Wheatpaste Recipe (for putting up posters/billboard alterations)

Wheat-pasting is a great way to get detailed images up quickly. You can make posters, drawings, and paintings on paper and stick them up with this glue. Many people, from underground activists and street artists to concert promoters*, use wheat paste for adhering posters to walls. It is a cheap and effective method to spread images and ideas. Included below are two recipes – They are both well-measured and heated recipes, which makes for a more durable and smoother paste. The first is a small batch. The second is a larger batch. You can always double or triple the recipes. It is pretty forgiving. If you think it came out to watery, just add some white glue or wood glue. If you don't like these recipes, there are lots of recipes and video tutorials on how to make a wheat-paste on the web. Look around and make up your own. *A note about concert and album posters. Most of these are put up illegally for big profit companies who want to pollute our public space with advertising. Don’t hesitate to throw your images up right on top of these illegal corporate ads. Just don’t let them see you do it.
You will need ( tools or supplies ): 
flour (wheat works best)
sugar
water
container with a lid
Step

Boil 1 cup of water. Pour the cup of water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over heat.

Step

Put 3 tablespoons of flour into a bowl, add 10 teaspoons of cool water until it forms a runny mix.

Step

Once the water has boiled, add the runny mix to the boiling water. Stir well.

Step

Keep stirring. The mixture will foam up while it boils, so the constant stirring is essential to keep it from bubbling over and to keep it from getting chunky. Keep the mix boiling for 2 minutes.

Step

Take the boiled mix off the heat. Add 2 tablespoons or more of sugar (added strength).

Step

Let it cool. Pour into an appropriate container for carrying with you. It will keep well for about a week.

Step

TIPS:
1. Don’t store the glue for more than 2 days or it will start to stink. Adding copper sulphate will make paste toxic to moths and long lasting. You can also keep it in the fridge to lengthen its shelf life.

2. For a super strong glue, add wallpaper paste or wood glue. Do not use super glue, rubber cement, or anything else volatile! Glue does make it smell weird and the wheat-paste is already strong, so I usually skip this step.

3. Clean your pots, tools, and brushes asap, before they dry.

Step

RECIPE for a LARGER BATCH:

Follow the directions above, but use these amounts:
- Boil 12 cups of water
- Mix 6.5 cups of flour with 6-7 cups of cool water until it is a little runny
- Add mix to boiling water and stir for a couple of minutes (longer if you want to thicken)
- Turn off heat and mix in 4.5 cups of sugar.
- Let it cool.

Step

Wheat-pasting: some basics for putting up your images:

Most paper will work. I've taped together large pieces of sketch paper and painted them with acrylic gesso to alter billboards. I've printed large regular printer paper posters at copy places. They all work well.

While pasting, put a layer of paste down on the surface, then your image, then another layer of paste (some people choose to not put on this top coat, but it will be more water resistant and durable if you do). Press firmly.

*A pasting technique that works for me is: use a wide brush 6-8" or wider.
1. Wet the wall with your paste and then smooth that paste out with some final smooth strokes, getting out the big blobs and chunks (this is messy, so wear old clothes)
2. Attach the top of your image, holding the bottom away from the wall. Helps to have a friend. (You can also roll it out side to side for larger images.)
3. Get your brush nice and goopy with paste. Run the brush straight down the center of your image as you lower it onto the wall.
4. Re-wet your brush with paste and paint outward from the center, working out bubbles. Do this quickly, as the paper can start to distort if you don't wet it fast enough.
5. Make sure you have the entire top covered with paste, then smooth it all out with even strokes in one direction, taking off any excess paste. It needs to be wet, not thick.

Think about picking a spot that is already a tagging spot or on an advertisement. Regular citizens are less likely to care if you are hitting these spots.
Have fun!

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