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Background Staining Technique

By: Theresa Cifali

Make more elaborate paper craft projects with this Background Staining Technique from Theresa Cifali. You'll love the gorgeous look of this staining technique.


Background Staining Technique



  • Tim Holtz's Adirondack Color Wash
  • Watercolor paper
  • Freezer paper or another non-porous work surface
  • Paper towels
  • Windex


  1. Since this technique involves introducing a lot of moisture to paper you are going to want to choose a paper that can stand up to that. I like to use watercolor paper. I used these small post card size that I will later stamp on and layer onto the front of a card.
  2. Before I get started, I cover my work surface with freezer paper, which you can find right in the grocery store. You'll want to make sure that you have the shiny side up as that will be your palette. It is the perfect palette because when you are done with your first set of color, you can just wipe it right up and start all over.
  3. After you've covered your surface, choose between 2 and 3 colors to create your design. Spray them right onto the freezer paper.

    Background Staining Technique
  4. I tried this technique with water and it will work. However, I discovered that the colors really pop if you spray some Windex onto it. Then it looks like this...

    Background Staining Technique
  5. Then you take your paper and press it down into the mixture. Tap the paper to make sure that the whole surface gets covered. Don't worry...the curling that occurs is normal. It will straighten out some as it dries and then pressing it under some heavy books will take it the rest of the way.

    Background Staining Technique
  6. Pull it up and lay it into a clean area of your palette. It is going to drip, so be careful.

    Background Staining Techniques
  7. Take some paper towel and blot! Don't rub, just blot it to get the excess water off.

    Background Staining Technique


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This is pretty easy. My kids will enjoy this project since it does not require tidying up too much.

a great crafty idea fun with the kids on a rainy day project

Thanks for such a fantastic tutorial!

it is beautiful!!!!!


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