Art SuppliesTips & Techniques

Prevent Pages from Sticking Together

It’s the worst when you flip through your art journal only to find 2 pages stuck together. Yes — the art journal is a place for play and exploration, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking when a page is accidentally damaged.

Why Pages Stick

  • Your paint isn’t completely dry when you close your book.
  • A lot of humidity or extreme weather contributes to making your pages stick together.
  • Using a glossy paint or medium makes things sticky.
  • Mod Podge is a notorious offender.
  • A couple of products don’t react well together.

Regardless of the reason, a deep depression and sadness over your damaged pages forms. Overly dramatic? Fine. Displeasure builds at the least!

 The Solution

Some people claim you just have to varnish your work or add a layer of clear gesso over the top. Personally, I don’t want to varnish my art journal pages because I don’t want to waste the product. I don’t like the rough texture the clear gesso leaves behind.

The best way to prevent pages from sticking together is wax. If you want a cheap, DIY way, you can use a white candle (any brand, any size) to rub over the surface of both pages. I wouldn’t recommend a colored candle as the color might transfer to your art.

Alternatively, you can use Dorland’s Wax Medium. It’s very easy to use. You just use a paper towel and dip a bit out of the jar. Apply it in circles all over your art journal pages. Both of these solutions are completely transparent and work effectively. The only caveat is that you can’t add more layers of media atop the wax. Only apply wax when you are 100% done with the pages.

Check out these other recommendations for art journal supplies:

Tags: acrylic, Art Journal, collage, mixed media

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • I just discovered this product and love the way it works!! It is HEARTBREAKING to find pages stuck, and even worse when you pry them apart and *disaster* they tear! Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Brandon Martin
    July 7, 2021 1:51 pm

    This question relates to pages stuck together – how to separate them is the problem. The pages are what are called color chips – pages in an auto dealer sales book called a color and trim manual. The pages had no spacer material, This book is over 50 years old. It was stored flat in a room that gets to 80 degrees in the summer for the most recent 5 years. Some of those color chips stuck together, the 6 lower ones in the stack of 12, with the weight of the rest of the manual on top, plus other books on top of that. Any suggestions on how to separate?

    • That’s a tough one. I’ve yet to discover a way to separate stuck pages without damaging them. The wax will help prevent pages from getting stuck, but doesn’t unstick them. There used to be a product on the market called undu glue. I haven’t tried it for your purpose, but you might test it out on a less precious part of the book. Good luck!


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