Guide to Sealing Acrylic Paint for Long-Lasting Results

Guide to Sealing Acrylic Paint for Long-Lasting Results

What is Acrylic Paint Sealant?

If you are an artist or an avid DIY enthusiast who loves to paint, then chances are high that you’ve heard about acrylic paint sealant. This is a specific product that has been designed to protect acrylic-painted surfaces from damage caused by exposure to different environmental elements.

Acrylic sealant is a thin, clear, liquid, and protective coating that can be applied over acrylic paint. It works by forming a barrier that helps to safeguard the painted surface from moisture, UV light, dust, and other potential contaminants. The primary use of acrylic paint sealant is to extend the life of acrylic-painted surfaces and enhance their durability.

While acrylic paint is water-based, it can still be affected by exposure to water. This is where acrylic sealant comes in handy because it makes the surface water-resistant, thus guarding against damage caused by water exposure. Acrylic paint sealant is also resistant to chemicals, which makes it ideal for use in areas where there is exposure to different types of chemicals.

There are different types of acrylic paint sealants in the market, and they come in different forms. Some are available as spray-on versions, while others come in liquid form, which can be applied using a brush. The choice of which type to use depends on personal preference and the nature of the surface being worked on.

Acrylic paint sealant is a crucial component when it comes to maintaining the longevity of the painted surface. It forms a protective layer on top of the paint, which helps to keep it intact for an extended period. This saves you the trouble of having to repaint the surface often, which can be time-consuming and costly.

If you’re wondering whether to use acrylic paint sealant or not, then the answer is a resounding yes. It is an essential component that adds value to your artwork or DIY project. Besides, it’s effortless to use, and the results are worth it.

Why Do You Need To Seal Acrylic Paint

Whether you are painting a canvas, a wall, or a piece of furniture, sealing your acrylic paint is an essential step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Here’s why:

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1. Protection from scratches: Acrylic paint is not as durable as other types of paint such as oil or enamel. If left unprotected, it can easily get scratched and damaged. Sealing acrylic paint with a protective coating such as varnish or clear coat will help prevent scratches and maintain the finish of your painted surface.

2. Protection from fading: Acrylic paint can fade over time, especially when exposed to sunlight and other sources of UV radiation. Sealing it with a UV-resistant coating will help prevent the colors from fading and keep your painting looking vibrant and new.

3. Protection from moisture: Acrylic paint is water-soluble, which makes it vulnerable to moisture and humidity. If your painting is exposed to water or other liquids, it can cause the colors to bleed and the paint to peel off. Sealing acrylic paint with a waterproof coating will help protect it from moisture and keep it intact.

4. Enhancement of color and texture: Sealing acrylic paint can also enhance the color and texture of your painting. Some sealers can add a gloss or matte finish, depending on your preference. This can make your painting look more professional and polished.

Overall, sealing your acrylic paint is essential to protect it from damage, maintain its color and vibrancy, and enhance its overall appearance.

Types of Acrylic Paint Sealants

When it comes to protecting your acrylic paintings, a sealant is essential. However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to know which one to choose. Below are the three main types of acrylic paint sealants and their respective benefits:


Varnish is a versatile and popular type of acrylic paint sealant. It’s available in different finishes, including gloss, matte and satin, and can provide long-lasting protection for your artwork. Varnish also enhances the colors of your painting, making them more vibrant and vivid.

You can apply varnish using a brush or spray, depending on your preference. It’s easy to use and dries quickly, providing a tough and protective layer that helps to prevent scratching and fading. Keep in mind that varnish can yellow over time, so it’s best to avoid over-application.

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Wax is another type of acrylic paint sealant that provides a protective layer over your painting. Unlike varnish, wax provides a thin layer of protection and can be buffed to a shine. It’s suitable for use on small paintings and craft projects and can create a beautiful, rustic finish.

Wax is softer and more pliable than varnish, making it less likely to crack or break. It’s also water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about moisture affecting your painting. Keep in mind that wax needs to be reapplied every few months to maintain the protective layer.

Spray-On Sealant

Spray-on sealants are ideal for larger paintings and projects where you need to cover a lot of surface area quickly. They provide a thin, even layer of protection and are available in gloss, matte, and satin finishes. Spray-on sealants are also easy to use and dry quickly, making them convenient for artists who need to complete projects quickly.

Before using a spray-on sealant, be sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling any fumes. Also, use a respirator mask to protect your lungs. Spray-on sealants can be prone to overspray, so be sure to cover any nearby objects or surfaces to avoid accidental staining.


Choosing the right acrylic paint sealant for your project is crucial to ensure your artwork lasts for years to come. Varnish is a versatile option that provides long-lasting protection, while wax is ideal for smaller projects and creates a beautiful, rustic finish. Finally, spray-on sealants are an excellent choice for larger surfaces that need quick and even application. Consider your project’s needs and the effect you want to achieve, and you’re sure to find the perfect sealant for your acrylic paintings.

How to Apply Acrylic Paint Sealant

Applying acrylic paint sealant is an essential step if you want to protect your acrylic paintings from damage caused by exposure to environmental elements. Whether you’re working on canvas, paper, wood, or any other material, sealing your work with acrylic paint sealant can help preserve it and ensure its longevity. Here are some steps to follow when applying acrylic paint sealant.

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Step 1: Clean the Surface

Before you apply the sealant, it’s important to ensure that the surface is clean and free from debris or dust. If you’re working on a canvas, you can use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove any loose particles. For other materials, you may want to use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface to be sealed. Allow the surface to dry thoroughly before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Apply the Sealant

Apply the sealant evenly using a brush, roller, or spray applicator, depending on the type of material you’re working on and the size of the surface. It’s important to use the right kind of sealant for your particular project. You can find acrylic paint sealants in a spray can, or in a liquid form that can be applied with a brush or roller. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding how many coats to apply and how long to wait between coats.

Step 3: Allow it to Dry

After applying the first coat of sealant, allow it to dry for several hours before applying a second coat if necessary. The length of time required for the sealant to dry will depend on the brand you’re using, the climate, and the thickness of the coat you apply. To speed up the drying process, you can place your work in a well-ventilated area with low humidity.

Step 4: Add Additional Coats (Optional)

If you want to add more protection to your work, you can add additional coats of sealant, waiting for each coat to dry completely before applying the next. However, be careful not to overdo it. Applying too many coats of sealant can result in a cloudy or hazy appearance, obscuring the artwork underneath. Generally, one or two coats of sealant are enough to provide ample protection to your acrylic paintings.

By following the simple steps outlined above, you can ensure that your acrylic paintings remain protected and vibrant for years to come. Whether you’re a professional artist or a hobbyist, applying acrylic paint sealant is a crucial step in the creative process.

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