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Category: Getting ready to paint.

Question: How do I make paper mache feel like wood?

Answer: To make paper mache Mfeel like wood, follow these steps:

1. Using the best quality boxes, give them two (2) coats of gesso inside and out.

2. Set the oven to 250 degrees, and when it has reached the desired temperature, it off.

3. Place the boxes in the oven and leave them until the oven is cool.

This will 'dry out' the glue and the gesso and harden the paper mache to a consistency very much like wood. People often think it is.

Once this is done, the surface can be sanded, and painted without the problems sometimes experienced with the combination of paper and water-based paints.

Alternative: Try simply substituting an underbody/primer product for the gesso it works just as well and about one quarter the price. Sealers per se are not as good as any primer (on paper, that is). You can purchase underbody/primer in the paint section of Wal-Mart or Home Depot. Check with a local paint store like Benjamin Moore for advice.

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