project.


  1. Leslie, I would have never thought to seal with glue as I thought it would spread the ink too! I usually spray my images with Workable Fixative which seals the ink into the paper, but also allows a little manipulation when painting over the image. But it's expensive! So, I guess I will start using up the Elmer's around the house! TFS!! Becky

  2. We love Leslie's TIPS! She is a wealth on information on many artistic topics!

  3. I love this post- never thought of good old school glue as a sealer. Any tips to prevent streaking of your sealant when you apply it?

    1. I usually squeeze out a dollop of glue and spread it with my gives a thicker coat than if you brush it on and does not streak the colors below because it's thick. It could possibly leave finger prints/ could experiment with a brayer for spreading or wearing a glove.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this valuable tip. I, too, like to print on my own printer. I will definitly be using this tip!!


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