Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Solution to the Smell and Mess of a Spray-On Sealer for Painted Rocks

Painted rocks beg to be picked up and handled and a sealer is an important finishing step to preserve the artwork.

My preference for sealing painted rocks has been brush-on products - e.g., Delta Ceramcoat Interior/Exterior Varnish - because I don't like the fumes, mess and danger of a spray-on sealer.

But, recent doodle, tangle and mandala projects using art pens could not be sealed with my usual brush-on sealer. The product would react to the pens and smear my designs.

Then I discovered Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish and gave it a try.


I found the low odor sealer at my local Hobby Lobby in the art supply section (not the spray paint aisle) for $7.99 for an 11-ounce can. The choices were matte and gloss finish and I purchased the matte. With my 40% off Hobby Lobby coupon, the price was less than $5.

I still didn't want the mess of a spray getting all over the place, so I used a box for my "spray station."
  • The box is lined with parchment paper so the rocks won't stick to the bottom
  • The box has a cover so I can close it and avoid dirt and dust sticking to the art rocks while the sealer is drying
  • The handles on the side of the box allow air to circulate when the cover is closed
  • The box is deep enough so the spray is somewhat contained

 

I sprayed a light, thin coat of the low odor sealer and was pleased with the results. The fumes were definitely lower than normal spray-on sealers and the design on my rock did not blur.



Tips
  • It is important to spray a light, thin coat on stones decorated using artist's pens otherwise the design may blur
  • Clean the nozzle per the can's instructions otherwise it may drip and ruin your design
  • Use in a well-ventilated area
  • The spray sealer is dry to the touch in 15 minutes and the rock can be handled in 3 hours 
  • This is still a dangerous product, take care with usage and storage

The combination of the low odor spray finish and my sealing station solved my problem of a fume and mess-free alternative to brush-on sealers.

How I Fixed Two Stones Ruined by a Spray-On Sealer


Useful Links

12 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your very informative post!!! It was just what I was looking for. Martha

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    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Martha. When I discovered the low odor sealer, I was thrilled to have an alternative to the smelly stuff and just had to share it.

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  2. I love the look of olive wood nativity sets and found a great source to buy them from. You can easily paint them the way you like!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing a source for wood nativity sets, Mel. This low odor clear finish will work well for sealing painted wood.

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  3. Have you tried mod podge? Does that work or is sealer the way to go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I have tried Mod Podge and you can use it to seal rocks. The only problem is that it gets "sticky" in humidity after it has dried. So, I always follow up Mod Podge with Delta Ceramcoat Exterior/Interior varnish. You can read more about how I use Mod Podge and Delta Ceramcoat in this blog post: http://paintingrocks.blogspot.com/2012/07/how-to-seal-and-protect-painted-rocks.html

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  4. Will this sealant work for my daughter's artwork ex: acrylic and oil painting s to seal from smudging, etc? We don't want her using the toxic version in house. Thanks Julia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julia, this sealer would work for your daughter's artwork, however, it IS toxic even though the fumes are not as strong. (I believe any spray-on sealer would be toxic.) Many brush-on sealers are non-toxic (e.g., Mod Podge, Delta Ceramcoat Varnish) and you could try those on one of your daughter's "practice" pieces of artwork. If your sealer needs to be a spray, I'd suggest you visit an art/craft supply store (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and ask if there is a non-toxic spray sealer for artwork.

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  5. What would you suggest as a sealer if Sharpies were used?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would suggest several thin coats of a spray-on sealer if Sharpies are used on rocks. (Krylon has several spray-on sealer formulas.) However, I would also suggest you try it on a test rock first because Sharpies are notorious for bleeding and changing color.

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  6. Hi! Is this spray-on sealer also good for using on stones that are for outside use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Liefde. This spray-on sealer is suitable for stones left outside if you apply several thin coats. However, you may have to apply additional sealer throughout the months/years if the weather is particularly harsh. Even better would be to paint your stones with DecoArt's Patio Paint or something similar which has a sealer built into the formula.

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