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I am looking to use PVA glue to stick a rectangular textured paper onto a wooden surface. I want the paper stuck completely flat with no unstuck corners.

I would like to know the best method of applying glue to a paper rectangle to stop any oozing out or other kinds of messiness, and to ensure the whole paper remains firmly stuck.

I'm planning to use Bostik PVA Glue.

Product image of a bottle of Bostik PVA Glue

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  • Is the wooden surface finished at all? Sanded? Nov 6, 2023 at 0:36
  • Yes, it has been lightly sanded on the surface.
    – Artsywolf
    Nov 6, 2023 at 20:50

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First, the wood should be sealed. Sealing the wood helps the glue go on smoothly and prevents it from sinking in. It also prevents the acidity of the wood from leeching into the paper that is glued on. I recommend using an An acrylic polymer to seal the wood. Cover the wood with a layer of the acrylic polymer and let dry before gluing.

Next, use a foam brush to apply a light coat of glue all over the wood, making sure to apply an even coat to avoid. You want the glue to look like a translucent white color on the wood. If it's clear, add more. If it looks completely white, spread it around a little thinner. Avoid big globs of glue because it can cause warping of the paper.

Take the paper and line it up with where you want it. Then press it down in the position you want it on the wood. From there, gently run your palm across the paper to press it against the wood until all the air bubbles are gone.

Go over the paper with a small foam roller. This flattens the paper down and works out any air and excess glue. If glue does leak out of the sides of the paper then wipe it away with a paper towel. Roll over the paper a few times until the surface is completely even. Then let completely dry for a couple hours at the minimum.

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I use spray adhesive, PVA, Elmer's or other brand of white glue, or Mod Podge. After gluing, I add a clear (matt or gloss) top coat, either a spray or brushon sealer.

Lately, when I am trying to glue any paper to any surface, to avoid wrinkling, I first adhere it to freezer paper with an iron.

To use freezer paper: A hard surface works better than a padded ironing board. Cover the surface with something to protect it from heat. (I use about 6 pieces of smooth fabric on my work table.) Place your paper face down on the protective fabric. Then place the freezer paper, shiny side down, on top of your paper. (If the freezer paper is larger than your paper, it will fuse to the protective fabric. I usually make it a smidgen smaller than the paper.) Use an iron (set on dry, not steam) on the non-shiny side of the freezer paper, constantly moving it until the plasticized side has fused to your paper. I would suggest you experiment with the kind of paper you are using and with various iron heat settings. I usually use one of the higher settings. My iron has 7 settings. I usually use 5 or 6.

This process will make your paper a bit thicker. Also, the freezer paper comes on a roll, so it will remain a little bit curved. If your image is not too big, the little bit of curl on the paper doesn't cause a problem when gluing it. If your image is very large, you might put it under heavy books for a while or use washi tape to keep it flat on a flat surface. (Check that washi tape will not damage your paper. It is generally less likely to harm paper than regular masking or blue or green paint masking tape.)

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  • Hi ProArtz, welcome to Arts & Crafts! Your answer doesn't really seem to answer the question. The question is about how to properly glue paper to wood, but you don't really seem to address that. Or do you find using freezer paper to be suitable exactly for that purpose?
    – Joachim
    Nov 17, 2023 at 9:07
  • Fusing the paper to freezer paper sounds like a great idea, but in this specific instance the question author mentioned that their paper is structured. Wouldn't that crush the structure? Or is there a way to fuse the freezer paper without putting pressure on the structured paper?
    – Elmy
    Nov 17, 2023 at 15:27

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