What is the best adhesive for my specific glueing project?
Our adhesives section includes a diverse range, from spray mount to gold size to rabbit skin glue. Adhesives are used for a huge range of different applications, and this article will guide you through the various products available at Jackson’s Art Supplies so that you can get sticking successfully!
Spray Adhesive for paper, photographs, light card and mixed media applications
Spray adhesives are available in a wide range of forms for varying requirements.
Temporary Spray Adhesion
For temporary adhesion, for example if you are working out a lay out of a collage and want to position pieces of paper temporarily, or if you are stencilling and need to fix your stencil to the surface only while you are working, we have a couple of products that we can recommend. Temporary Remount provides a light, CFC-free bond that will not wrinkle. It allows for repeated repositioning without the need to repeatedly re-spray, and it will not wrinkle your paper. It also effectively works with fabrics too. If you require something a little weaker for even more delicate materials, we recommend Repositionable Craft Mount. This is for very light materials such as newsprint, which may be used for stencilling.
Permanent Spray Adhesion
The original Spray Mount is particularly popular among artists as it is repositionable for up to 12 hours, and then the bond will become strong enough to last on a permanent basis. If you wish for the bond to become permanent more quickly, simply apply the spray to both surfaces that you are sticking together and the bond will set within 2 hours. The glue has excellent structure and will not become brittle or yellow over time. It is strong enough for use with photos, drawings on paper, mount boards, exhibition boards as well as mock-ups for theatre sets.
If you require an instantly permanent bond, then our recommended spray adhesive is the Displaymount. It provides an instant hold, which rapidly becomes a very strong permanent bond. Displaymount is ideal for 3D models, cards, fabrics and other heavier-weight materials.
Photomount is our recommendation for those who require an instant, long lasting, yet archival and acid free bond. It is non-yellowing and pH neutral, so therefore kind to photographic media. It is perfect for archiving photographic material as well as other delicate work on paper, for instance antique maps.
pH Neutral Adhesives for heavier weight art applications
Why is pH Neutral important to your fine art applications??
Acid content in your glue over time would seep into your materials, causing discolouration, or the breakdown of otherwise stable materials. Therefore when sticking delicate or valuable materials together, we strongly recommend that you invest in one of our pH Neutral adhesives. Here’s a quick guide to what Jackson’s can offer you.
Lineco pH Neutral Adhesive and 3M Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive
Lineco and 3M Scotch Quick Dry Adhesives have the same consistency as regular PVA glue. They both dry clear and are non-yellowing. Unlike PVA these glues do not become brittle with age. Lineco adhesive becomes re-moistenable with water whereas 3M Scotch Quick-Dry adhesive dries completely waterproof. Neither glue will cause paper to wrinkle, nor will the glue bleed through. 3M Scotch Quick Dry adhesive, as the name suggests, will dry within 5 minutes, with a gloss finish. Both glues are well suited for use with paper, metal, plastic and fabrics. The Quick Dry Adhesive comes in a bottle with a precision tip which enables one maximum control over delicate or intricate applications.
Recommended uses: reinforcing watercolour paper on to card to make your own watercolour board, the making of canvas panels
Golden Soft Gels for Archival Collage
Golden soft gels have a slightly thicker consistency than the Lineco and 3M Quick Dry Adhesives, and are described as being ‘moderately pourable’. Many artists use soft gel as a glue in collage, as it will stick most materials sensitively and effectively. It is pH Netural and can also be used as a protective coating over work. If you intend to varnish work, the gloss soft gel is recommended as a pre-varnish isolation coat. The glossiness of it means that varnish can be removed and replaced when required (the matt and satin finish gels are too absorbent to do this). Soft Gels are also well suited to glazing techniques in acrylic painting. Golden soft gels are also non-hygroscopic, meaning that they do not absorb water over time, which makes them even more stable and long lasting as they do not have a tendency to swell and contract in accordance to atmospheric changes.
Lascaux Acrylic Adhesive
Lascaux acrylic adhesive is also waterproof and non-hygroscopic. It thins well in water when wet, and can be removed once dry with acetone. Another pH Neutral adhesive, it is recommended for use with fine art materials where longevity is an important factor. It is very elastic and does not become brittle with time, and can be used with a multitude of materials, including fabric, plastics and paper.
Especially for Fabrics
Although the Golden soft gel, Lascaux acrylic adhesive, Lineco and Displaymount adhesives are all well suited for use with fabric, the Pebeo Setacolour for Fabrics is the only glue at Jackson’s Art Supplies that is especially for use with fabric. Fabrics must be washed prior to use. Once the glue has dried for 48 hours the glue is resistant to handwashing and dry cleaning.
Specialised Adhesives – Gold Size and Rabbit Skin Glue
Rabbit Skin Glue
Rabbit skin glue is the traditional sizing used for preparing canvases for oil painting. It has been used for hundreds of years, and actually is not as good as some of the acrylic equivalents that have been developed more recently, as it is hygroscopic and will absorb water from the atmosphere. Cracks found on the surface of very old paintings are partly caused by the swelling and contracting this causes. However it is still a popular sizing among oil painters. Jackson’s Art Supplies offers Rabbit skin glue in granules which need to be soaked in water overnight prior to use, or a special pre-prepared jelly. Once the granules have been soaked, both types of glue required heating in a double boiler (bain marie) prior to being applied thinly to unprimed raw canvas, either stretched on a frame or glued to a panel. The coating of rabbit skin glue protects the raw canvas fibre from linolenic acid found in the linseed oil of paint. As rabbit skin glue dries is contracts significantly, tightening canvas to a frame, and providing a vibrant spring on your painting surface.
Gold size is the traditional adhesive used in gilding for fine art, furniture and decorative applications. There are a number of various sizes available each with differing drying times – the longer the drying time the more opportunity there is to move and manipulate your gold leaf on the surface.
Gum Ammoniac is made from the dried sap from the tree ‘Dorena Ammoniacum’. It is the correct size to use with transfer gold leaf. Gum Ammoniac should be applied in whatever pattern or hsape you desire, using a dip pen or brush. It is vital that one remembers to wash the application tool immediately after use as it dries very quickly. Once dry on your chosen surface, you can apply your gold leaf. The Gum Ammoniac is activated with hot breath – so you need to ‘hurr’ on the area, in the way that you might if you were polishing your glasses! Then lay your sheet of transfer gold leaf over the Gum Ammoniac, and rub it gently with a burnisher, the end of a brush, or your finger. Once you feel that adequate pressure has been applied and the gold has set on to the layer of gum ammoniac you can then lift the transfer paper away, and theoretically, the gold leaf should have adhered successfully to your applied gum ammoniac. Gum Ammoniac remains re-workable for 900 years! So if you need to, just keep heating it with your breath and continue working the gold on to it. Gum Ammoniac works best in humid, airless conditions. You can also use it for sticking Bronzing Powders or Mica flakes.
Water size is the size used in water gilding, and can only be used with loose gold leaf. Water gilding can be used to achieve a mirror finish on glass. The watersize is heated and then applied to glass. It is important not to apply too much as this may cause the gold to slip around on the surface, and move from the position that you want to stick it to. A Gilder’s tip should be used to place the gold leaf on to the sized area. Because the leaf is so thin and light it can flat about in the air, and then when it is applied it can be susceptible to wrinkling and not lying flat, so a lot of care is needed to avoid this. The gold will appear satin at first but then becomes glossy as it dries.