Sealing an acrylic painting will help protect it for years to come and it will give it a more finished look. This process is mostly done using a kind of varnish that’s manufactured specifically for this purpose.
However, most varnishes on the market can be expensive or difficult to obtain, so artists will often seek out alternatives to seal their paintings.
One of the most common alternatives that are both affordable and highly effective is PVA glue
So, can you use PVA glue to seal acrylic paint? You can use PVA glue to seal acrylic paint. You will need to prepare the glue first by mixing it with water then you can apply one to two coats of the mixture to your painting using a wide-based brush. Sealing the acrylic paint with PVA glue will help protect it from dust or UV rays. It will also bring out its colors more and add a semi-reflective sheen to the painting.
Keep reading to learn more information about PVA glue including its key advantages and how it’s made as well as how to use it to make a varnish to seal paintings.
What You Need to know About PVA Glue
PVA glue is a kind of synthetic glue that is made from a combination of polyvinyl acetate, water, ethanol, acetone, and other chemical substances. The water will help modify the glue’s consistency while the rest of its components will help control how fast the glue will dry.
This kind of glue is applied in liquid or paste form which hardens when it dries to hold materials together. It is very simple to use and it has many advantages.
The main advantage of PVA glue is that it provides good binding strength when working with different surfaces including wood, ceramic, metal, rubber, and various kinds of paper.
However, it will not be effective when used with smooth surfaces like glass and most kinds of plastic materials such as polypropylene or polyethylene. You can learn whether you can paint with acrylic over PVA glue here.
Another advantage of PVA glue is that it’s very accessible and affordable because of how easy it is to manufacture.
It is sold at almost any supply store and you can also purchase it online. Its cost might vary depending on the brand of the glue, but it’s generally a lot cheaper than most kinds of adhesives on the market.
When it comes to the amount of time it will take for the glue to dry completely, it’s usually between 12-24 hours.
However, drying time can vary depending on multiple factors including the kind of PVA glue used, how many layers of glue you applied, the kind of surface or material you’re working with, and the room temperature
What Does It Mean to Seal Acrylic Paint?
To seal acrylic paint means to add multiples of protective coating over a finished painting after the paint has dried. This process is done by artists to preserve their paintings for a longer time.
The protective coat is usually a kind of satin varnish that’s manufactured specifically for use with acrylic paint. There are kinds of varnishes that will permanently seal the painting while other kinds of varnish will wear out so you’ll need to re-varnish the painting over time to keep it protected.
Sealing a painting with varnish will help prevent the accumulation of dust on the painting. It will also prevent the paint from fading when it’s exposed to UV light rays for a long time.
Varnish is also used to give the painting a more finished look as it can make the colors in the painting look richer. It also adds a semi-reflective sheen to the entire painting that makes it more appealing.
How to Make Paint Varnish Using PVA Glue?
Paint varnish can be expensive and difficult to obtain for most artists, especially if it’s the permanent kind. Luckily, you can easily make a more affordable yet effective alternative using PVA glue.
What makes PVA glue suitable for use as varnish is that’s completely transparent when it dries so it will not affect the colors of your painting. It will also provide a sturdy protective layer over your painting that will not wear out quickly.
Follow these simple steps to make a paint varnish at home:
- Set up your working area by covering the surface with newspaper or a cloth to protect it.
- Add two-thirds of glue and one-third of water into a mixing container.
- Stir the ingredients until you reach a suitable consistency.
- Make sure to test your PVA varnish over multiple swatches of acrylic paint before applying it to your actual painting to make sure you have the right consistency.
- You can add more glue if the varnish is too thin or more water if the varnish is too thick.
How to Seal Acrylic Paint Using PVA Glue?
Now that you made an effective varnish from PVA glue, here’s how you can use it to seal your painting:
- First, you need to make sure your acrylic painting is completely dry before applying the PVA sealer. Also, make sure that the paint is not flaking off.
- Use a wide-based brush to apply the first coat of the sealer. Make sure you’re brushing in one direction using the width of the brush.
- Wait for the first coat to dry completely before you apply the second coat. Make sure you’re brushing in the opposite direction when applying the second coat to maximize the efficiency and protection of the sealer.
- Wait for the second coat to dry completely before hanging your painting or storing it.
Here is a simple video to show how to DIY gesso and using PVA glue as a primer and varnish:
Is PVA Glue Waterproof?
Most PVA glues are not fully waterproof. They have some water-resistant properties that allow them to withstand light contact with water but they will not withstand complete submersion. So, it’s best to avoid using PVA glues as an adhesive on surfaces that are frequently in contact with water such as boats or surfboards.
How to Remove PVA Glue?
To remove PVA glue from a certain surface, you just need to expose the glue to a high degree of heat. If you’re removing glue from wood, you can heat it with a blow dryer until the glue softens then it will be easier to peel off with a scraper. If you’re removing glue from a piece of fabric, you can submerge the fabric in boiling water then scratch the glue off using your fingers.
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