Bulk Poster Printing-logos_black - no padding

The Ultimate Guide to Wheatpaste Poster Printing

wheatpaste poster printing nyc

Table of Contents

Wheatpaste poster printing is a popular technique used by artists, activists, and marketers to display temporary artwork and messages in public spaces. This eco-friendly, cost-effective method has roots in grassroots campaigns and is widely adopted in urban art movements around the world.  At Bulk Poster Printing, we specialize in bringing vibrant campaigns to life, and in this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of creating successful wheatpaste posters—from crafting the perfect paste to selecting the ideal location for maximum impact.

What is Wheatpaste Poster Printing?

Wheatpaste, also known as paste-up, is a gel or liquid adhesive made from wheat flour or starch mixed with water. It has been used historically for poster hanging, particularly for guerrilla marketing and street art. The simplicity and affordability of wheatpaste make it an accessible tool for anyone looking to broadcast a visual message in public areas.

Historical and Cultural Background

Wheatpaste poster printing has been a staple in political and social movements since the early 20th century. It gained popularity among activists who needed a quick and discreet way to spread their messages. Over time, it has been embraced by street artists, becoming a fundamental aspect of urban art scenes globally, celebrated for its rebellious spirit and transient nature.

Advantages of Wheatpaste Posters

  1. Cost-Effective: Wheatpaste is inexpensive to make, and the posters can be printed in bulk using basic printing methods.
  2. Eco-Friendly: Made from natural materials, wheatpaste is biodegradable and less harmful to the environment compared to synthetic adhesives.
  3. High Impact: Wheatpaste posters can be large and eye-catching, making them effective for reaching a wide audience in busy urban environments.
  4. Easy to Remove: Unlike stickers or paint, wheatpaste posters can be removed relatively easily, which is advantageous for temporary installations.

Materials Needed for Wheatpaste Poster Printing

To get started with wheatpaste poster printing, you will need the following materials:

  • Wheat Flour or Cornstarch: This is the base ingredient for the paste.
  • Water: Used to mix with the flour to create the paste.
  • Sugar (optional): Sugar can be added to increase the adhesive strength of the paste.
  • Large Brush or Roller: For applying the paste to the poster and surface.
  • Posters: Paper materials to print your design on. Thin paper works best as it absorbs the paste well and adheres smoothly to surfaces.
  • Cooking Pot: For mixing and heating the paste.
  • Protective Gloves: To keep your hands clean and protected during application.

How to Make Wheatpaste

Here’s a simple recipe to create your own wheatpaste:


  • 1 part wheat flour or cornstarch
  • 4 parts water
  • 1/4 part sugar (optional)


  1. Mix the Flour and Water: In a large pot, combine the flour and cold water. Stir thoroughly to eliminate any lumps.
  2. Heat the Mixture: Place the pot over medium heat. Add sugar if using. Continue to stir as the mixture begins to boil. The paste will start to thicken.
  3. Simmer: Once the mixture reaches a thick consistency, lower the heat and simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Cool Down: Remove the pot from the heat and let the paste cool. Once cooled, it should have the consistency of glue.

Designing Effective Wheatpaste Posters

When designing posters for wheatpaste application, consider the following tips to maximize their impact and longevity:

  • Visual Impact: Use bold colors and large, readable fonts to ensure that your message is clear from a distance.
  • Simplicity: Keep the design simple to communicate your message quickly and effectively. A cluttered poster can be hard to read, especially from far away.
  • Material: Opt for lightweight paper as it is easier to adhere and conforms better to textured surfaces like concrete.
  • Weather Considerations: Plan for environmental factors. If rain is expected, consider using a water-resistant ink to prevent your poster from running.

Best Practices for Applying Wheatpaste Posters

To apply your posters effectively:

  1. Choose the Right Location: High foot traffic areas like city centers, near public transportation hubs, and community bulletin boards are ideal.
  2. Prepare the Surface: Clean the surface before application. Remove any dirt or debris that may prevent the poster from adhering properly.
  3. Apply the Paste: Use a brush or roller to apply a generous layer of wheatpaste directly onto the surface.
  4. Place the Poster: Carefully place your poster on the pasted area. Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles with your hands or a brush.
  5. Seal the Poster: Apply another layer of wheatpaste over the top of the poster. This seals it and helps protect it from the elements.

Integrating Wheatpaste Posters with Digital Marketing

To amplify the impact of your wheatpaste posters, consider integrating them with your digital marketing efforts:

  • QR Codes: Include QR codes on your posters that link to your website or social media pages.
  • Social Media Tie-ins: Encourage viewers to take photos of your posters and share them on social media with specific hashtags.
  • Online Campaign Tracking: Use tracking URLs or digital analytics to measure the impact of your poster campaign on your online traffic.

Legal Considerations

Before starting your wheatpaste poster campaign, it’s important to understand the legal implications. In many places, applying materials to public or private property without permission can be considered vandalism. Always research local laws and regulations, and seek permission where necessary to avoid legal issues.


Wheatpaste poster printing is a powerful tool for grassroots campaigning, artistic expression, and community messaging. By understanding the proper techniques for making wheatpaste, designing impactful posters, and applying them effectively, you can engage public spaces creatively and responsibly. Whether you’re an artist, activist, or marketer, mastering the art of wheatpaste poster printing can expand your reach and amplify your message in meaningful ways. At Bulk Poster Printing, we are committed to helping you make the most of this dynamic medium with high-quality prints that bring your vision to life.