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Acrylic paintings are vulnerable to dust, yellowing, and UV rays. These contaminants can damage your favorite artworks in the long run. Learning how to protect acrylic painting is a crucial aspect to master.
Protection of acrylic painting is not limited to varnishing. But varnishing is one of the elements ideal for protecting art projects. The information in this article mentions the best alternatives to varnishing. Take the time to read and use any of the recommendations.
How Long Does Acrylic Paintings Last?
Unprotected acrylic paintings usually collect dust and grim. These contaminants make the art crack, warp, and turn yellow. Learning how to protect your acrylic paintings will help to improve their durability and longevity.
So, how long does an acrylic painting last? Approximately 5 to 7 years. But a protected acrylic painting can last up to 15 years and more. Be sure to keep your acrylic paintings away from moisture, contaminants, and extreme temperatures.
Acrylic paint is the most durable and thermoplastic paint on the market. It is flexible and can tolerate weather changes without cracking or fading. I have 17-year-old acrylic paint that has remained usable to date.
Varnishing or applying a matte gloss will help to seal the paint into your projects. It will make your art less vulnerable to moisture and contaminants. Methods for protecting acrylic paintings usually depend on the surfaces.
How to Protect Acrylic Painting?
Adding a protective seal to your acrylic paintings will make them last longer. The protection inhibits your projects from fading due to UV rays, dust, and debris.
There are many methods for protecting your acrylic paintings. Below are some quick steps to protect your acrylic paintings on glass, paper, plastic, and concrete.
Steps to Protect Acrylic Painting on Glass
Sealing acrylic painting on the glass helps to prevent chipping, fading, and wearing off. The sealant and baking are two methods suitable for this process.
Pick either sealant or baking method based on your preference. Each method has been tested and proven to be effective in protecting acrylic painting on glass.
- Pick a Sealant : Spray-on and brush-on are the two popular sealants. I recommend the spray-on option due to the ease of usage and less interaction with our artwork.
- Read the Instructions: Every sealant brand has some instruction of usage on its package. Take the time to read before applying your acrylic paintings.
- Work in a Ventilated Space: Most sealants have strong scents and toxic fumes. Seal your acrylic paintings in an open space to avoid suffocation and damage to your respiratory organs.
- Spray the Sealant: Spray your acrylic painting on glass at least 12-inches away from the surface. Use a sweeping back and forth motion to cover the entire space evenly.
- Allow the Film to Dry: Allow the spray layer to air dry for 15 minutes. Reapply the sealant spray twice to form three even layers on the acrylic painting. Let the three sealant coating dry and stay undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Read the Instructions: Most acrylic paints come with usage instructions on their packages. Read these guidelines to learn how to bake or heat acrylic paint.
- Place the Glass Piece in the Oven: Put the glass with acrylic painting on a piece of parchment paper and close the oven door. Allow the glass to heat up and cool gently. Remember not to pre-heat the oven.
- Bake the Glass with Acrylic Painting: Switch the oven to 300-350 degrees with the help of a thermometer. Bake the glass with acrylic painting for thirty minutes.
- Let the Glass Cool : Switch off the oven and allow the glass to cool down inside. Spray the glass with a sealant to protect the acrylic paintings from fading or wearing off.
Steps to Protect Acrylic Paintings on Paper
Learning how to protect acrylic paintings on paper is super easy. The process helps to seal your abstract paintings and works on paper. Below are steps to protect your acrylic paintings on the paper:
- Select the Varnish: Choose a liquid varnish if your acrylic painting on paper has a flat and uniform surface. It will also give your art a gloss finish.
- Apply the Varnish: Use a feather duster to wipe away the dust from your painting. Place the paper on a flat surface and spray with varnish.
- Let the Acrylic Painting Dry: Let the painting sit for a few days undisturbed to dry. Ensure the varnished acrylic painting stays in a dust-free area. It helps to avoid dust from getting into the drying varnish.
- Store the Acrylic Painting: Place your acrylic painting on paper in a cool and dark space. Place it away from direct sunlight and high-temperature areas. It will prevent discoloration and warping.
Steps to Protect Acrylic Paintings on Plastic
Acrylic paintings on plastic need extra attention to enhance durability. Below are steps to protect acrylic paintings on plastic:
- Use Polycrylic Sealer: It is a water-based protective sealer ideal for indoor projects with crystal clear finishing. Apply a thin layer of polyacrylic formula and let it dry for two hours. Reapply two or three more coats to finish the project.
- Apply Polyurethane : This water-based polyurethane will give your project a yellow one after drying. Use a brush to apply the finish on the plastic with acrylic paint. I recommend using a paintbrush since it will give control over the application.
- Apply Acrylic Polymer Varnish: The varnish will give your acrylic painting on the plastic protection against UV rays. The finish inhibits your project from discoloration. Use satin varnish to seal the acrylic paint on the plastic surface.
- Apply Acrylic Resin Varnish: It will make your acrylic paintings on the plastic robust and durable. Besides that, it will result in a glossy appearance without becoming cloudy.
- Use Mod Podge to Seal Acrylic Paint: Mod podge is ideal as a topcoat on acrylic paintings on plastic surfaces. It is dilute permanent white glue with medium toughness. It will give your project a matte or glossy appearance. Use a soft brush to coat the plastic surface and allow the paint to dry. Add two to three coats after 72 hours to result in hard coats.
Steps to Protect Acrylic Paint on Concrete
Protecting acrylic paint on concrete surfaces is inexpensive. The process helps to improve the appearance of the painting and increase its durability. Below are steps to protect acrylic paint on concrete:
- Assess the Slab Moisture Condition: Tap a plastic section on the concrete and wait for 24 hours. Check the condensation on the plastic to determine whether to use the paint or another product. Avoid using acrylic paint on moist concrete.
- Clean the Slab with Mild Detergent: Clean the dry slab with etching acid to allow the paint to stick better on the concrete surface. Other mild detergents to consider are dilute ammonia and muriatic acid solution.
- Apply Acrylic Stains: Apply the acrylic stains on the concrete surface to create a semi-transparent finish. The stains will not peel and flake from the concrete surface since they can tolerate traffic and other abuse.
Why You Need to Protect Acrylic Paintings?
We strive to keep and protect our arts for many reasons. Acrylic paint is the best option for decorating projects due to its excellent properties and ease of usage. Below are the reasons for protecting the acrylic paintings:
Prevent Dust and Debris
Unprotected acrylic paintings are vulnerable to dust and debris. These contaminants will make your artwork experience discoloration in the long run.
Varnishing the acrylic paintings helps to prevent dust and debris collection. The varnish seals and creates smooth surfaces that are dust-free.
Ease of Cleaning
Varnished and even surfaces are easier to clean with a duster. The protective coat is water-resistant and cannot chip or peel after wiping.
Increase the durability
Most artists want their paintings to last for many years. The protective finish helps to increase color saturation that can last longer. It will keep your paintings bright for hundred years.
Protect Paintings from Harsh Conditions
Harsh weather conditions can damage your paintings and cause warping or cracking. UV radiations lead to discoloration or fading. Varnishing helps the artwork maintain its vibrant colors.
We create acrylic paintings for memories or sale. We should always think about protecting them from direct and indirect damages.
Varnishing is the most popular method to protect acrylic paintings. But there are other best alternatives that guarantee long-lasting results, as shown above.
A protection finish prevents dust and debris collection on your acrylic paintings. The finish also reduces the risk of peeling, cracking, and yellowing your arts.