How To Seal Painted Tiles

How to Seal Painted Tiles

***This post contains affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission!***        I was so excited to see a massive response to my post about painting tiles with Sharpies and Rubbing Alcohol!  So happy you all liked it and welcome to anyone new who found my little blog because of it!  I have exciting news!  I have an update on how to seal painted tiles!  Just in time for me to get started on a pretty important project that I will share when it is done!

First, let me tell you what did not work.

  1.  Mod Podge – I first tried painting on some clear Mod Podge.  This left some paint lines on the tile and I absolutely hated that. It ruined the look of the tile.  Also, when I put it to a water test, the Mod Podge came off in clumps.  The Queen of “How to Remove Mod Podge” (my most popular post) should have remembered that Mod Podge is water soluble and therefore would not stand up to water.
  2. Shellac – Shellac, in case you didn’t know, is a natural product made of bugs and alcohol.  Had I known that it was made of bugs and alcohol before I purchased, you better believe I never would have bought.  Because, a. BUGS! and b. Alcohol is exactly what I used to activate the color blurring when I made the tiles in the first place.  So, of course, the first thing that happened when I sprayed shellac on the tiles was that the ink started to blur.  Which, by the way, ruined ALL of the tiles pictured above, so I was super bummed about that.

So what did work?

Krylon UV Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating  did the trick.  It was extremely easy to apply, although it smells horrendous and I strongly recommended doing it in garage with the door open or somewhere outdoors if possible (remember to keep your project covered so nothing lands on it.  Like a fly).  I did it in my basement and it made the first floor stinky for a while.  But, other than the smell, it does not affect the ink in anyway, as long as you remember to shake the can for at least a full minute. I didn’t see any new blurring.  The finish is completely clear.  I ran it under hot and cold water and did not have any issues.  I still would probably not put this finished product in the dishwasher, but my plans for this project wouldn’t require that anyway.  If you’re making coasters, I would say hand wash them, just to be safe.

And, further proof that the Sharpie/Alcohol painting comes out great every time:

The tile does still need to cure for a couple of days before it’s completely dry, but I’m thrilled to see that the hot and cold water had no effect on it.  This was my biggest concern as my project will eventually be out in the elements.  I’ll keep an eye on it and I’ll be sure to post an update if there happen to be any hiccups as I continue to the project!


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  • Pam | January 25, 2017 | Reply

    Do you know how you got the effects in your bottom photo with the single tile? I did this project twice with different groups of people. The first time a lot of the tiles turned out nice like that. The second time they were more splotchy , which wasn’t bad, but I could not get the same effect again and it’s really bugging me.

    • Undercoverdiyer | January 25, 2017 | Reply

      Hey Pam! Do you mean that blue/yellow/green one a the bottom? I wish I could tell you exactly how it turned out like that, but it was just an art miracle. If I remember correctly, I used mostly blue and green and just a touch of yellow. It looks like one that I just dropped the alcohol on and didn’t mess around with too much. I’ve made probably half a dozen since that one and have not replicated it…And you used all of the same materials the second time, right? When you say splotchy, it’s reminding me of the first round of these I worked on and used 70% rubbing alcohol. The 91% definitely made a difference. Have you tried doing one where you cover larger areas with one color and just using one or two small accent colors? One of my favorite things about this project is that if you don’t like the results, you can just wipe it off and start over (before you seal it, of course!), so keep trying! I would absolutely love to see how yours came out, by the way! Send me a picture!!

  • Julia | January 25, 2017 | Reply

    I really love the look and have not yet tried it but I will. I would also know if I could use this on glass or is there a different method for that

    • Undercoverdiyer | January 25, 2017 | Reply

      Hey Julia! I haven’t tried it on glass, but I do think it would work. I’ve seen tutorials on Pinterest for this method on glass. I think it would be fine as long as you remember to seal it!

  • Alma | January 25, 2017 | Reply

    Just curious, can this project be done on Canvas by any chance??

    • Undercoverdiyer | January 25, 2017 | Reply

      Thank you for asking, Alma, I have been asking myself that same question but haven’t gotten around to trying it. I happen to have a couple of small canvasses. I’ll put it on my to do list and post about it when I’m done!

  • Tina Geane | January 25, 2017 | Reply

    I love this project, I just found your website and I’m so excited! I love your style! Lol Great projects I can do and if I really dig them and if safe enough I can do with my 10y/o granddaughter. She’s getting sick of same old same old, I’ve gotta do a litte more harder ( if Right word) with her. Beads, painting mugs, you know beginners stuff is not doing it. And my new place I made a art room instead of a quest room and she LOVES IT! So Glad to meet you and thanks for cool ideas from me & Mariah( granddaughter)

    • Undercoverdiyer | January 25, 2017 | Reply

      Hi Tina! I’m so happy you’ve found some fun things to do with your granddaughter! Make sure you check out my polymer clay DIY’s! They are so much fun and definitely a little more grown up for a 10 year old. Just search polymer in the search box at the top left of the blog. Thanks for stopping by! Marybeth

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