How to Waterproof Paper Mache: Tips for Crafters


applying waterproof glue on paper mache

Paper mache isn’t very good at dealing with moisture.

Thankfully there are numerous ways you can waterproof it so that it will last for a long time.

Adding waterproof wood glue to the paste will protect your structure.

You can also use waterproof acrylic paint to color your paper mache.

Apply a layer of water-resistant varnish after you’ve finished your statue to keep it in excellent condition.

This will help protect the brightness of the colors even when you’re leaving your paper mache outside. 

3 Ways To Waterproof Your Paper Mache

Papier mâché or paper mache is an easy and extremely popular crafting technique.

In French, it means chewed paper, which is basically the main thing you need to create an incredible statue. 

paper mache

The paste is made of a simple and flour and water mix, and you can even add glue to create a durable paste that you can apply on a balloon or a hollow object to create a statue or structure.

When it dries, the paper hardens and becomes more durable and difficult to break. However, it doesn’t become waterproof.

If you’re leaving your paper mache statue outside or accidentally spill water on it, the water will moisten the paper and make it brittle and easy to peel. 

This practice is thousands of years old but is one of the most popular ones today because you can make decorative items for your home or even sell them to start a crafting business.

Here are some methods that you can use to waterproof your mache paper: 

1. Use Waterproof Glue

Paper mache is made using a pliable paste that is applied on top of a structure like a balloon, box, or even egg to create the desired shape.

There are several types of adhesive materials that you can use to stick the materials together.

applying waterproof glue to paper mache

Flour and water are suitable for DIY projects, but the statue won’t be that durable. 

Adding waterproof glue like gorilla glue is a good idea because it holds the paper together.

It also makes the paper mache structure more resistant to the elements even if you leave it outside. 

Waterproof glue also protects your paper mache creation from the mold.

Moisture from the rain or accidental water slips can cause mold that destroys the paper mache structure and can become a safety hazard if you’re leaving it inside your house.

However, this material is resistant to water and prevents it from ruining the paper mache structure. 

2. Use Waterproof Colors

After your paper mache has adequately dried and hardened, you might think about applying different colors to make your creation more unique.

There are different kinds of colors that you can use with paper mache, but water-based ones are the least water-resistant. 

Instead of water-based colors, use waterproof acrylic paint to coat your paper mache.

using waterproof paint on paper mache

These will allow the water to slide off the outer surface of the paper mache without affecting their brightness.

As a result, even the heaviest rain won’t make your colors run or fade. 

High-gloss enamel paint is excellent for paper mache, especially if you’re leaving your creation outside.

This paint is resistant to the elements and stays bright and vibrant in extreme weather conditions.

There are different varieties of opaque, transparent, and frost finish variations of enamel paint that you can use to cover your paper mache.

This paint resists moisture as well as UV rays, so it’s an excellent choice for outdoor projects. 

3. Use a Waterproof Sealant

A waterproof sealant adds more protection to your paper mache.

This transparent layer makes the colors more resistant to moisture, so it will protect your creation from the elements. 

paper mache elephant face

After your paper mache has completely dried, you can apply a transparent layer of waterproof finish if you want to retain the original color of the paper mache.

Even if you have applied color, this finish will make your paint glossy and more water-resistant. 

It’s normal to apply a new layer of sealant every year, especially if you’re leaving your paper mache outside.

This will guarantee that it will last for a long time. 


Also Read:
How To Waterproof Paper
How To Waterproof Cardboard

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