Welcome to #blogtober day two! A little while ago I shared all the books that I’ve DIYed, whether that’s the edges that I painted or the covers that I designed, and a lot of people were asking how I did it! So I’ve finally gotten around to painted the edges of another book and figured I would document the process to show you all what I do!
Step 1: Supplies
First, my supplies! You will of course need the book that you are painting, in this case I’m painting the edges of The Storm Crow. I tend to do this with books that I know I’ll want to keep, that way not only do I get to enjoy the books and what I’ve done to make them really mine, but I also don’t want anyone to be disappointed with getting these books used since these aren’t books you can buy like this, you know? Then I also have paint (gold for this book), a paint brush, tape, newspaper, and something to put your paint on. I’ve used a few different brands of acrylic paint and I’ve never had any problems, so I would recommend using any acrylic paint (you can get them for about $1 at places like Walmart).
Step 2: Protect your book
Then you will want to take off the dust jacket of your book and cover it with newspaper. Basically, make a dust jacket for your book out of newspaper! Tape the corners and edges together to make sure that none of the cover is showing, you wouldn’t want to get paint all over your cover! A tip to make sure that the tape doesn’t rip your end pages is to stick the tape to your pants or shirt a few times to make it less sticky, then lightly press against the end pages. It just needs to stick enough to keep the newspaper in place. You will probably find that where the spine meets the pages the newspaper doesn’t really cover, so what I do is use tape to cover up the binding so I can get the paint all the way to the binding.
Step 3: Add some weight
Then put something heavy on top of your book to keep the pages nice and tight. This can be anything heavy, from a weight to some books. In my case, I use the Stormlight Archives books plus a heavy box on top. I also like to raise the book I’m painting up off the table so it’s easier to spin the book to paint, and it also makes it easier to see where you’ve missed spots because it isn’t sitting directly on the table. I also put some newspaper under the whole setup to protect my table from any paint that may drip off my brush, but as you will be using small amounts for the first coat this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Step 4: Paint your first coat
Squeeze out a little bit of paint onto your paint palette (or cardboard or paper plate). I only used a little at a time because you can always add more and you can’t easily put it back into the bottle! Then I take a little bit on the brush, not too much because you don’t want it to seep through the pages, and start brushing it onto the pages. I included a gif of me actually doing the first stroke of paint so you can see how I did it with my books. You will want to make sure that you get everything, even along the edges where the cover (which should be covered in newspaper) are. I also like to use a bright light to make sure I’m not missing any of the pages, so I turn on my ring light that I use for my Instagram photos to help me see.
Step 5: Second coat
Once you have your first coat on and your satisfied it covers all the pages, let the paint dry while still keeping your weights on your book. If you do a thin coat, it shouldn’t take too long, I usually give it about an hour or so. As long as no paint comes off on your finger when you touch the pages you are good! I then do a second coat to make sure that I got everything painted evenly and let that dry again for an hour. The second coat you can do a little thicker if you feel like you need more coverage, as the first coat acts as a shield to help keep the pages from soaking up the paint. If you are using a lighter color or still aren’t satisfied with your second coat, you can do a third but I’ve never had to do a third coat myself so you should be good with two coats!
Step 6: Separate the pages
After your paint dries, you can remove your newspaper from the book and start to separate the pages! Since this takes a while, I usually put on a show on Netflix to watch while I work. Be careful on the first few pages until you get the hang of separating them, and it helps if you bend the pages a bit to help loosen them up. Once all your pages are separated, you own a one of a kind edition of your favorite book!