Alcohol ink is an absolutely gorgeous medium to work with. It is fun and versatile with regards to which substrates you can produce alcohol ink art on. You can make alcohol ink art on yupo, on nara paper, on mugs, glass, plastic, ceramics, on tiles and more.
To preserve your alcohol ink art art, you must be sure to seal the alcohol ink properly. There is a tried and true method for how to seal alcohol ink art, and this can be applied to sealing alcohol ink on yupo, plastic, nara paper or on tile.
Let's get into how to properly seal alcohol ink and protect alcohol ink from fading over time.
Why do you need to seal alcohol ink?
It is very important to seal alcohol ink once you are finished creating art with it. You need to seal alcohol ink because it is dye-based and is not lightfast. It will slowly break down through evaporation and by ultraviolet light, and your art will slowly fade, but you can slow this process right down with the proper sealing.
Not to worry, if you follow these steps for how to seal alcohol ink on yupo, nara, tile or plastic, it will be properly protected.
Here is how you seal alcohol ink.
It normally takes approximately 72 hours for alcohol ink to dry on a surface. It may feel dry to the touch soon after finishing it, but you want your medium to fully cure on the substrate it is on before introducing another medium to seal it with.
If the alcohol ink has not totally dried and cured, there is a risk that it can be reactivated.
This is the most important step, and that is to seal the alcohol ink painting. For this, you will need to spray it with Kamar Varnish.
Kamar Varnish is the spray varnish of choice for the majority of alcohol ink artists. It is a synthetic artist varnish and is an archival quality acrylic resin, so it will not yellow over time.
Kamar Varnish is used to protect:
This clear varnish keeps colors vibrant and fresh and can be used on:
Kamar Varnish feels dry to the touch in 15 minutes, and can be handled after 2 hours.
Here are the exact steps to take for how to seal alcohol ink with Kamar Varnish:
*Please use proper gloves and a respirator when working with both alcohol ink and varnish. We use the N95 equivalent respirator from Parcil safety for our alcohol ink art and all of our resin art.
STEP 1. Wearing the proper safety gear, spray the alcohol ink art by holding your can of Kamar Varnish about 12 inches away from your substrate and spraying in a continual motion of back and forth until your entire piece looks slightly wet and it is covered.
STEP 2. Let the varnished alcohol ink art dry, about 1-2 hours.
STEP 3. Follow the same procedure on your alcohol ink art with a second coat of Kamar Varnish.
STEP 4. Let your varnished alcohol ink art dry for 24 hours, and then seal with a UV protectant, which we will talk about below.
This brings us to our second step in sealing alcohol ink art, and that is to add some UV protection.
This is really an equally important step in protecting and sealing your alcohol ink art. In this step, you will protect the alcohol ink from UV rays by spraying with a UV protectant.
UV rays are the number one reason why alcohol ink fades and breaks down over time. You need to give it some sun block! For this, you will need to spray it with a UV protectant spray.
Because UV rays are the ultimate enemy of alcohol ink, you are going to want to spray several layers of UV protectant spray on your alcohol ink art AFTER you have varnished it, and the varnish has completely dried/cured.
For this, we recommend using Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Coating Spray.
This Krylon UV spray contains both UV absorbers & stabilizers. These come as a powerful combination of UV Absorber (UVA) and Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS). This UV sprayed art can be handled after 2 hours.
To spray and seal your alcohol ink art with Krylon UV spray, you are going to follow the same directions as you did with the Krylon Kamar Varnish:
Alcohol Ink Safety: Everything you should know
We hope you found this article helpful and resourceful! We would appreciate any save to your alcohol ink Pinterest board. We will leave a pin for you to save below.
Have a crafty day!
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