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Can You Use Clear Nail Polish To Seal Acrylic Paint?

If you just finished an acrylic painting, you’ll want to know how to seal it properly. That way, you can feel confident knowing that your hard work will last. Many people use varnishes and sealing spray to get the job done.

But, can you use clear nail polish to seal acrylic paint? Yes, you can use clear nail polish to seal acrylic paint, but it won’t last as long as a professional sealant. The polish can yellow with time, even though it does give your painting another layer of protection. Overall, it’s best to use finishes made for that purpose.

Brands don’t make nail polish with the intention of it working as a seal. You’re better off using a professional product when you want the best results. However, transparent nail polish can work when you’re in a pinch! Let’s read on to learn more about using clear nail polish as a paint sealant!

How To Seal Acrylic Paint With Clear Nail Polish

You can use clear nail polish, much like any other paint-on sealant. First, make sure you allow your painting to dry completely! You wouldn’t want to smudge it accidentally.

Acrylic paint is permanent after drying, giving it a harder plastic texture. Because of this, you won’t need to use very much nail polish to seal it. 

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Shake your nail polish bottle well, then lightly paint over your acrylic. You don’t want to use too much nail polish, so make sure to keep the layer very thin! Once that first layer dries, you may want to paint on another layer of nail polish.

However, you shouldn’t need more than one or two layers of clear nail polish to create a strong seal. Keep in mind that clear nail polish can start to turn yellow as time passes.

What Can You Use To Seal Acrylic Paint?

If you don’t have nail polish or want a longer-lasting seal, it’s good to try other sealants. Clear varnishes and enamel sprays are popular options since they work on many art mediums. If you have Mod Podge at home already, that also works!

Acrylic finishes or varnishes are going to be your best option! Companies make acrylic finishes with acrylic mediums in mind, making them perfect for your acrylic paintings. You’re sure to get the best results with them.

I highly recommend using Mod Podge to seal your artwork. It’s one of the best sealers on the market, next to Krylon Sprays. Both of these brands are highly reputable, and offer a variety of finishes such as matte, glossy, satin and even glitter!

There are plenty of clear materials that work great for sealing acrylic paint. As long as you allow the painting more than 24 hours to dry before varnishing it, you should have no issues giving it a good finish.

Finally, you’ll also need to give the seal ample time to try. The longer you can wait before touching the painting, the better! The first coat takes about four hours to dry, with the following layers taking even longer.

Abstract Painting

Does Hairspray Seal Acrylic Paint?

You shouldn’t use hairspray to try sealing acrylic paints. The chemicals in hairspray can cause acrylic paints to become runny and goopy- ruining the painting! 

If you find a hairspray that doesn’t melt acrylic, it still won’t make your painting waterproof. Hairspray also won’t offer very much protection for your work. You should choose professional sealants since they’re going to be permanent.

Overall, you don’t want to use hairspray to seal acrylic paint. It won’t last, won’t offer your work protection from dust and shine, and could even liquefy the color.

How Do You Keep Acrylic Paint From Peeling?

Peeling is a problem that you can experience with any acrylic painting. Luckily, you have plenty of options for finishes that can prevent this from happening.

Acrylic liquid varnishes are usually one of the best choices. It’s easy to apply with a sponge or paintbrush and protects your art from dirt, dust, and peeling. Plus, you can find this material at just about any local art store.

My favorite and top pick is always Arteza Acrylic Paints. They have so many different colors, and the quality is amazing! I usually use Arteza Paints for all my projects.

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For special offers and discounts, with my link you can also go to the Arteza website and shop their amazing products.

When you add a varnish to your painting, you’re sealing the acrylic in. This process adds a final layer of protection from peeling to your work. 

Using the correct acrylic primer also helps the paint stick to the surface better. It would help if you kept the painting out of moist areas to avoid condensation, leading to peeling paint.

Overall, using a primer before painting and adding a seal when finished is the best way to ensure your acrylic paint doesn’t peel. You’ll also want to avoid leaving your work in direct sunlight.

I highly recommend using Liquitex Gesso Primer. It’s an excellent brand and it offers great coverage on your surface. This will make the acrylic paint adhere flawlessly.

Best Sealers for Acrylic Paint

When choosing the best seal for acrylic paint, you want to make sure it has the texture you want. For instance, some sealants can dry into a glossy or matte finish. You also need to make sure the product is water-based, not oil-based, for the best results. 

You’ll also want to select a seal that won’t yellow with time. Polymer, acrylic, and polycrylic are among the best sealers for acrylic paints. They form a solid protective layer over paintings while also protecting them from heat, moisture, and sunlight.

Mod Podge is an excellent option to seal acrylic paint with. It comes in a brush-on option, or spray and it offers amazing protection. Mod Podge also comes in a satin finish, glossy, matte and glitter!

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You can find finishes in both spray cans and paint cans. Which you choose will come down to whether you prefer spraying on the finish or using a paintbrush.

Many acrylic artists prefer painting on their finishing coats. Doing so gives them more control and allows them to get shinier textures for the piece. However, both options can look great!

Krylon is another great brand to use to seal acrylic paint. It comes in a spray can, and it’s great for protecting against flaking, chipping and even UV rays!

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No matter which sealant style you choose, you’ll want to wait at least 24 hours for your work to dry completely. Trying to apply a seal to sticky paint will only end up ruining your creation! After using the finish, you’ll need to wait again for the coat to dry.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you can use clear nail polish to seal acrylic paint, but it’s not always a good idea. You can get better, more professional-looking results with varnishes and sealants created with acrylic paints in mind. Plus, they won’t turn yellow.

Overall, you have plenty of options for sealing your paint! When you do, your work has protection from peeling and other types of common damages. You shouldn’t skip this step!

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

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