Discussion: Painting the Edges of The Priory of the Orange Tree

Hey friends! Today I am sharing with you my experience of my first ever attempt at painting the edges of my book pages. I’m going to share what I did, what I think worked well, and what I would do differently. Enjoy 🙂

So I’ve been wanting to try this for ages, and I knew I really wanted to try it on The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, but I didn’t want to risk my hardback copy that I read from (and got signed), so I actually went out and bought a paperback copy specially for this. I’m really glad I did that for my first try, because it didn’t go perfectly, and some parts of the book have been slightly damaged.

I used this post as a guide, and it is super informative and helpful, so definitely check it out if you would like to try doing this yourself!

First of all, what I used. I bought some gold acrylic paint off Amazon. I just picked a cheap one and it worked fine, so I don’t think you need to splash out on an expensive option. I also used some mounting tape that mum got from a picture framer. The paint brush I used was one my mum already owned. I covered the table in newspaper to make sure I didn’t get paint everywhere, and to weigh down the book I used 2x 5kg weights.

I started by putting tape along the edges of the cover to help protect the cover. I used some tape of my mum’s that she got from a photo framing store. I think it is similar to masking tape. It worked really well on the outside of the cover; it didn’t pull off any of the picture or the foiling. However, it was a bit harder to get off the inside of the cover, and there were a few places where the tape ripped the inside of the cover a bit.

I weighed down the pages using two 5kg weights, and I put an old chopping board between the book and the weights to make sure that the weight dispersed evenly over the whole book. I haven’t finished separating all the pages yet, but so far there hasn’t been any paint on the actual page, so that amount of weight seemed to work well.

I let it dry for a few hours before removing the tape. When I started removing the tape, the paint was dry to the touch, but it had this feeling like it still wasn’t fully dry, and I did struggle to unstick the tape from the pages. I decided to let it dry longer before starting to separate the pages. I ended up leaving it for 24 hours before trying again, and it actually did seem to make a difference, it was much easier to separate the pages. 

For my first attempt at painting book edges, I’m really happy with how it went. There are some things I’ll do differently next time, though. Next time, I will wait at least 24 hours for it to fully dry before I even try removing the tape. Also, any excess tape, I will fold onto the outside of the cover, not the inside. The main thing I will do differently is to do a thinner coat of paint. I had already heard that it works best with a thin coat of paint, so that’s what I tried to do, but there are some places where the paint is too thick, and is coming off the pages, so next time I will do an even thinner coat and see if that makes a difference.

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