Let’s talk about something that’s bound to make a good art day into a bad art day: using the wrong sealant to seal your alcohol ink piece! Many a beautiful alcohol ink piece has succumbed to a sealant that doesn’t mesh well and let’s just say, the results are less than ideal. Sealing your alcohol ink is without a doubt one of the most important aspects of painting. Not only does it preserve your work, but it can give it that little extra finish that makes it look professional and makes people want to pay more.
So, how do you seal your alcohol ink pieces without ruining them? And, what’s the best sealant for alcohol inks? Luckily, there are a few easy-to-use products that will help you protect your alcohol ink masterpiece!
Safety While Sealing Alcohol Inks
Sealing your alcohol ink pieces requires the same precautions as creating said-pieces. A properly ventilated area is a must! Breathing in the fumes from the different sealants on this list is not ideal; this is true of both spray and brush-on variants.
Wearing PPE is also highly recommended; protect your skin with gloves and your clothes with an apron so that you don’t have a very sticky situation on your hands later on!
Is Sealing Alcohol Inks Necessary?
This is a question we see so frequently– do I have to seal my pieces? The Art Police aren’t going to come to your door and remove your pieces if you don’t, but just because you don’t have to doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Sealing an alcohol ink piece really helps to preserve the piece for the long haul. Sealing can help prevent fading, chipping, reconstitution, and yellowing too.
In a nutshell, it’s not required. But if you’re selling or giving away your pieces, sealing will really help protect them for years to come.
Krylon for Sealing Alcohol Inks
Krylon Kamar Varnish is by far the most recommended sealant for alcohol ink projects! This is a spray-on product that is extremely easy to use. You can seal with just one or a few coats to really bring out the depth and sheen of your piece.
Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear is another heavy favorite in alcohol ink sealing and again, is a spray-on product that is very easy to apply. Krylon products are available just about everywhere that spray-on paints are sold and, depending on where you buy them, can range from $3.96 to upwards of $10 (USD).
Krylon Kamar Varnish or Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear are both great choices that definitely won’t break the bank!
Polycrylic for Sealing Alcohol Inks
Polycrylic products can also be used to seal alcohol ink projects, and come in a few different finishes. Polycrylic can also be applied with a brush or in spray form and is readily available at local hardware stores.
Spray on Polycrylic is just as easy to apply as Krylon products, while the brush-on version can be slightly more complicated. With alcohol ink, it’s very important not to scrub or overly wet the ink if it’s on a non-porous surface since it will easily come off. If you plan on using a brush-on a product, use the softest bristle brush you can find, or use a soft craft sponge; make sure to use enough product that the Polycrylic glides easily over the alcohol ink and doesn’t drag.Check Polycrylic Price on Amazon
Epoxy Resin for Sealing Alcohol Inks
There are so many benefits to using epoxy resin– depth, shine, and durability are amongst them! You can use epoxy resin to seal your alcohol ink pieces to really bring the life back to your colors.
A generous flood coat of resin will give your alcohol ink project the appearance of glass, and works great for tile projects or large-scale canvas projects. You can also achieve that glas like finish on an acrylic pouring piece, just follow this guide! How to Seal Your Paintings for a Glass-Smooth Finish
You can also tint epoxy resin with alcohol ink to add even more vibrance to your piece! It’s a really simple process, and here’s a quick how-to: How to Color and Dye Resin: Step by Step Tutorial (Video)Check Resin Price on Amazon
Here’s where to find each of these sealants:
Sealing alcohol ink takes a bit more finesse, but the results are well worth it! If this is your first time sealing an alcohol ink piece, a spray sealant will come in very handy and produce beautiful results.
Do you seal your pieces with a different product than we’ve discussed here? Let us know in the comments!