Keep your collages from peeling and fading: Properly glue down and seal your mixed-media work with a quality acrylic medium. A necessary substance for collage making, medium is an adhesive that goes on semiopaque but dries clear. Mediums are breathable, permanent, and protect against UV damage and discoloration. Used as a glue, they ensure your materials will stick and stay. Used as a top coat, they unify your work’s surface and ensure that your collage will be long-lasting. Available in many forms and volumes, there are a variety of collage mediums to choose from. To make sure you pick well, browse our selection of the best options below.
1. Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer
Mod Podge’s matte sealant is a classic choice. All-in-one mediums are our favorite option for collaging, because you can stick individual materials down and then go over the whole surface with one layer. Water-based and nontoxic, this trusted product comes in sizes ranging from 4 to 128 ounces. Easily apply coats with a brush or sponge and wait only 15 to 20 minutes for each coat to dry clear. This medium is strong enough that you can sand the surface for a smoother finish.
2. Liquitex Professional Matte Fluid Medium
This matte fluid medium is another all-in-one option. Available in bottles ranging from 4 to 128 ounces, this lightweight and nontoxic medium goes on opaque and dries translucent. Mix it with acrylic colors to achieve more blendable paint consistency. With a creamy texture and fast dry time, this is another one of our top medium choices.
3. UHU Clear Glue Sticks
Perfect for kids, glue sticks make for easy application and minimal cleanup. From a respected brand, this pack comes with three high-quality glue sticks that are perfect for sticking down paper, cardboard, and photos. Washable and nontoxic, these easy-to-use, child-friendly glue sticks are a great choice for classroom and group use. The glue inside dries clear and is acid- and solvent-free. Note, however, it cannot be used as as a finishing coat.
4. Beacon Zip Dry
A favorite glue of many crafters and scrapbookers, Beacon’s Zip Dry glue is fast drying, clear, and won’t wrinkle or warp your paper. A little drop goes a long way, so the two-ounce bottle will last a long time. Super sticky, this glue is ideal for photos and paper, as the acid-free composition ensures it won’t eat away at either. Like stick glue, it is only a glue, not a medium, and cannot be used as a sealant.
5. Aleene’s Collage Sealer
This high-quality matte “collage pauge” gets the job done right. The acid-free formula has less odor, dries harder with no residual tack, and shows fewer brushstrokes compared to similar products. Available in a 16-ounce bottle, this medium is best applied with a foam brush in small sections. Use it on everything from paper to plastic to fabric.