How to Seal a Painted Coffee Cup

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One of the proudest days of a parent's life is when she receives a special gift made by her child. If you're the recipient of a hand-painted coffee cup, you want to make sure the design will be permanent. Many schools only use non-permanent paints, so you will have to cover the coffee mug design with a coating that is clear and tough. Seal your artistic treasure so it will stay fresh for years without fading or chipping.

Things You'll Need

  • Painted coffee cup
  • Washcloth
  • Dish soap
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Newspapers
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Wash the outside of the cup with the tip of a washcloth, removing as many fingerprints as you can without washing over the paint. Allow the cup to air dry.

  • Rough up the surface of the outside of the cup with fine sandpaper. Don't sand over the painted parts, as they're slightly rougher because of the paint. Simply sand over the smooth, plain parts of the cup. Use a tack cloth to remove any sanding dust that may remain.

  • Place a sheet of old newspaper on a table outside or in a well-ventilated room. Set the paper in an area where it won't be disturbed for hours.

  • Set your painted coffee cup in the center of the newspaper sheet. Spray the cup with a thin coat of clear acrylic, covering the entire body of the cup. Allow the acrylic to dry for 15 minutes.

  • Spray another coat of acrylic over the first one. Allow the mug to dry and set for at least two hours before you handle it.

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