Whether it's a poem written by a loved one or a cherished photograph you want to preserve, sometimes you need to make a piece of paper waterproof. When done correctly, waterproofing will prevent the paper from yellowing, which it often does as it ages, while protecting it from the elements.
Clear polyurethane coating, clear acrylic spray paint and lacquer spray sealers -- all waterproof paper. These sprays are relatively inexpensive and available in various finishes, such as matte, satin, glossy and high-gloss. A matte finish has no gloss; satin finishes have a pearl-like sheen; and glossy finishes have a shiny surface. Waterproofing sprays are available at home improvement centers, department stores and craft shops; they work well on various surfaces, such as paper, dried silk flowers, wood, glass, plastic and ceramics.
Applying the Sprays
Things You'll Need
Chemical-resistant rubber gloves
Clear polyurethane coating, clear acrylic spray paint or lacquer spray sealer
- While using coatings, varnish, lacquers and other protective
sprays is relatively safe, they can be dangerous if used improperly.
- These sprays are typically flammable and should only be used in a well-ventilated area and kept away from open flames, sparks and heat.
- You should also wear proper safety gear, such as safety goggles and chemical-resistant gloves, when working with spray coatings.
Put on a pair of chemical-resistant rubber gloves.
Shake the can thoroughly for several seconds. Some spray coatings recommend shaking the can periodically during the application.
Hold the can about 10 to 12 inches away from the paper. To protect nearby surfaces, hold the paper over a piece of cardboard. That way, the excessive spray will land on the cardboard and not the floor.
Spray the coating over the paper in a steady back-and-forth motion.
Let the paper dry thoroughly before handling.
- Each type and brand of waterproofing spray has its own set of directions that you should follow for best results.
- Instead of starting the spray directly on the paper, try starting it away and toward the side before spraying the paper in a steady side-by-side motion. This can help prevent a blob of excessive coating from ruining the paper.
- The drying time for the sprays vary, but most waterproof sprays dry to touch within 15 minutes. However, you should give them a few hours before handling.
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