Time Out Melbourne

Wheat pasting allows artists to put really big, pre-made ‘pieces’ up on public walls in a matter of minutes

We asked street artist ‘Birdhat’ to teach Time Out the art of the paste-up. Follow these steps for getting your artwork out there – and then making a speedy getaway.

1. Make the ‘piece’
The poster you paste up can be anything from a large-scale printout to a ‘graff’ work created with ‘tins’ (aerosol paint cans). Make sure you create it on a thin paper stock like butchers’ paper.

2. Brew the paste
Combine one cup of cornflour with two tablespoons of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan. Use a whisk to stir the mixture over a low heat on the stove. The mix should be reasonably thin and not gluggy. “It should be more like milk than cream, and don’t worry – it’ll dry clear over the poster,” says Birdhat. Add a few tablespoons of rice paste to the mix and keep stirring. The incredibly sticky liquid – “If you’re going to do it, you may as well make it last” – is available at art supply stores. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to keep the flies away from the mix, and your paste.

3. Find a wall
For ease of use, fill an empty and squeezable sauce bottle with the paste and then find a suitable wall. Look for a smooth surface, like concrete or a door.

4. Paste it up
Brush the wall area and the reverse side of the poster with the paste. Position the poster, or each of the segments of the poster, on the wall. Brush the top of the image with a layer of the paste.

5. Make a run for it
Only if you’re illegally pasting, of course. (Which we don’t endorse...)

First published on . Updated on .

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