question & and answer: sticky journal pages

Sara+H asks:

I have a do you keep your journal pages from sticking together?? I paint on all of mine and they get ruined from sticking to each other!! Any tips? I've tried matte varnish, gel medium...

I answered her question in an email, but felt this was a question that others would like to see the answer to.

My first experience with acrylics was a sticky one. Using full-body acrylics, I painted a page in my journal without using much water at all, and the page stuck so horribly, I wondered why anyone would use such paints. I didn't use them again for about six months, as I learned a few tricks.

Here are a few tips:

+ Gel medium is basically full-body acrylic paint without color pigment. Without watering acrylics down, they're really, really sticky. And thick, obviously. So, sealing your pages with such doesn't make much sense, now, does it? If you want to, though, make sure to water down your mediums.

+ Instead of doing one thick layer of acrylics, do three thinner ones. This will cut down on stickness (and help with writing over your paint).

+ Try putting a layer of watercolor crayons or oil pastels on top. The wax and oil create a non-sticky surface. If you're afraid of the oil pastels rubbing off on the facing page, spray on some Workable Fixatif. This stuff is awesome -- it seals in the pastels but allows you to work with them later. It's great for sealing pages that you might want to work with later. :)

+ If all else fails, gesso. A watered down layer will solve it all.

The biggest thing is to use your water! This helps cut down on the elements that make your pages stick together. Have some tips of your own? Or maybe you've got a question? Leave a comment -- I'll amend the post with your tips and answer your questions. It's a new feature I want to add to this blog. What about something you've always wanted to try but haven't? I'm mighty adventurous!