Printing with Gelli Arts® + Masking Fluid!

Masking fluid provides unique and creative possibilities for printing with Gelli®. Watch this video to see how it works!

Masks are used as a barrier between the paint on the gel plate and the printing paper. The purpose is to block the transfer of paint from the plate to the paper in selective areas. 

It’s easy to cut a paper mask to the shape you want to block out on your print — or use a found object or stencil as a mask. (See previous blog tutorial for more information on using paper masks!)

But what if you want to mask handwriting, or a gestural line, or drawn symbols, or small random marks? 

That’s when using masking fluid is the way to go!

Gelli print with masked marks

Masking fluid (also called liquid frisket) is a fluid solution that dries to a rubbery film. It creates a barrier — and paint applied over it is easily removed by peeling it off.

Watercolorists use masking fluid for preserving selective areas of the white of the paper — or for preserving areas in a layer of color that will be painted over. 

Good news! Masking fluid can be used for gel printing too!

You can apply masking fluid directly to your unprinted paper. 

Masking fluid preserves areas of the white of the paper in a Gelli® print

When applied onto a printed layer — masking fluid will preserve the color under it.

Masking fluid applied over a printed layer preserves the color of that layer

These steps explain the process:

1. Pull a print to add color to the paper. (This is the color you’ll see when the mask is removed)

2.  When the print is completely dry, apply the masking fluid to the paper. 

Masking fluid applied over a Gelli print

3.  Allow the masking fluid to dry completely! Thin areas dry quickly, but thick areas or blobs can take a while.

4. When the mask is completely dry — you can print on the paper as usual. 

Dry masking fluid on Gelli® print

5. You can print multiple layers over the masking fluid! The mask can be removed even when there’s quite a bit of paint covering it!

Several layers printed over dry masking fluid

IMPORTANT:  The print must be completely dry before the next step.

6.  When the paint is fully dry, gently rub the mask off the paper. You can use a rubber cement pick-up, or gently rub with a clean finger to remove it. The stretchy, rubbery mask will ball up and can be pulled off.

The print is dry and ready for the masking fluid to be peeled off

Important Information and Tips for Using Masking Fluid:

  • DoNOTuse a good brush to apply the masking fluid. It will ruin your brush.  
  • A disposable brush is recommended. 
  • If using a brush, dip it in soapy water to help it flow.
  • An eyedropper is easy and fun to use — but it isn’t good for controlling fine lines. And it tends to leave blobs (which can be artful!).
  • You can keep adding different layers of masking fluid as you build up layers on your print. Just remember you’ll need to let the mask dry and the paint dry completely each time.
  • It’s best to peel off the masking soon after your print is completely dry.
  • As with any new art material, it’s best to experiment before applying it to an important piece.

For success with masking fluid … always keep in mind:

The masking fluid must be completely dry before you print over it.

The print must be completely dry before you remove the masking fluid.

Gelli® print (after masking fluid is removed)

And one more fun thing … after you pull a print, the relief from the dry masking fluid can sometimes leaves a nice imprint in the paint left on the gel plate. Quickly pull that ghost print for another cool image! And the ghost is right-reading! (See previous blog tutorial for more information on Ghost Printing!)

Ghost print

Have fun exploring the creative possibilities using masking fluid with gel printing. Consider it another great tool for making your mark!

And now we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY to get you excited about using masking fluid … on our NEW 8” ROUND GELLI® PLATE!!!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our random generator chose #326  which belongs to 

(blogger name) “RuthArt” !!

Our fabulous prize includes the following:

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until this WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27th at 5:00pm EST!! Leave your comment now!

One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced no later than Thursday morning, Nov 28th at 10am.  (Yes – Thanksgiving morning!!) The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

Good luck … and Happy Printing!

500 thoughts on “Printing with Gelli Arts® + Masking Fluid!”

  1. I learned the technique of gelli plate printing this past summer. Loved it and of course quickly bought plates and materials to continue on. Now I need to try the masking fluid. thanks!

  2. I recently discovered your product and now it's on my 'must have' list. It's something my kids would love to use too. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Been teaching for 35 years and would love you to teach this old dog new tricks. I love printmaking and have heard about this; but my district no longer allows any trips to conventions.

  4. Rita Bellanca (

    OK words cannot say how much fun the gelli plate is. Aside from some photography, I've been denying my artistic side lately- lost my muse I guess. UNTIL I splurged on a gelli plate (8×10 size). It is utterly addicting and freeing and so much fun. Within the first 10 minutes of opening the package I created half a dozen prints that I really love!! Anyway, I'm loving all the tutorials and would love to try the round plate and the masking- great ideas. Thanks for sharing all this good stuff and for making it easy to get my muse back!!

  5. I love all things Gelli – and he round plate would be super fun to play with – love the idea of the frisket –

  6. Take care and STAY POSITIVE! Trena

    What a cool technique! Love your instructional videos – clear and short. 🙂 thank you for chance to win.
    Take care and STAY POSITIVE!

  7. Granny Korner Craftingwithartgrandma

    I am a Gelli Plate addict, I love mine 6×6 would love a larger one and round one, I watch all your videos and this is a new one for me to try . Love to be the winner.

  8. Thank you Joan for the information on using the masking technique with the Gelli…I definitely want to give this a try. Now about the contest…pick me, please, oh please…I thought I had ordered the round one but I received a small rectangular one instead which I love but I would also love the round one! Santa already has a long enough list for this year but if I have to ask I will.

    Wishing all a Happy and safe Thanksgiving!

  9. Jennie -The Artistic Stamper

    definitely looking forward to trying this technique. Thank you for showing, and a great giveaway too! :)))

  10. Cool Techique. Thanks for the chance to win. Wouldnt it be Great if a Man won this time… Just Sayin… LOL

  11. Oh yes please!! and Thank you very much!! you have no idea how long I've wanted a Gelli Plate. Thank you again 🙂

  12. Love the endless ways to use my gelli plates! It's so much fun experimenting and coming up with new techniques! Can't wait to try the liquid mask.

  13. Great idea! The round gelliplate is not yet available here in Holland so here's hoping!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  14. I have yet to master the art of frisket, but boy would I love to get some more chances to try this with a Gelli!

  15. I would so love to win this. I have a gelli plate I really want to win this for my dear friend who doesn't have one. I'm hoping to win it and send it off to her. Hugs, Rockin Robin Caldwell

  16. I would love to win this, I would enjoy learning all of the gelli techniques. This is a really awesome invention!

  17. I am in total awe! This looks so amazing and I am dreaming of creating a butterfly quilt using this gelli plate and technique to create individual one-of-a-kind squares!

  18. I've tried to mask with elmer's glue with little success. Real masking liquid is where it's at! 🙂 awesome video

  19. Oh, I don't have a snowball's chance in…well, I'm here to try anyway, LOL! You guys are killing me with all these fab tutorials and I am SO anxious to start trying prints – would love to win this set! I use masking fluid with my watercolors so I even have it on hand already!

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