I had read of using masking fluid when making altered books. I finally figured out more about what it is and how it is used, by stumbling across it in the craft shop's fine art aisle and reading the label.
Masking fluid is a liquid (as thin as water). It comes in a little glass bottle. You paint onto something that you want to protect. It is a latex rubber product and acts as a barrier to protect the surface that you covered with it. You then can paint or rubber stamp or do whatever you want on top of the surface. When you are finished, you use an eraser to remove the masking fluid and what is underneath is just as it was in the beginning.
I first saw this used in the book "Altered Books Workshop" by Bev Brazelton (this book has many ideas and techniques that can also be when making artist trading cards or doing any other kind of project; the techniques easily cross-over to other projects. Brazelton would protect words on a book's page then paint over the rest of the surface. In the end the only words that were visable and readable were the ones she protected with masking fluid. I can imagine many uses for this other than with altered books. I plan to try it with ATCs and mixed-media collages.
This is something that I could have fun playing around with. I plan to buy it with one of those 40% or 50% off coupons that the craft stores have nearly every week.
The brand I saw on the shelves was Windsor Newton, and it was located in the fine art aisle where the full line of Windsor Newton supplies for painting is kept. Look for the row of little glass bottles.
It is available in clear or in yellow-tinted. I liked the idea of the yellow-tinted because you can see where you have applied it more clearly. The yellow isn't supposed to stain anything.
While writing this entry I quickly jumped online and saw this online article which discusses other uses for masking fluid. Here is another long article. One thing I just learned was that poor quality brushes shoudl be used with masking fluid as it ruins the brush.
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