Collage is a technique where 2 and 3 dimensional materials of different sizes and weights are glued to a backing surface. The collage materials and backing surface determine the type of glue to be used.

Liquitex Acrylic mediums are excellent glues for collage techniques. They provide easy, permanent, non-toxic adhering of most materials to any surface suitable for acrylic paint.  Both Liquitex Acrylic Mediums and Acrylic Colour are great adhesives and can be used before, after, or during the collage process.

Choosing a support

  1. It is important to choose a support which is suited to the flexibility and weight of the objects in your collage.

  2. Priming is always recommended. This ensures the best adhesion.

  3. All surfaces should be free of dirt and grease.

  4. For smooth surfaces, such as plastic, metal and glass, sand first to insure proper adhesion.

  5. Absorbent surfaces, such as paper, canvas and wood usually need no preparation.

Listed below are the guidelines to make the most effective bond for your collage project.



Newspapers and lightweight material

Matte Medium or Gloss Medium

Photographs and Magazine Paper:

Matte Gel or Gloss Gel

Flexible Objects that are intended to be mounted on canvas: Examples: Another piece of canvas, acrylic transfers, mylar, plastic toys.

Flexible Modelling Paste or Gloss Super Heavy Gel

Heavy Objects (require a rigid support such as wood panel, metal, masonite or a wall): Examples: Ceramic tiles, mosaic tiles, glass, wood for inlay

Flexible Modelling Paste or Gloss Super Heavy Gel

Using Liquitex mediums for collage


  1. Apply appropriate Liquitex Acrylic Medium to collage material, substrate or both.

  2. While acrylic medium is still wet, apply collage material to surface.

    • If acrylic medium is absorbed into collage surface (some papers are very absorbent), allow medium to dry. Then reapply a second coat. The second coat will not be absorbed by collage surface.

    • If acrylic medium is drying too fast, keep environment cool and humid.

  3. Allow acrylic medium to fully dry. Fluid Mediums: 1-4 hours. Gel Mediums: 24-72 hours, depending upon thickness of application.

Tips and Techniques

  • It is often helpful to coat the object which is being collaged, in addition to applying the medium to the surface of the collage.

  • Do consider the sterility of objects which are being introduced. Wild beach sand may contain chemical impurities that could react with the chemistry of the paint. A good alternative would be Liquitex Natural Sand Texture Gels.

  • Plan your collage in advance, as you would plan a painting. What design are you intending on creating? What colours are in your palette? Organize the objects accordingly. Make sketches and lay out your design. It is always a good idea to start with an underpainting.

  • Varnishing is recommended. This can be tricky with collage and found object art. Wait 3-7 days after completing the work (depending upon the thickness of the paint film). If the surface is heavily textured you may apply the varnish with either a spray gun or by several coats of rigorous stippling to jab the varnish in all of the grooves. It’s a lot of work but will pay off when it comes to cleaning your art!