How to Seal Stickers on Wood

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Decoupaged stickers add a light decorative touch to wood surfaces.
Decoupaged stickers add a light decorative touch to wood surfaces. (Image: Bepsimage/iStock/Getty Images)

Protect a decorative sticker or decal on wood with a decoupage technique, a very old practice used to seal or adhere types of paper to wood, plastic or metal surfaces. Modern decoupage uses a simple white glue to adhere paper to the surface and protect it at the same time. Once you have decoupaged a sticker to wood, go the extra step and seal it with clear polyurethane.

Things You'll Need

  • Decoupage glue
  • Rubber roller
  • Paintbrush
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Clean rags
  • Mild soap
  • Dropcloth

Prepare a wood surface by cleaning it with a soft rag, mild soap and water. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Cleaning removes dust that might get trapped.
Cleaning removes dust that might get trapped. (Image: Marat Sirotyukov/iStock/Getty Images)

Brush the decoupage glue over the entire wood surface to provide complete coverage, an especially important step for unfinished wood. Allow this coat to dry until slightly tacky before moving on.

Brush the back of the sticker with more glue. Press the sticker onto the wood surface.

Use the roller to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles in the sticker. Start rolling from the center of the sticker and work outwards.

Brush a layer of glue over the surface of the sticker. Allow the glue to dry -- about 15 to 20 minutes -- then apply a second layer of glue. Allow this layer to dry.

Brush or spray on another layer of decoupage glue to the entire wood surface. Allow this coat to dry -- usually a couple of hours -- and apply a second coat as desired. Allow the second coat to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may also seal stickers onto wood using only a polyurethane coating. It does take more time for this product to dry.
  • Another alternative to decoupage glue is a half-and-half mix of white craft glue and water.
  • Do not touch the glue, wood surface or sticker while wet. It will leave fingerprints behind.
  • Work outdoors or a well-ventilated area.
  • Put down a dropcloth to keep the floors and workspace clean.

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