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Most of the question is in the title: I'm trying to find a kind of paper that I can slather in wet glue without it wrinkling.

I've seen this question - How can paper be glued to cardboard without creating wrinkles? - which suggests either giving the paper a coat of acrylic or using spray adhesive but neither is ideal for me.

I'm hoping to produce something at scale, so spraying individual sheets isn't a great option. And I need to paint the glue on, so spraying it is not an option. I'm currently using PVA but if there's an option for a wet but non-wrinkling glue, I'd accept that.

Presuming there isn't, is there a kind, weight or grade of paper that will take glue without distorting? High-quality paper is expensive, so I'd rather know up front what to go for rather than experimenting.

  • Why does the paper need to be soaked in glue, are you using it like paper mache? – rebusB Sep 28 '18 at 19:23
  • @rebusB not soaked but I need to trace shapes in glue with a brush to build up a textured design – Matt Thrower Sep 28 '18 at 19:34
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    In that case you may not need glue at all... maybe rephrase the question to be more specific about making a textured ground/design? – rebusB Sep 28 '18 at 19:38
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    Maybe you can use thin plastic rather than paper, if suitable, as it is much less likely to wrinkle. – Willeke Sep 28 '18 at 20:16
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I have some experience with these materials. Paper made with cellulose absorbs the water from the glue and wrinkles. You can try using styrofoam glue or other alcohol-based glue, this way the paper will not soak up with the glue. You just need a thin layer, if you apply a lot of glue the paper may wrinkle. This glue is wet, transparent and allows the use with a paint brush.

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Additionally you can use paper made with cotton. I use this kind of paper to paint watercolor and I layer lots of water on top of it. Make sure the paper you're going to use is 100% cotton too! (there are 60% cotton / 40% cellulose watercolor papers that are not that great )

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If you are trying to make a textured design, have you thought about using Modge Podge? I've had good luck with Modge Podge onto thicker papers (and cardboard). I usually use thin scrapbook paper, or newspaper.

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Rubber cement is a good option for adhering paper without causing wrinkling. It is made of rubber and a solvent to keep it in a liquid state; as the solvent evaporates, the rubber remains behind, creating a flexible bond. Because rubber cement is not water based, paper cannot absorb water from the glue and cause wrinkles.

Rubber cement is applied with a brush. Some bottles even come with a small brush attached to the inside of the lid that is stored permanently inside the bottle. If you use your own brush, keep in mind that you will not be able to wash it out with water since it is not water based.

Rubber cement is available in lots of sizes from 4 oz to 1 gallon. I would recommend a small bottle to test, then to purchase a large tin since your project is at a larger scale.

Other useful attributes of rubber cement are that it allows for fairly easy removal if needed and once dried, drips or excess can be rubbed off easily without leaving marks behind. This can be done with a finger or a small rubber block (even an eraser if that's what you have on hand).

For your convenience: Amazon listing for 1 gallon Elmer's No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement

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