How to make a protective layer over paper

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I would like to glue beautiful printed paper down smoothly, in such a way that it can be removed easily later. I'd also like to paint or spray something on the surface of the paper to make it water resistant, and safe to wipe with a damp cloth, or handle with wet hands. I've got the paper and some wallpaper adhesive called DIF. Does anyone know how easy it is to remove DIF later? Does anyone know what I can protect the surface with? This is one type of DIY I have NO experience with! Thanks in advance!
  17 answers
  • Linda Hunt Linda Hunt on May 25, 2016
    I have absolutely ZERO experience here so I am guessing with you. Now, if this is helpful I would take a sample piece and spray it with the protective clear sprays all the companies seem to make then I would try the "tacky spray" they use to temporarily put stencils on to create patterns to stick the paper on smoothly. I would use that order so the paper did not get anything on it. PLEASE remember you must get much better advice than I have, but I hope it gets you started with researching. Bwahahaha, we are such a community that badly wants to help each other get started in the direction we want to go! Good luck and do not worry, someone here will know exactly what to do.

  • Terrie Neudorf Terrie Neudorf on May 25, 2016
    What are you glueing it too. I use the wall paper glue only if it's going on the wall. Small surfaces I use lodge podge or make my own with white glue. It can also be used after your done and it dry over the whole surface to make it easier to clean. I have done this many times including on drawer fronts.

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 25, 2016
    The only way you can remove the paper, later (from what? A wall?) is to use one of the tacky-type glues like Allene's Tacky glue or something similar. If you use a brayer (roller) on it when you glue it on, it should be smooth as that gets all the air bubbles out. If you use wall paper glue or Modge Podge it can make a mess when you try and remove it later. It would help if we knew what you are gluing it to and how big a project you are talking about. As for the finishing spray, there are many of them and I would use Linda Hunt's suggestion and test a smaller piece first to see if it is compatible with paper (or ask at your local craft store). Good luck.

  • Jean Myles Jean Myles on May 25, 2016
    Linda Hunt is on the same track as me. But it would be very helpful if we knew how big and what's the paper will be added to. Different surfaces need to be handled differently,

  • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 25, 2016
    I just got the paper, and I'm not sure what all things I will want to put it on, but 2 of the projects I've already thought of would involve putting it on unfinished wood, finished wood, and painted metal. I looked at a lot of kinds of Mod Podge, but none of it said that it would protect the paper from moisture. Also, the paper has detailed designs on it, so I want something that will be very clear and colorless. Matte would be better, but I'll take glossy if I have to. I'm intrigued by what was said about Tacky Glue. Will it stay on well until you choose to take it off? (Also, and this is for a different project: can you use it to hold plastic stencils for acid etching? ) I already bought the wallpaper glue, which is a gel. I can return it, if necessary. i had read on Hometalk that it was good for this type of thing, but I would like something that can be removed later, if necessary. I asked about spray adhesive at the craft store, previously, and they said it was pretty permanent. The application on painted metal will be in a bathroom, so it would possibly be touched by wet hands, etc. at times. That painted metal is fixed, as well; I can't take it outside to spray it. The wooden things could be taken outside. Jean asked how big; the biggest I know of right now is 13" x 18.5". Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks for your help.

  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on May 25, 2016
    Might be just guessing here but how about the cheap sheet protectors you can get at the dollar stores? In and out, on and off with ease!

    • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 25, 2016
      @Sandra Allen Thanks, Sandra, for the suggestion, but that's not what I need. I need a clear, water resistant coating for paper, and an adhesive to attach the paper smoothly to wood or metal in a way that it can be removed in the future, if desired. I have considered clear Contact paper, but I'm not sure it will be clear enough. A coating really would be better.

  • Sandra Allen Sandra Allen on May 25, 2016
    Okay I got you. Well there are no doubt some clever people out there who will know exactly what to do!

  • Louise Adkins Louise Adkins on May 26, 2016
    I'm not sure but I believe DIF is actually wallpaper paste REMOVER. You spray it on the wall to deactivate the paste. Zinsser® DIF® Liquid Concentrate Wallpaper Stripper Product Page https://www.rustoleum.com/.../dif-liquid-concentrate-wallpaper-stripper

    • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 26, 2016
      @Louise Adkins They're probably intended to go together, but what I bought is DIF Wallcovering and Border Adhesive.

  • Anna M.S. Anna M.S. on May 26, 2016
    I had a failure when I tried clear contact paper over poster board, then sprayed the contact paper with a "temporary" adhesive spray to apply printer weight paper to it. After one month, when I needed to replace the printed paper with updates, the paper had permanently stuck to the contact paper. The temporary adhesive was from an office supply store, not a fabric or craft type. I would definitely seal raw wood with a clear coat before trying any of the other ideas. Twenty years ago, I had good luck with an Aleene's product for temporary placement of artificial silk autumn leaves on a table cloth for a Thanksgiving dinner. I stored them on full sheets of stencil plastic to be used the next year. I have used Aleene's Tacky Glue for many permanent projects for years and can't imagine that it would be easy to remove anything after gluing it down. Good luck. I'm sorry that I can't be of more help.

    • See 7 previous
    • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 26, 2016
      @Anna M.S. The nice young lady at Aleene's said that Tack It Over and Over could soak through paper, ribbon, or other porous things like that and show on the front. She said the Contact paper would be a good idea. Yes, all that Designer Paper is about 3 times the price on Amazon as it is at Walmart! Walmart also has it in Sportsman, Travel, and Patriotic assortments (nice for the Fourth!). Works out to 10 cents a sheet--and it's acid-free, too.

  • Terrie Neudorf Terrie Neudorf on May 26, 2016
    For the bathroom item . You can use a clear spray coat . Or a brush on . But you need to run a fan . Would the items your covering also need to be removable or not . I change what I use if it needs to be removable later .

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 26, 2016
    It sounds as though you have a plan!

  • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 27, 2016
    Okay, folks, here's some new info! I read that I should be able to use Mod- Podge to adhere the paper to the metal or wood surface and then coat the paper with polycrylic. What do you think? Is this a better idea than using Aleene's Tack I Over & Over and Aleene's Collage-pauge? Which is the better way to go?

    • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 28, 2016
      @Jennie Lee If you use Mod-Podge to adhere the paper to the metal or wood, that will be permanent. You won't be able to remove the paper, believe me. Mod-Podge is just a glue mixture...very handy for many applications but it doesn't seem to accomplish what you wanted i.e. to remove the paper at a later date.

  • Anna M.S. Anna M.S. on May 28, 2016
    I personally don't know how the Tack It Over and Over responds to long term application before trying to lift the object, except with the plastic sheets used to make stencils (worked as hoped). If it becomes "permanent" from environmental exposure, you won't have an easy removal, just as you wouldn't have with any other adhesive. If you think it might be a year or more before you "redecorate," I would go with the least expensive, or buy both and try samples for ease of use in your different projects. I've never used Mod Podge, but isn't it normally used to glue paper to another surface? You may save time and money with not needing clear contact paper. There isn't a store open right now, so I can't check for pricing, but another thought I had when reviewing the previous comments was to take the paper and have it professionally laminated, at least one side to give the paper some body and strength. I have seen laminating machines on craft supply Web sites, but I don't have the interest/money to buy one for rare use. Laminating the top might not be the way to go if the objects are used often and might have the top surface dented or nicked. Polycrylic or Mod Podge, if nicked, can be reapplied to restore the water-tight seal. Are you going to come back and provide pictures of at least your first project? I feel like I (and the other commenters) have a personal interest in your success!

  • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 28, 2016
    Thanks, Bonny and Anna, for your advice. They sell Mod-Podge at my Walmart, which is convenient, but it sounds like I should use the Aleene's products. (I was glad to learn about polycrylic though, for future reference!) The young lady at Aleene's said that the Tack It Over & Over stays removable. Apparently, it is like that stuff they stick plastic cards like credit cards down with, when they mail them. In fact, I read about people using it to make their own "glue dots" to glue things temporarily. Recently, I got something in the mail that was stuck down with 2 of those dots. I removed them, and to get them out of the way, I stuck them to a piece of cardboard that was handy. Later, I was surprised to see that they had returned to their original disc-like shape, and looked ready for re-use! I guess if you had a small piece of cardboard or plastic that you kept handy, you could put any of those that come in the mail on the card, and re-use them later!

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 30, 2016
    No, the credit card stuff is more like rubber cement and it doesn't get really smooth when you want to put paper down...it stays rather lumpy. I've used Tack it Over and Over many times for many things. My favorite was to make holiday items to put on my sweaters...stick to my sweater, take it off when the holiday was over...they lasted for years. However, I did make other things from paper, cloth and other materials with it, too, and used those things to stick on walls or windows and then take them off. When I stored them, I used waxed paper to put them on as they removed easily from that. If the Tack it Over and Over gets too warm, it can get a little hard to remove from other paper items like cardboard or fuzzy cloth.

    • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on May 30, 2016
      @Bonny McDaniel I'm glad to hear you like it a lot, and that it goes on smoothly. I really did read where people use it to make their own "glue dots". I've decided to get both Aleene's Tack It Over & Over and Aleene's Collage-Pauge from Amazon. I may wait to order it, until I can get something else with it, to make the shipping free. I'm going to get Minwax Polycrylic too, for other projects. Apparently, you can put it over paper. Today I hung a stained glass panel over my kitchen sink and hung lead crystal prisms or drops or whatever you call 'em in the window behind my desk. Great rainbows! If you ever want the lead crystal hanging things, you can get them ridiculously cheap on eBay. A few years back, I bought maybe 15-20 of them and gave them to friends, and they cost about $2.25 apiece. And they're the big ones; something like 50mm!

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on May 30, 2016
    Great. Thanks for the prism info. It sounds as though Aleene's Collage-Pauge is a lot like Mod Podge and the Allene products are always good. Go for it!

  • Anna M.S. Anna M.S. on May 31, 2016
    Jenny, Bonny, and others--I have thoroughly enjoyed the discussion with you! May God continue to bless you.