How to Make Your Own Gloss Paper

Written by sarah mottaghinejad
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How to Make Your Own Gloss Paper
You may want glossy paper in a number of different applications. (paper binoculars image by timur1970 from

For whatever reason, you want to make your paper glossy yourself, instead of buying already glossy paper. Maybe you want to preserve your work, or maybe you only want select parts of your paper to be glossy. Depending on your purpose and the effect you're going for, there are two ways to go about doing this. Both methods are easy. One is free; the other is cheap, and both produce a nice glossy effect.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Burnishing tool, such as a metal spoon, a bone folder or a billiards ball, or
  • Can of spray gloss, available at craft and home improvement stores
  • Newsprint

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  1. 1

    If you only want parts of the paper to be glossy, burnishing is the easiest way to achieve that effect. Burnishing flattens the tooth, or texture, of the paper, which causes it to reflect light in one direction. Textured paper reflects light in many different directions, dissipating it and giving the paper a matt look.

    Start out by drawing your design on the paper.

    How to Make Your Own Gloss Paper
    Draw first. (draw ii image by Mykola Velychko from
  2. 2

    Take your spoon or bone folder and rub the back on the parts of the paper you want glossy in one direction. Depending on the size of the area you want glossy, you may use the back of a fingernail.

    How to Make Your Own Gloss Paper
    Use the back of the spoon to burnish your paper. (silver spoon image by Alex White from
  3. 3

    Rub those same parts of the paper perpendicular to your direction in step 2.

  1. 1

    You may make your paper by burnishing as described in the previous section, or you may choose to use a spray gloss.

    Start out by drawing on your paper.

    How to Make Your Own Gloss Paper
    Draw first. (abstract calligraphy image by Alexandr Shebanov from
  2. 2

    Lay your paper on newsprint to protect your work surface.

  3. 3

    Spray the gloss evenly across your paper according to product instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Test your spray gloss on the paper you are using. Some paper will curl in on itself when sprayed. If this happens, you may choose to hang your paper up, using clothes pins and a coat hanger and weight the bottom edge.
  • If you like calligraphy or pen drawing, burnish the entire paper before you start to give your lines perfect crispness and a fluid quality.
  • Not all burnishing tools are created equal. Some tools will leave a certain discolouration behind, so test your burnishing tool before you use it on your life's masterpiece.
  • Spray glosses may react with some inks and make them bleed. Test your spray on the ink you will use on the paper to make sure you create the desired effect.
  • Spray glosses should not be used in enclosed spaces. Go outside, or at least make sure your work area is well-ventilated.

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