Monday, February 12, 2024

StencilGirl Stencils + Molding Paste = A Match Made in Heaven!

Hey there! I am Kristin Williams of Ephemera Paducah, home of the Everyday Artist! 

Nothing goes hand-in-hand as well as Molding Paste (same as Texture Paste, Grunge Paste, etc.) and Stencils. There. I said it. If you’ve never used it or haven’t used it in a while, this is the post for you.

Molding or texture paste dries hard and adds dimension to your surface design. 

This medium provides a wonderfully adventurous and welcoming surface for inks, fluid acrylics, regular acrylics, or whatever liquid medium you want to flow through it. If precision is your jam, quit reading. You cannot control this beast. You LITERALLY have to go with the flow.  

Before we get too far, if you want to watch a super real, mistakes and all, not a lot of talking video about my process, click here. For a description and photos, keep scrolling. 

When I finish or nearly finish a journal, I ponder what I want on the front of it. Because of its versatility and interesting outcomes, most often I’ll reach for one of my favorite detailed stencils and some Molding Paste. I tend to do this at the end of completing a journal because it creates a bumpy surface and journaling, for me, is a messy process. I don’t want to mess up the front. 

You can also use it on paper (I have an affection for tags) as well as canvas or wood surfaces. I use the tags in my art journaling or collage. 

I mentioned grabbing a detailed stencil and this is my personal preference. I like all the little bits, textures, and shapes a detailed stencil provides. You can use any stencil with Molding Paste but beware the larger the area of the medium, the greater the risk for cracking or flaking during usage of it. 

Generally, I have a stack of deli paper on hand to put behind the covers of the journal creating a barrier for the pages within. It’s not foolproof, but it helps. 

Using either a palette knife or one of my favorite yellow Bondo scrapers I pick up at Harbor Freight I spread the paste through the stencil much like icing a cake. I hold it down with one hand and spread it with the other. 

OF NOTE!! Although I generally do not wash my stencils, I always have a pan of water handy when I am using stencils with Molding Paste. You don’t want that stuff to dry in your stencil and ruin it. You also don’t want to run the dirty water down your drain. Wash your stencil in the pan and then throw the pan water outside. 

Because I’ve heard of people being impatient and ruining their surfaces by painting or manipulating too soon, ahem, I let my paste dry on the surfaces overnight. A good trick is to work with it your last hour of the day making art and then leave it to dry. 

The next day I feel all over where I have applied Molding Paste without rubbing. I just lay my hand on the textured areas. If anything feels cold that means it is not yet dry. Once you can confirm all is dry, the fun starts. 

A twofer trick I’ve learned for this next step is to create a pile of book pages, ledger paper, scrapbook paper you hate, and other ephemera (10-12 pieces) and put it underneath where you are working. Trust me, there is a method to my madness. 

Get any kind of drippy medium - acrylic inks, sprays, fluid acrylic paints — and hold your piece above the pile. Squeeze some color directly on it and then attack with your water spray letting the drips fall where they may. Periodically toss your pile of drip-catching papers and blot your Molding Paste paper onto the pile. You can even pick up colors other than the one you are working with. 

By doing this, you end up with a great load of collage paper!

Once you get to a look you like with the runny mediums, set your work aside to dry. Separate your collage papers pile so they don’t stick together. 


Thanks for reading and as I said at the beginning, there is a warts and all process video you can take a look at here

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