How to stop sticky journal pages!

by | Blog - Tutorials | 22 comments

Probably the only thing that hurts an artist’s ears…
AAARGGHHH!!! Yes, that awful crackling sound!

The one that creates a big knot in your stomach and makes you start sweating and swearing when you realise two pages are stuck together in your art journal…

There you are, ready to either finish your pages or bask in the glory of a painting you finished a few days ago and… What??? NoooOOO!!!

Why can’t you prise them open anymore??

Well, many factors could have contributed to this unfair punishment from the Art Gods:

  • Maybe your pages were not fully cured/dry before you closed your journal? Some paint and mediums can take up to 48 hours to fully dry below the surface, sometimes even longer!
  • The art supplies you used together may have reacted with one another
  • Perhaps you used materials with a glossy finish (such as varnish)? Glossy surfaces are more likely to stick to each other than matt
  • Or maybe you live in area where the humidity is high, or the temperatures change a lot between seasons…

Who really knows? I don’t! But what I do know is this: the last thing I want when I am ready to let loose in my art journal is to worry about my pages getting stuck or damaged later or having to restrict myself on the supplies I use ‘just in case’ they react later on.

So what can you do??

I know you have already tried everything you could think of and spent precious time searching the internet and YouTube for a solution!

I tried:

  • Different brands of paint (as some stick to have a different finish when they dry)
  • Various varnishes in gloss, satin and mat
  • Gel medium all over my pages
  • Clear gesso – that works but left my pages feeling gritty and a bit opaque, not what I wanted!

And then, I’m not entirely sure when or who gave the genius solution to all our problems but, here it is: a candle.

Yep, you heard right, a candle will stop sticky journal pages!
Watch the video below so I can show you exactly what to do, it’s easy and practically free!!

It always works for me and I can’t tell you how relieved and happy I am now that I don’t have (and never will have) sticky journal pages anymore 🙂

Try it out for yourself and let me know with a comment below what you think!

Love to you my Creative Friend,


Want to learn mixed media effortlessly?

My workshops show you absolutely everything, from start to finish so you can learn & build confidence in your art!

Mimi Bondi Mixed Media Workshops

BOOKS to tear up and use in your own art!

Use my collage paper books (full pages and elements) for inspiration and for collage fun in your own art!

New Secret Stash collage books-Coffee Grunge & Collage Party MIMI BONDI


  1. Hi Mimi! Can I layer candle over a gloss-varnished page?

    • Mimi Bondi

      Sure! But of course it won’t be so glossy anymore afterwards. Just do a test page if you’re unsure 😉

  2. Mimi, this is a very creative solution, thank you!

    I do have a question though. I’m thinking this through before I go by unscented candles. What happens if you leave the journal in a hot place, such as if you leave it in your car and it gets unexpectedly hot? I know this will indeed happen to me someday, as I’m forgetful and also, I may move across country. If I do things are bound to be left in a hot place at some point.

    Thank you!

    • Mimi Bondi

      I’m not sure Nicole, I don’t leave mine in very hot places or in the sun because that would damage my work anyway. You could use deli paper between each sheets and then the candle all over the pages ONLY when your journal is finished and staying home 😉

  3. I recently rediscovered some of my old art books when looking for inspiration and found that they has really begun to stick together over the years because of the sealer I had used on them. I want to thank you for this information because I was really at a loss as to how to save my old work and you really came through.

    Thank you so much.

    • Mimi Moret

      I’m so glad I could help spread the word about this life saving trick for us artists!! Nothing worse than losing our precious work 😉

  4. Thank you!!!!

    • Mimi Moret

      Glad I could help 😉 Sticky journal pages are a nightmare that needs to be eradicated haha

  5. I gave up on some altered board books years ago because of the sticking. So, thank you!

    • mimibondi

      I am so glad to have shared this amazing tip so you can get back to doing what you love 😉

  6. Stumbled across this today – so interesting to watch. We have a product here that is probably very similar called Dorlands Wax. It comes in a jar and you apply it thinly and gets the same results. I love that you can do this with a simple candle. One thing I wanted to share is that when you go over your candle rubbing with a clean dry cotton cloth I imagine it will give you a sheen.

    • mimibondi

      Hi Monique, I have heard about this product but not everyone can find/afford it easily and if we can find more creative ways to get the same results then, why not, right? 🙂 I will have to try to buff it and see, thanks for the tip!

  7. Thank you so much for this tip! Like you I did everything possible to avoid the stickiness. I do know that heat and humidity directly affects the medium because I’ve travelled to a few different countries with my art journal and a few of my art pages were permanently stuck. <3 <3

    • mimibondi

      Glad you liked it! And I am sorry to hear about your pages permanently stuck, noooo!! Maybe always keep a few sheets of deli or baking paper in your journal for when you don’t have a candle on hand 😉

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have tried to remember what on earth, it was, I was supposed to rub over my pages, to keep them from sticking. Let’s hope, I remember this time!!! I will keep a candle on my work area. This should help.

    • mimibondi

      hahaha you are welcome Cheryl! Once you try it out once, I am sure the idea will ‘stick’ 😉 xx

  9. What a great and indeed a simple trick, thank you Mimi .

    • mimibondi

      You are most welcome Jethy!!

  10. Being new to art journaling, I thought it was something that I had not done correctly…………BUT I guess it isn’t just me! Thanks for this great tip. I LOVE watching all of your videos, by the way. Now I am off to find a white candle to put in my craft area.

    • mimibondi

      Nope, it’s nor your fault Sharon! Glad you love the videos! And don’t burn yourself 😉 xx

  11. That was amazing – like a lot of artists especially in journals I learnt the hard way and stopped using mod podge especially gloss – it ruined more pages than I care to imagine – so this is as everything you do amazing

    Thanks Mimi

    Happy Art day

    cheers Lynne

    • mimibondi

      Oh yes Lynne, Mod Podge is pretty bad for that. I’m sure the candle will help and if you live in extreme conditions, just place a sheet of deli paper between each page 😉 Happy art day to you too! love from oz, mimi

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mimi Bondi Profile

Hi there, I'm Mimi!

Artist of Wonder ♥ Author ♥ Designer ♥ Teacher 
My style is vibrant, whimsical, expressive, full of positive energy!
From layering to collaging, throwing ink around, painting with my fingers…
To creating digital art… my creativity has no bounds!
I hope to share with you the joy and peace I experience when creating 🙂

Mimi Bondi PETA Member - Protect our beautiful animals!