I'm binding a custom book.

The edges of the text block need to be painted black.

I've been experimenting with techniques but have not found the perfect one yet. The best I have so far is using clamps to hold the book shut and using a paintbrush to dry brush acrylic paint on.

This almost perfectly eliminates bleeding, but the pages stick together and tear a little bit when I separate them.

I have zero experience with airbrushing so I'm not confident trying that.

What is the best way for me to make my book edges black?


I, personally, would use ink and a roller, or a small pad/sponge, not paint.

Ink will go on thinner, cover just as well, and not be tacky.

This ink

Something like This India Ink. It's opaque, waterproof, and typically drys pretty fast.

  • What sort of ink do you recommend? I want it to be matte.
    – rachel1
    May 4 '18 at 22:21
  • 1
    Any art or craft store will have several opaque inks to choose from. For black, I'd just use an india ink designed for technical pens. It's made to dry fast, be opaque and waterproof. Something like this but obviously a larger bottle.
    – Scott
    May 4 '18 at 22:26
  • I tried India ink and it seeps between the pages. My pages are kind of thick, 110 gsm. I'm using clamps to hold them together but the ink still seeps. What do I do?
    – rachel1
    May 5 '18 at 10:55
  • @rachel1 use less ink. Apply very light coats, almost to the point of dry brushing. better to apply 2 or 3 coats than to saturate the pages with 1 coat.
    – Scott
    May 5 '18 at 13:39

What about using a rubber flat stamping block. The stamp ink is dry, if it removes after you can spray a painting fixative.

stamping block

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