Painted Book Edge Project How To:

Have you ever looked at your hardcover books and thought “Those could use a little bit of sprucing?” Well, I sure have!

I originally got this idea from a post on my Book Con chat group. One of the posters on there, Naif Salem, had shared a post about defacing books. Another user on that same comment thread mentioned You-Tube “Sea Lemon” and so I decided to seek out that original video tutorial. In that video, she shows how to paint book edges to look like a galaxy. Since I had several books that dealt with the night/stars/dreams the theme fit perfectly. (Video link listed at end of post.)

After setting out to Michael’s to pick up some acrylics and brushes, I gathered my six books I wanted to experiment with, er paint.

We already had some painters tape around the house. The first step I took was to lightly dust the books off so the paint had a clean surface to stick to. Next I took off the dust jackets and set them aside. Finally I affixed the painters tape along the edges of each one of the books. This project was beginning to take shape.

I stacked the books and grabbed a red plate to use as my paint splatter dish thing. I used the painter sponge to add the black matte paint first. (All of the acrylics I purchased for this were matte and not transparent, glossy, or glittery.) The black matte paint went on very dark and dried quickly. I had to go over the inner edges of the pages a few times to ensure coverage.

I rinsed the plate of the excess black paint. Once the books were dry, I added a small squirt each of the blue and pink. I used my biggest hand brush to apply first the blue streaks and then the pink ones. For the pink, I rinsed off my brush of all the blue paint leaving a slightly damp brush to work with. This was fine as the dried black paint protected the pages from any moisture, allowing me to get the pink to look a bit water colored at some of the outer edges of those streaks.

I wanted thicker clusters of color on my books than what were shown in the tutorial video. That is what is wonderful about getting inspired by an idea; being able to make it your own and create something that YOU will really enjoy.

Plate rinsed again, I was now ready for the white paint. I used my fine tipped brush to apply small and large dots to represent the star clusters.

I used a small square of paper towel to gently blot each of the sections on the books. Not a lot of paint was removed this way, but it did help to set in any thicker spots.

On top of the stack of six books, I placed my thickest hardcover book, Grey’s Anatomy, and an eight pound free weight. This acted as a book press, ensuring that the pages would not bow up as they dried.

After all of the paint had plenty of drying time, I carefully removed the painters tape. This process took a little bit of time, but the longest aspect of this project was yet to come.

It is very important after the paint has set to go through and carefully separate each page. This entire project of course should be done in a well ventilated area; especially important during the end step because that is when the paint bits may chip off a little.

Once all of the pages were loose from each other again, the dust jackets could be added back on.

Ta da!

Beautiful galaxy painted, one-of-a-kind books!

I also picked up some blues, greens, and turquoise colors to do an ocean/sea theme if I get so inspired at some point. I don’t own a lot of books, so this may or may not be a future project for me. We shall see.

Idea tutorial video:

Do YOU want to do this to your books? Or another paint style/theme? If you are inspired by this project, let me know in the comments below how your project turned out!

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