Diamond paintings are created by gluing tiny colored stones — called “drills” — onto a canvas, following a pattern to create a picture. The glue between the drills is a dust trap, and it's almost impossible to remove the dust once it settles between the drills and spoils the effect of the painting.
Sealing a diamond painting solves this problem.
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There are pros and cons to sealing a diamond painting.
- Protection — Sealing diamond paintings prevents drills from coming loose and falling off the painting
- Maintenance — Dust built up in the grooves between the painting’s drills is prevented by sealing the painting, making it easier to keep the painting clean
- Appearance — A coat of sealant over a diamond painting gives the painting a glossy sheen
- Stiffening — Once the painting has been sealed, the canvas becomes stiff and can’t be rolled up for storage
- Warping — sealing a diamond painting occasionally causes the canvas to stiffen and warp, ruining the shape of the painting
- Tarnishing — some sealants discolor over time, develop a yellowish or brownish tinge, and the painting’s vivid colors dull
Supplies & Tools Needed for Sealing Diamond Paintings
Sealing diamond paintings requires some special tools and supplies:
- Mod Podge: A varnish-like glue sealant that coats and seals the surface of the painting. Available in a bottle or spray can
- Silicone craft roller: To flatten the painting and remove air bubbles
- Clean toothbrush or soft cloth: To remove any dust from the painting before sealing
- Paint brush: To apply the sealant to the painting
- Tweezers: To adjust the position of any drills that might shift as you apply the sealant
- Mask: To avoid inhaling fumes emitted by the sealant
Sealing a Diamond Painting (Step-by-Step)
These easy steps make sealing any diamond painting easy:
Step One: Prepare the Equipment
Set out the tools on the work surface and pour sealant into a cup. Once you start applying the sealant, you need to work quickly so that the finish is smooth.
Step Two: Clean the Painting
Working on a large clear surface, lay out the painting and gently smooth it flat with your hands. Use a clean toothbrush or a soft cloth to remove any dust particles or other dirt trapped between the drills and on the surface of the painting.
Step Three: Adjust the Painting Drills
Examine the painting carefully to make sure that all the drills are in place. Use tweezers to reposition the drills where necessary. You can’t make adjustments after applying the sealant.
Step Four: Flatten the Painting
Press down on the painting firmly with the silicone craft roller and roll along the surface of the painting to even it out and remove any air bubbles.
Step Five: Sealing Diamond Paintings with Mod Podge
When sealing a diamond painting with Mod Podge in a jar, use a paintbrush to apply the Mod Podge in even strokes along the surface of the painting, brushing slowly to avoid leaving bubbles or lumps in the sealant. Work the brush between the grooves so the sealant fills in all the gaps.
Make sure that none of the drills have shifted during the application of the sealant. If any have moved, adjust them with tweezers and brush over that section again with the paintbrush to smooth out any imperfections.
The sealant looks whitish as it’s applied, but changes to a clear glaze when it’s dry. Leave the painting to dry overnight, placing it in a clean room where dust isn’t likely to settle on its surface, and away from objects that could fall and damage your work.
Alternative One: Sealing Diamond Paintings with Spray-on Sealant
When using spray-on Mod Podge, or any other spray-on sealant, hold the can about 3–4 inches away from the painting and spray in short, even spurts to ensure that all areas are covered. Wait a few minutes and apply a second coat to ensure that the whole painting is properly sealed.
After sealing the painting, leave it on the work surface and avoid moving or handling the painting for two hours after sealing it to give the spray enough time to dry fully.
Alternative Two: Sealing Diamond Paintings With PVA Glue
PVA glue is a brush-on sealant similar to Mod Podge, but the finish of PVA glue isn’t as shiny. Pour the glue into a cup and use the same method to apply the PVA glue as you would to apply brush-on Mod Podge.
Tips for Sealing Diamond Paintings
Here are some tips for better results when sealing diamond paintings:
Use a Kitchen Rolling Pin: If you don’t have a silicone craft roller, you can use a kitchen rolling pin to flatten the diamond painting. Cover the painting with an old tee-shirt or a large soft cloth before rolling it with a rolling pin to protect the drills from cracking or tarnishing.
Clean the Painting With a Hairdryer: Before applying the sealant, use a hairdryer on the lowest power and temperature settings to blow cool air over the painting, removing any dust particles trapped in the gaps and grooves.
Use a Good-Quality Paintbrush: Cheap paintbrushes often lose a few hairs, which stick to the painting during the sealing process. Sometimes these hairs are only noticeable once the sealant has dried, at which point it’s impossible to remove them. A good-quality paintbrush solves this problem.
Apply Brush-On Sealant Sparingly: Using too much sealant results in a thick coating that’s often uneven and doesn’t dry and harden fully. Apply a little sealant at a time and brush it out thinly to give the painting a shiny finish.
Add Mod Podge Glitter Sealant: For extra shine and sparkle, use Mod Podge glitter sealant. Use regular Mod Podge on most areas, and add the glitter variation of this sealant to one or two sections to add nuance.
Speed Up the Drying Process: Place a fan 4–6 feet away from the painting to dry the sealant faster.
Maintaining Sealed Diamond Paintings
Sealing a diamond painting is a temporary treatment because the sealant fades and loses its sheen over time. Keep your diamond painting looking pristine by applying a fresh coat of sealant every three years.
Dust diamond paintings regularly, using a soft cloth or feather duster. A film of dust on the surface of a diamond painting dulls the shiny effect of the sealant and spoils the painting’s appearance.
Avoid hanging a diamond painting in direct sunlight. The sun dulls the sheen of the sealant and gives the painting a yellow tinge.
Display or store diamond paintings in a dry spot with low humidity. High levels of humidity in the atmosphere dampen the canvas, causing it to wrinkle.
I have found that putting 3 light coats of Modge Podge High Gloss Spray works wonderfully! It is so easy! Just let it dry 15-20 minutes between coats. Also, be sure to wear a face mask, as the fumes are very strong, and spray outdoors or in a very well vented area (such as a garage with the big door open).