Bookish DIY

Bookish DIY: Painted Book Pages

If you’re a sucker for pretty books like I am, you’ve likely drooled over sprayed pages on bookstagram. One boring afternoon last summer, I decided to try my hand at painting my own book. I’m pleased to report that it’s surprisingly easy to do with decent results!

I’m not an expert by any means but wanted to share the “wisdom” I’ve gained from my experiment.

Supplies Needed:

  • Book
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Something to protect your work space
  • Something to weigh the book down (I stuck a few book into a plastic grocery sack)
  • Something to elevate your book off the work space (A couple of books in a plastic grocery sack worked well as a platform to be able to reach all of the pages in the book)

Details

DO use cheap and/or old books for your first few tries.

DO use a hard back book.

DON’T use a book with deckled pages. You want smooth, even page edges for your painting surface.

DO use painter’s tape. Lots and lots of painter’s tape. You’re going to cover the edges of both covers of the book with the tape. Make sure the inside and outside of the covers are covered.

DO weigh down your book or use a clamp to keep the pages pressed together to paint. I made a pedestal of books (wrapped in a plastic bag) to use to hold my book up off the table and then used more books wrapped in a plastic bag on top to weigh the book down to make it easier to paint.

DO use acrylic paint. Yep, just the cheapo stuff from Wal-Mart will work just fine.

DON’T wet your brush when you paint. That is what will warp and destroy your project. Just use the paint.

DO paint in thin layers. Paint shouldn’t warp the pages but you don’t want giant globs of paint sitting on the pages. You can always go back in and make the layers/colors heavier.

What I Would Do Differently

Take the book weights off when drying.

Don’t let it dry for so long. I let my test run dry for 3+ hours. It made sure everything was dry BUT (in combination with the book weights being left on), it made the page edges REALLY stuck together. It took over an hour to go through the book and gently separate each and every page.

That’s it! It’s a pretty easy project to do and looks pretty cool. I think my next step to do try some fancier designs…Maybe a galaxy next?

If you have any questions or comments, let me know below! I’ll answer them the best I can.

5 thoughts on “Bookish DIY: Painted Book Pages”

  1. So I paint a lot of books. xD I definitely recommend using something other than painter’s tape to protect the book covers. The first one I tried with painters tape I totally destroyed the naked cover. Now I cover all my books with sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper before I paint. It’s easier to remove after painting, and I can reuse the sheets. You may reduce how much the pages stick together if you remove the weight before the book dried completely, but it may also lead to the pages warping from the moisture in the paint. The pages will always stick when using acrylic paint, there’s really no way around it. I need to write up some tips of my own sometime. 😀

    Like

      1. yup! I just fold the paper around the entire cover. It definitely could have been some super sticky painter’s tape, or just an older cover that gave me a bad result, but I’m too wary to try it again!

        Like

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