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Can You Make Tempera Paint Permanent?

Tempera, or poster, paint is an accessible art medium. It’s water-based, easy to clean, and simple to use. However, if you want to use it in your projects, you’ll need to know that it will not last as long as other paint types. 

So, can you make tempera paint permanent? Traditional tempera paint made using linseed oil is permanent, unlike the kind you buy at the store. If you make your own, it should last forever. Or, you can use a sealing agent, like Mod Podge Acrylic Spray, on store-bought paint.

You can make your tempera paint permanent by taking a few extra steps with your finished painting. Everything is in this article, so let’s keep reading!

Can Tempera Paint Be Made Permanent?

Tempera paint is very similar to watercolor in that they’re both only semi-permanent. You can add water to the color after it dries to make it re-soluble. That means tempera paint won’t last nearly as long as other paints, such as oils, because it’s more susceptible to damage.

However, you can make your tempera paint permanent by creating your own instead of using a cheap store-bought version. It’s pretty simple, and once you know how to do it, you’ll never run out of tempera paint again. To make homemade tempera paint, you’ll need the following tools and ingredients:

Then, combine your pigments with distilled water, removing any clumps. Put the pigment in the jar and store it with the lid on. Next, combine the egg yolk with a small amount of linseed oil and distilled water. For the best results, use three parts water and yolk with one part water. It can take some experimenting to get the consistency you want.

In short, it’s effortless to make your tempera paint at home. You can store your paints in small glass jars, which will last a reasonable amount of time. The best storage method is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the glass container, then put the lid on. You can get a few years out of the paint this way.

Does Tempera Paint Flake?

Since store-bought tempera paints aren’t permanent, the color can flake off of the paper. It tends to stick better to paper mache, cardboard, and poster board. Some artists even use it on wood without it flaking. Making your own tempera paint makes it much less likely to flake off paper since it’s more durable.

To prevent the paint from cracking, you should try applying a strong, waterproof seal to the surface. The seal keeps the paint “trapped,” so it shouldn’t flake. Always seal your art when you want it to last a long time since it prevents cracking, chipping, and other forms of damage.

I highly recommend using Mod Podge to seal your tempera paint. You can choose from a spray or brush-on formula, and it comes in a variety of finishes!

Tempera paint needs to be on a flat surface. It’s sure to flake if you put it on a flexible surface because the color won’t move with the item. If you don’t want this to happen, you’ll need to prepare surfaces like plastic with sandpaper first. Then, paint and finish with another seal. You’ll also have to be careful when handling the finished work.

Overall, tempera paint can easily flake off the standard piece of paper. However, it doesn’t have to! You’ll want to use a high-quality sealant to prevent damage to your artwork. The seal will prevent cracking and chipping, giving your work a much longer life.

How To Seal Tempera Paint

You can quickly seal your tempera paint using Mod Podge; the spray-on and paint-on versions will work very well. The original Mod Podge formula will give your work a shiny finish, which you can’t get with tempera paints alone. The acrylic spray is also very easy to use.

When adding a seal to your art, you’ll want to choose one that’s water-resistant. Since tempera paint is re-soluble, it doesn’t resist damage well. Water will completely ruin your work if it touches unsealed tempera paint, so it’s best to prevent that as best you can.

Sealing your paintings is easy, so there’s no reason to skip it. Simply spray or brush on a very light coating of your sealing agent. Give it some time to dry, then add another coating. 

Usually, two coats are more than enough to protect your work. Let the layer dry for at least 15 to 20 minutes before adding another. It won’t dry properly if you make the layers too thick.

Make sure you don’t move the painting until the acrylic seal dries completely. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s no longer tacky. If you move it too soon, you could easily leave fingerprints, smears, or dust on the surface.

Can You Use Mod Podge Over Tempera Paint?

Mod Podge is one of the best sealants to use over tempera paint. It preserves your work and ensures it won’t become runny if it makes contact with water. Tempera paint also dries extremely matte, which not everyone likes. Using the original Mod Podge formula, you can add a lot of shine to your paintings.

You’ll want to choose a Mod Podge formula that meets your needs. For example, the Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge is best for items like plates, cups, and bowls. There are even glitter, glow-in-the-dark, and fabric formulas that you can use. No matter what you painted on, you’re sure to find a Mod Podge option that works for you.

In short, you can get excellent results using Mod Podge as a sealer. You’ll want to think about what finish you want before ordering a bottle since there are many different options. The original Mod Podge or the spray-on acrylic versions are the best for most tempera paintings.

Are Tempera Paints Waterproof?

Tempera paints are not waterproof. This feature comes with a few benefits and downsides. First, you can rewet the paint at any time to keep working on your painting, even if it dried a while ago. However, that also means your artwork can easily become ruined if it accidentally becomes wet.

Even homemade tempera paints won’t be waterproof because they’re too similar to watercolors. When they make contact with water, the paint becomes runny again. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your finished work waterproof.

You’ll need to choose a strong water-resistant sealing agent to do this. Some good options include Mod Podge products. Even the original formula should make your painting non-water-soluble, making it much more durable.

There are plenty of options for making your tempera paints waterproof; some sealing agents are more water-resistant than others. Always ensure you buy a product that provides your artwork with a strong seal.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can make tempera paint permanent in two ways. First, you can make your own tempera paint using a few simple ingredients at home. Second, you can apply a seal to your final piece, making it more durable.

Both of these methods work very well. If you want the most permanent results for your tempera paintings, make the paint and apply a seal when finishing the piece. There are plenty of options for sealing agents, so choose the best one for the finish you want!

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your  painted project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting!