Make Your Own Paste Mix

This is a useful glue that you can use to paste down endpapers or any situation when you need the glue to stay wetter for longer.

Paste Mix is a mixture of PVA and paste. The paste can be home made wheatflour paste or a wallpaper paste from a packet mix. All of these adhesives are water based and will mix together easily. You can experiment with the ratio that suits your needs but try half and half to begin with. Just mix small amounts at a time and mix well with a brush.

If you just add water to PVA to make it wetter it will lose consistency, become sloppy and also lose its sticking power. So this is why bookbinders make a PVA/paste mix instead.

Recipe for wheatflour paste

This is a paste you can make at home and keep in the fridge for about a week. Organic flour is best apparently but either plain or self-raising flour seems to work ok. (You can also make rice flour paste)

  1. Mix 1 heaped tablespoon of flour with 250ml of cold water in a small pan.
  2. Let it stand for a while to let any lumps collapse out of it.
  3. Bring to a simmer, slowly and stirring occasionally. The paste will thicken and become more transparent with the heat.
  4. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, then take off the heat and allow to cool a little.
  5. Pour into a storage container and store in fridge.
  6. The paste will thicken up as it cools but you can remix with water to the consistency that you need. If it is lumpy, try “pushing” it through a sieve.

PVA and other glues for bookbinders supplier – J Hewit 

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