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Re: Papier Mache and paint


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 14 2004 - 12:23:21 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>>..... Then I would have 2 class periods for painting. (use acrylic not
>> tempera on papier mache....)
> *********************************
> Hi. Just curious why you said not to use tempera on papier mache. I ALWAYS
> use tempera on papier mache in my middle school classroom so I found your
> comment interesting. Could you explain your rationale a little further?
> Toodles.....Bunki >>

> I have found that tempera weakens papier mache because of the water. I use
> acrylic because it makes it more durable. That is my own experience. I use
> acrylic for all sculpture (that is painted) or any thing I want to be durable.
> Also tempera can crack and acrylic is more elastic and doesn't crack. Again,
> just my own experience. Everyone is going to go with what works for them. I
> just find that when I have students use tempera on papier mache, it can loose
> its shape if it gets too wet. I also have them gesso the papier mache
> sculptures before painting with acrylic. Lots of steps...but the result
> tends to be
> more permanent than if painted with tempera.

Hi. Thanks for your explanation. I haven't experienced any of your problems
with my tempera paint (SAX True Color) on paper mache. One did slightly
"crack" but that happens with acrylic too (believe me I know that). At least
with tempera you can brush on a little water and it disappears. With acrylic
you can't do that. Also...if you want permanency, you can spraypaint with
clear matte spray paint for durability. It's a lot cheaper with tempera and
spraypaint then buying acrylic. I also haven't had a problem with the paper
mache weakening if it's done correctly. In fact, my favorite way to paint
large paper mache items is with water-based spray paint (mainly because it
gets into all those little tiny crevices)...then use tempera for detailing.

The reason I'm disagreeing with you is not to be a pain in the a$$ (grin)
but so that someone who is beginning their career can see that there are
other ways of painting paper mache successfully.

And finally...I do agree with you about everyone going with what works for
them. It would be a dull world if we all did the same things the same way.
Viva la difference! all depends on how much $$$ we have in our
budgets (smile). Toodles...Bunki