Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Paint a Bible Cover

The worship committee at my church asked if they could use my journaling Bible on the altar during the season of Lent.  I was honored...and decided to spruce up the paint-spattered black cover by painting it.

Since we live in a rural community in the North Carolina mountains, I decided to make my cover reflect our beautiful surroundings.

I looked on You Tube and Pinterest for any hints about how to prepare the cover for painting, and just plunged in.

First, I completely protected the pages with saran wrap.  Then I applied white gesso to all of the black  cover, and let it dry thoroughly.  I sanded some of the rough-textured areas.

Notice the saran wrap thoroughly protecting the Bible pages.
 I cut a piece of sketch paper the same size as the Bible cover (front and back) to make a sketch of my cover design.

Using the sketch paper, I made a rough drawing and painting of the mountain design.  I also tried out different white pens, inks, and markers on this paper to see if any would work on the acrylic paint.

Then, I got brave and applied acrylic paint to the actual Bible cover.

 Big Mistake!  I should have checked to see which way the pages were facing.  I painted my mountain scene upside down!

So, I painted over the green foliage and the sky and re-shaped the mountains.  A bit of the old sky became a lake at the bottom.

I added in the Christmas tree farm and darkened the central mountain to resemble Mount Jefferson.

I practiced the text on paper first to get it the size I needed.  After experimentation, the only white pen that worked was the Bic White-Out marker.  It was hard to control.  You have to squeeze the pen while you write.  I then outlined a shadow on the right and lower edges of the letters.  I added the cross as well.

Final step was to spray clear acrylic to protect the paint.  I used Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating 1303.. I recommend setting up a space outdoors for this step, because the fumes are strong. I kept the cellophane wrap on the pages and set the Bible on  the lid of a large Rubbermaid storage container.   I sprayed at least four coats, with long drying times in between.  I kept the Bible outside whenever it was not rainy for about three days to let the fumes wear off a bit.

Last night I delivered the Bible to the church at our Ash Wednesday service.  

I hope the paint will last.  I'm not too sure about the white text, as it is applied kind of thick, and may chip off.  If it does, I can always make a fabric cover!

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