DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work

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Can we make paper mache clay with DAP drywall joint compound, even though I’ve been telling you for years that it won’t work?

The photo below shows you what normally happens when we mix DAP drywall joint compound with Elmer’s Glue-All, which is also in the paper mache clay recipe:

DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work

It turns out all stiff and lumpy and kind of weird. Sometimes it even gets rubbery, like “Flubber.” When you mix it in with the other ingredients in the paper mache clay recipe, it doesn’t spread on evenly, it’s bumpy, and you can’t smooth it out. In other words, it just doesn’t work.

The new Wurth brand doesn’t work with Elmer’s Glue-All, either.

But Ria Rogue said this in a recent YouTube comment:

DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work

Can it really be that easy? Just use a different glue?

The Gorilla brand makes a lot of different kinds of glue, but I went to the local hardware store and bought the wood glue that Rhea mentioned in her comment. I mixed a spoonful of the Gorilla Glue with the DAP drywall joint compound, just like I had with the Elmer’s, and you can see the difference here:

DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work

It was clear that the Gorilla Glue and the DAP joint compound was working. It was really smooth, it was creamy, It was just exactly the way we want it to be before we mix in all the other ingredients.

But will it work if we make a batch of paper mache clay with the Gorilla Wood Glue and DAP joint compound?

Is it going to turn out as hard as the regular paper mache clay?

To find out, I tried that too. I mixed up a very small batch of paper mache clay, and made a silly little face over a foil armature. Then I threw it in the oven at 250Β° F (121Β° C). After 40 or 50 minutes in the oven it was dry, and this is how it turned out:

DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work

The little face was hard, just like paper mache clay should be. In fact, I accidentally dropped it on my wood floor, and it didn’t crack, even though it’s less than 1/8″ thick. I didn’t spend much time getting it smooth, but there are none of the lumps that you get when using DAP with Elmer’s glue. (And no, you don’t have to put paper mache clay in the oven, unless you’re in a hurry)

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Worth brand will work with the Gorilla wood glue, too.

I can’t test it myself, because Wurth joint compound isn’t sold in our local stores. If you happen to have some, do the same test that I did to find out – and be sure to let us know what you learn from your experiment! πŸ™‚

6 thoughts on “DAP Joint Compound in Paper Mache? An Easy Way to Make it Work”

  1. I just looked up Gorilla Wood Glue on Amazon:
    4oz bottle = $3.47
    1 gallon bottle = $31
    1 gallon = 32 4oz bottles
    = $1 for every 4oz

    Of course, you would have to do a lot of paper mache to makes it worthwhile….

    • The gallon size is about the same cost as the Elmer’s Glue All, and you would need to make a lot of sculptures to need that much – but I do buy Elmer’s by the gallon. πŸ™‚

  2. I was so happy to hear about this! I’ve never been able to finish any of my projects with original recipe, since all I can ever find is Dap also. I’m going to be busy this winter with this recipe! Thank you so much!

  3. Oh my goodness! That is exactly what I did last weekend! I used Gorilla Wood Glue with the DAP joint compound because it was all that I had on hand, and it turned out great! I just wish that the Gorilla Glue wasn’t so expensive!


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