i recently made a composition journal as a gift for my significant other and it chronicled from our first date thru our relationship. i wanted to make the book look really classy from the outside -- not just a mottled comp book cover. it also had to look attractive to a man -- so no foo-foo stuff.
i covered it w/ several layers of burgundy tissue paper (applied w/ mod podge) on the inside and outside of the front and back covers. after getting the cover dark like i wanted it, i wanted some design to it as well. couldn't find any patterned tissue that i liked when shopping, so went home and pulled out some paisley christmas tissue that was dark green, dark red, and gold in a really pretty, elegant pattern. i put a layer of that christmas tissue next, wrapping it around in one continuous sheet from inside front cover to around front to around bent spine to around back cover to across inside back cover.
then i did a layer of the burgundy tissue paper in that same fashion over the paisley. i was SO relieved b/c i thought i was almost done, but boy was i wrong!!! i did a couple coats of mod podge over the tissue to serve as the protectant, and it had a nice glossy look to it. unfortunately, it stayed tacky to the touch and stuck to other things it touched or the book pages if i closed the book. next i sprayed it w/ matte spray finish, but i didn't like the matte look on the book as it just looked dull (although it did dry instead of remaining tacky!). i tried glossy spray finish, but i wasn't happy w/ that look either.
at this point, i was getting really irritated w/ myself b/c i was afraid that i was going to ruin the book or the contents by trying to get the cover to look the perfect way that i thought it should. i tried the matte spray finish again, hoping i would like the results better this time. guess what -- i still didn't like it.
after letting it set a couple days, i remembered someone on an altered book list talking about how they used future floor wax to seal their projects b/c of the protection if offered. if it was strong enough to protect a floor that was walked on, it should be strong enough to protect a cardboard book cover. i decided to try it on the book cover and the results were amazingly beautiful -- really nice sheen that allows the deep colors and paisley pattern to show thru w/o looking "thick" like the mod podge did.
the final product ended up beautiful -- just like a deep dark cherry wood almost. i'll try and scan the cover and post to my blog today so you can see it if you want. the future floor wax has been perfect for this project as it provided a hard protectant for the "tissue" on the cardboard cover and the shine makes it looks the same today as it did when i gave it to him back in october.
my biggest concerns were that the book cover was "sealed" and protected from possible damage, the cover dried and could be handled or touching other possessions w/o worry of it getting sticky or too hot/humid, and the finish provided the look that i wanted.
after that experience, i think i'll use future floor wax to seal the covers on all my comp journals or homemade journals to protect them from damage.
***my one warning if working w/ future floor wax -- it easily gets little bubbles in the finish if i used a foam brush too quickly. i could get by w/ using the 1" foam brush if i just took my time in spreading the wax across the book cover. plus i went horizontal all the way down and then vertical all the way across and then smudged out any "brush marks" or little bubbles to make sure the final finish was glass-smooth.