Here are 5 ways to keep chalk paste from drying. It is one of the few things that can go wrong with a design and is only really an issue when working with very large transfers. If your chalk paste dries on the screen before you lift the transfer, the paste can lift with it. You end up with a vintage look for your design with solid paste in spots and residual colour left in other spots. It can look good. But it can also look pretty bad, depending on the design and the surface.
- The Paste & Peel Technique – with this technique, you paste part of the transfer and then lift. You continue that method, working your way through the transfer, usually from top to bottom. Click here for details on the technique and when to use it. I don’t use this method. I have tried several times but I find that I always smear the paste under where the transfer drops back down. I know patience is my problem. Paste dries quickly and if I lifted and waited for even a minute before dropping, that would probably not be an issue. But I know myself in the craft room. I am better off using a layering method because I always mess up wet paste and ink if I don’t walk away to let it dry.
- Wet Paper Towel – you can use a damp paper towel to cover the area you have already applied the paste to. The moisture will keep the chalk paste wet for longer, allowing you to work longer without lifting the transfer. I have never tried this method so I can’t speak to how well it works.
- Re-wet the Paste – this is exactly like it says. Using the Fine Mist Sprayer or a wet paper towel, re-wet the paste on the transfer before you lift it. I do not find this method works well for me. I might be clumsy, I might be adding more water than I should… I just don’t know. It is not a preferred method for me.
- Layer/Wash/Repeat – this is a method I use. Especially when inking. It is simple and guaranteed. I do it colour by colour. So I will lay down all the white paste. Lift, wash and dry the transfer while I let the white paste dry. Then line the transfer back up and proceed with the second colour. I repeat that process until I am done my design. It takes a little longer and a lot of patience but I am always happy with my results when I do take the time.
- Plan Ahead and Work Fast – this is my preferred method and the one I use the most often. I plan my colours. I have them all ready and stirred before I start. I have a squeegee for each colour and paper down so I can paste and drop the squeegee to move on to the next element. I plan the order I am going to paste the elements. The key to this method is making sure that your paste colours are creamy. You do not want to try this with dry paste. Get all the paste colours the right consistency and ready to go before you start. You will be more likely to get through the whole design before anything is getting close to drying on you.
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