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 brush lines on 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.

If you’re planning on doing this technique on something outside like wind chimes, you should seal the tiles with Resin.  Give the tiles a couple of coats of mod podge and allow them to completely dry.  Follow the directions that come with the resin VERY CAREFULLY and make sure you elevate your tiles.  I used four bottle caps underneath the tiles so that the resin could drip off the edges.  Oh, and don’t forget to protect whatever surface your working on.  I usually use newspaper and I work on an old, beat up kitchen table in case of any accidents.  I do not want resin on my countertops, ok?

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!


34 thoughts on “How To Seal Painted Tiles”

  1. Hi Jade! I don’t remember how much I used, to be honest. But if you go buy the guide on the box of resin, you should be good!
    The resin will hold up better to outdoors than the acrylic spray.

    Good luck!

  2. About how much resin do you think you used for the wind chime?
    Is there a specific reason you recommend using resin instead of the acrylic spray when doing the wind chime?

  3. Hi Jennifer!

    I would do a coat of mod podge first. Or maybe a coat of the acrylic sealer. Test one out and see how it goes!


  4. If you’re going to use a resin/epoxy to cover it do you have to modge podge it first, or can you just pour the resin/epoxy straight on after letting it dry? I want to put vinyl over the sharpie designs so I need to epoxy it. 🙂

  5. A friend recommended using Krylon Varnish. If you are putting hot things on the tiles a coat of Acrylic Enamel Clearcoat over the Krylon Varnish will stop hot things from sticking to your tiles.

  6. Hi Tonnya,

    Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that! Did you try the resin as a finish? Or the Krylon?


  7. I live in Florida, so our glasses “sweat.” Sometimes the tile sticks to the glass for a moment before it goes crashing to the floor & breaks into pieces. Do you have any suggestions about how to finish the tiles so this won’t happen?

  8. Thank you for the quick reply! I would love tp show off the finished product Marybeth. I will do a little more research for finishing final floor times and ask the hardware store clerks. Thanks!!

  9. Hi Nadara, I’ve tried it on canvas and it doesn’t come out quite the same as it does on the non-porous surface. It’s still fun to play around with though! I’ve also done the same process on rocks. I painted the rocks white and then did the sharpies and alcohol and they came out really cute!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Hi Vicki! The art resin site is great! I’ve made a couple of different projects with resin, too. It’s really fun to work with. I have a big project coming up soon with resin! Stay tuned!


  11. Wow! What an ambitious project! I would test the krylon and the resin. I honestly don’t know if the resin is strong enough to hold up to that type of traffic or if it’s appropriate for walking on? I feel like it might be super slippery… I’ve seen tutorials for painting vinyl floors, I would look at one of those and see if they do anything differently for sealing. Good luck! OH and ask someone at the hardware store! They may have a solution.

    PLEASE, please, send me pictures when you are done! I would love to see how it comes out!

  12. Hi thanks for the post. I’m doing a herringbone pattern on my floor with the square sticky tiles but I’ve spray painted the tiles first then will be setting the tiles in place. It will be in the middle of my kitchen floor and wondering how to best coat them for longevity. This is turning into a much more involved and lengthy project than I thought so I want to make sure it lasts through being walked on, 2 dogs and being mopped and cleaned. Any input would be appreciated. I am going to the hardware store now though so I’ll go with the krylon and resin though i think though. Wish me luck!

  13. Hi Marybeth
    I am a Newby to tiles and alcohol ink. There is a learning curve for sure. I am really pleased with the art resin finish on the tiles. I did not need to use a sealer on them before using the resin. I have finished several coaster sets and a few photo tiles. I found that visiting the art resin site was most helpful.

  14. Hi Sarah! I think if they are sealed properly, then it could work! I would definitely go with the resin as a sealer in that case.

    I’d love to see how they come out!


  15. Hi Carol! Hmmm, I’m not sure to be honest. How hot are you talking? I’m thinking that I would not try that, to be honest. It sounds like something that you would need to have cured in a kiln, maybe? I’m sorry, I wish I could be more helpful!

    Thank you,

  16. Hi Cathy! Oh please send me pictures of your finished tiles! I would love to see them! If you’re going to keep them indoors, you can do just the Krylon. If they are going to have a little more wear and tear or if they are going to be outside,I would do the Krylon spray and then the resin. I’ve worked with resin several times and it seems intimidating at first, but it’s pretty easy to work with. You may be able to get away with just the resin,but test one first because the resin could react with the Sharpies and get the colors to start blending again.


  17. Hello, We did these and they are beautiful! Just a question. If i use the Krylon spray do I use the resin or epoxy afterwards? thank you

  18. I’m doing light switch and outlet covers like this and was thinking how much fun it would be to do a counter top but wonder what would be the beat way to seal it?

  19. Hi Richie,

    Hmmm, I don’t think I would go with the Krylon for that. Is the tile already on the wall? If, not, I would try sealing them with a resin. I think in that case where it’s going to have to stand up to a lot of washing (I’m imagining this as a backsplash?), you’re going to want something more than the Krylon. If the tile isn’t already on the wall, I would see if you have a local ceramic place and see if you can have them fire the tiles. Hope that helps!

  20. Hi, I want to paint typography / lettering onto a tiled kitchen area. Would the kryton sealant be suitable to seal afterwards and stand up to washing?
    Thanks in advance fir your advice

  21. Hi Sandee!

    I just bought regular old, cheap ceramic tiles from Home Depot. The shiny ones. Have fun!!


  22. Hi Debbie, I did not try that. Give it a try and let me know!! I would definitely prefer baking it to the smelly spray, lol! Thanks! Marybeth

  23. Did you try baking the tile to get it to seal? I was thinking about doing this project on glass and then baking the glass to seal it.

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