Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Tip


When I was painting in college, I had to find some way to temporarily protect the old dorm issue desk. My search led me to something I still use to this day - contact paper! This stuff is great; it will stick to your table, but comes right off when you need it to, it's waterproof, easy to wipe clean, and it's cheap to replace when you need a new work surface! Not all contact papers are created equal however. Some don't stick well, and some allow solvents to seep through more easily than others. Some are just plain ugly. Try to find the least busy pattern you can, and experiment to find a paper that does the job well. Just follow these steps, and you'll be free to mess up your work surface as much as you like:


Peel off the backing enough to stick the end of the contact paper down on your table. (You can see here I have multiple layers of contact paper - this helps protect better against solvent drips and general wear and tear. Unless the bottom layer is damaged, you can simply apply the new paper on top of old bottom layer.) With one end pressed onto the table, peel off the rest of the backing.


With the backing gone, pull firmly and slowly lay the contact paper down on the table, as flat as you can. Do not pull too hard or the contact paper will stretch; pull just hard enough to prevent air pockets.


Smooth the paper down, working from the end already stuck to the table. Don't forget to give yourself extra for an overlap! Wrap the extra contact paper around the table and before you get to the corners...


Make a cut up to the edge of the table. The part that is on top of the table will wrap over the part that is under the table. Secure the bottom part first, then smooth the top flap down over the bottom to finish the job. And now you have a nice new paint-proof workspace!

6 comments:

Carol H. said...

Great idea! I have a piece of thin plexiglass cut to the size of my work area, and I use Quake Hold to stick it to the table.

Mel Miller said...

Oh another great idea. Thanks for sharing Carol!

Becky Turner said...

soooo.. ...didnt think we'd notice the mold sitting there huh? lol s...o what is it of??? rolf. I just had to ask! good idea on the contact paper! thanks! love your tips!!! keep em comin!! oh hey I see you have a whistlejacket poster. I have his sculpture here coming along very slowely!
Becky Turner
www.solticeart.com
www.solticeartstudio.blogspot.com

Mel Miller said...

Becky, the mold is for the John Henry medallion in the next post down. :-) Good luck on Whistlejacket!

Anonymous said...

I remember mass amounts of contact paper and paints and horse parts laying all over that dorm room! I'm glad I found the new Web Site, your pieces have become more and more amazing! I may be commisioning a one from you soon.

-Jessica (Kelly) Smith

Mel Miller said...

Hey Jess! Good to hear from you! The mass amounts of stuff lying all over the place has not changed. ;-)