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Old 09-16-2015, 01:56 PM   #1
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Default Gesso, Matte Medium, Mod Podge???

I have all three and I'd like to learn how, when and why I'd use them.

Way back in ancient times (late 60s, early 70s) I used Mod Podge a few times so I'm somewhat familiar with its uses. To me, it always seemed like a thin glue. It comes in gloss and matte. When used on facing pages in a project, both have stickiness problems, though the matte version to a lesser extent.

For some reason unknown to me, I also have Liquitex matte medium and Liquitex acrylic gesso. They were unopened until today, when I peeled off the seals and brushed them onto some colored cardstock just see how they looked.

The gesso is white. It dries very matte with a slight chalk-like texture. It is white but not completely opaque. It's more like a white wash. Is this like a primer for other paints and color media?

What about the matte medium (fluid medium)? I have absolutely no idea why I bought or why someone would use it. When dried, it is matte and a lot less noticeable than the glossy Mod Podge and does not show any brush marks. If I used it to cover two facing pages, would that eliminate the sticky problem I have with the matte and glossy Mod Podge?
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:24 PM   #2
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This is a good video that may help:
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Old 09-16-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
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Yes, gesso is a primer. It's great in art journals to prep your page for wet mediums so they dont' bleed through.

Matte & gloss gel mediums are the bomb. They are FANTASTIC collage mediums - my fave is liquitex matte. Mod Podge never dries in Austin - I don't know if it's our climate or what, so gel medium is a great substitute and it totally dries.
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Old 09-16-2015, 08:50 PM   #4
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Thanks, ladies. The video was very interesting. I love all the different viscosity and textures and am looking forward to giving a couple of them a try.

I've avoided messy, really wet media for a variety of reasons ... I don't have any artistic talent. I hate cleaning up messes. My finances don't allow me to buy a bunch of new supplies. Worse of all, I'm a bit of a klutz. If I drop something it either spills all over or falls messy side down on my table or floor. But with my discovery of junk journals I've developed a curiosity for playing "messy."

P.S. I "blame" Poppydarling since she's the one who introduced me to junk journals.

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Old 09-16-2015, 09:36 PM   #5
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Ha ha I just finished another junk journal for a neighbor who just had a baby. I'm out to convert the world Mwahahahaha! ::rubshands::

I think you will be much happier using gel medium to glue items down in an art journal or even junk journal – I find that Mod Podge is too wet. It seems to stay sticky a while (at least down here) and warps the paper. And I have learned to love gesso — it goes on all of my journal pages and tags so everything blends more smoothly and I don't waste a lot of paint or materials.

Just buy yourself a cheap apron on Amazon and spread a bunch of newspaper or packing paper on the table, set out some baby wipes and paper towels, and just start to play! I drop everything all the time, but there's very little that can't be fixed by wet baby wipes, I've discovered And when you're done, scrunch up the paper and throw it away.

You don't even have to clean most of your tools except brushes — and if you really want to go with the flow just get disposable foam brushes! You can get a lot of stuff at the dollar store... best of all, junk journals are "dry" messes
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:05 AM   #6
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I'm up Michigan way, and Mod Podge stays tacky here. I never use it for simply making collage or gluing things down because of that stickiness that seems to re-activate in heat (even after you thought it was no longer tacky).

The only truly successful applications of this product I've seen, was back in the late 60s-early 70s, when crafters making their own wood boxes & wood items would use ModPodge to put paper cut outs or transfers onto the wood. It would dry, be fine grit sanded and reapplied several times, until smooth. Fine steel wool (I think) was the final sanding. Then, when the paper items no longer had a ridge you could feel, and the wood was satin smooth, you applied a varnish over your project to seal it (thereby making it no longer sticky).

I still have a couple of small basket purses, with wood tops that my mother had made. They are still beautiful!
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:20 PM   #7
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Dove13, both my matte and gloss Mod Podge are going in my donate box. I have had sticky issues with both, most especially the gloss. In the meantime, I'll use the fluid matte medium but will plan for a future gel medium purchase.

For those who use the gel medium does the lack of stickiness hold true for both the matte and gloss versions?

I've seen people use multiple coats of varnish, sanding between each coat with very fine steel wool but never Mod Podge. Back when I used Mod Podge, it was for silly kid stuff like gluing a typed napkin onto a smooth painted rock or using it to transfer photo images onto things.
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Old 09-30-2015, 09:26 AM   #8
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A good tool to have is the Mod Podge brush. It allows you to get rid of any brush marks if you want a really smooth finish. Before the medium dries, use a very light touch and brush back and forth in different directions to remove any lines. Be sure to wash out the brush when you are finished to keep it nice and supple. I particularly like being able to make a linen look by using more pressure and by brushing horizontal and then vertical for tiny little lines.

Another advantage of the brush is if you have an uneven application of the medium, you can even it out with the brush.
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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Default Mod podge/gesso/matte/gloss

Quote:
Originally Posted by melissa59 View Post
I have all three and I'd like to learn how, when and why I'd use them.

Way back in ancient times (late 60s, early 70s) I used Mod Podge a few times so I'm somewhat familiar with its uses. To me, it always seemed like a thin glue. It comes in gloss and matte. When used on facing pages in a project, both have stickiness problems, though the matte version to a lesser extent.

For some reason unknown to me, I also have Liquitex matte medium and Liquitex acrylic gesso. They were unopened until today, when I peeled off the seals and brushed them onto some colored cardstock just see how they looked.

The gesso is white. It dries very matte with a slight chalk-like texture. It is white but not completely opaque. It's more like a white wash. Is this like a primer for other paints and color media?

What about the matte medium (fluid medium)? I have absolutely no idea why I bought or why someone would use it. When dried, it is matte and a lot less noticeable than the glossy Mod Podge and does not show any brush marks. If I used it to cover two facing pages, would that eliminate the sticky problem I have with the matte and glossy Mod Podge?


This made me curious. I want to start Bible journaling, but the paper's pretty thin, so I just did an experiment on some tracing paper which is pretty similar. Tried very thin layers of mod podge matte, golden gloss medium, liquitex matte varnish, and liquitex gesso. The extremely thin layer of mod podge dried quickly (low humidity here, fan running). The end result was a somewhat slick surface. It did warp, but flattened out as it dried. Paper was a little stiff. Golden gloss was very slick, stayed sticky for longer, and was flexible. Liquitex matte varnish had almost no warping, not slick (so a better tooth for markers, pencils, etc), and was a little stiff. Gesso was solid white, very toothy, took a couple of minutes to dry, stayed quite flat and was slightly stiff. All of the mediums kept markers from bleeding through, but they were still visibile on the back of the areas treated with clear media. They showed through a little on the gesso, but not as much, and gesso on the back might take care of that. The other plus for gesso is that it can be mixed with other paint or gelatos while wet, giving you possibilities for colored backgrounds.


I think you could use mod podge, but the trick is to use VERY thin layers. If you need more, you can always add more. It also leaves a smooth surface, so you need to be aware of that when using colored pencils or markers over it.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:02 AM   #10
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Morticia 91, I have to caution you about modge podge. It will "dry". It will feel "dry". It will seem to be "dry". But I do think that if you use it you run a high risk of pages sticking together. I don't think the fact that it isn't humid has anything to do with it, not in this application.

Mod Podge was came to the forefront when decoupage became all the rage in the 1970s. When people glued images to furniture, trays, etc. Those applications don't depend so much on the product drying to no tack. That's why it would work fine for a piece you were hanging on a wall, or a decor piece. I just don't want to see you do a labor of love in your journal and then find your pages have stuck together.


I'd post a question specifically about bible journalling and see what others use. A bible or book journal is not like a regular art journal, you are right. The pages are much thinner. And I don't think tracing paper is a useful substitue for testing, it has much different properties from book paper.


There are lots of bible journalers on the forum. Maybe see what they all use.
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