When sealing water-based markers, it’s important to select the appropriate sealant to ensure long-lasting and vibrant artwork.
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right sealant for your project:
- Compatibility with water-based ink
- Flexibility and durability
- Resistance to mold and mildew
- Adhesion to various surfaces
One popular sealant option for water-based markers is to use a clear acrylic matte sealer, like those used in Sharpie Paint Pen projects.
These sealers provide a protective layer without impacting the appearance of the artwork.
For best results, apply the sealer in light, even coats, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next.
Another approach to sealing water-based ink is to use the light spray technique using watercolor friendly spray sealant.
I like to use Krylon watercolor sealant as I figured waterbased markers are basically the same as watercolor paints in that they are pigments suspended in water.
The water evaporates and leaves the pigment.
This method involves applying a gentle mist of sealant from at least 12 inches above the artwork, allowing the sealant to settle on the surface.
Three or more light coats are recommended for maximum protection.
By taking the time to choose the right sealant for your water-based marker artwork, you can ensure a durable and long-lasting finish.
Preparing the Surface
Before applying any water-based markers, it’s essential to properly prepare the surface you’ll be working on.
This ensures that the marker ink adheres well and lasts longer.
First, clean the surface to remove any dirt, dust, or grease.
You can use a mild cleanser, like dish soap or rubbing alcohol, and a soft cloth or sponge to get the job done.
Make sure the surface is completely dry before moving on to the next step.
Next, consider the texture of the surface.
Some surfaces may need sanding to provide a rougher texture for better ink adhesion.
To do this, use a 120-grit sandpaper and gently sand the area where you plan to apply the markers.
Be sure not to over-sand, as this may damage the surface or make the sanded area too noticeable.
Once the surface is clean and appropriately textured, you can apply a primer if necessary. Primers can provide extra adhesion for the ink and make the colors pop.
Keep in mind that not all surfaces require a primer, but it’s a recommended step for plastic, metal, or other smooth surfaces.
Applying the Sealant
Before you begin, ensure your water-based marker artwork is fully dried to avoid smudging or smearing of colors. Now, let’s discuss the steps to apply a sealant to protect your water-based marker creations.
First, choose a suitable sealant, such as a clear acrylic matte sealer or a spray like Krylon watercolor spray sealer.
These sealants create a protective barrier over the artwork and prevent it from fading or damage.
If you are unsure about which sealant to use, refer to the manufacturer label of the product you purchase.
When applying a sealant, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. Typically, the process involves:
Preparing the surface
Clean the surface of the artwork to remove any dust or debris. You can gently use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off any particles.
Applying the sealant
Lay the artwork flat and, if using a spray sealant, hold the can at least 12 inches above the piece, as mentioned in WetCanvas.
Apply an even, light layer by gently misting the sealant over your work. Make sure not to over-apply the sealant as it may puddle or drip.
Allow the sealant layer to dry completely. The drying time is typically specified on the sealant’s label.
For added protection, apply at least two additional thin layers of sealant, allowing ample drying time between each layer.
Remember to work in a well-ventilated area while applying the sealant to avoid inhaling harmful fumes.
Take your time and be patient throughout the process to ensure a successful sealant application that will protect your water-based marker artwork for years to come.
Drying and Curing Time
When working with water based markers, it’s essential to understand the drying and curing process to achieve the best results.
Proper drying and curing will ensure the longevity of your artwork and prevent smudging, fading, or other issues.
Water based markers tend to dry quickly, usually between a few seconds to a couple of minutes, depending on factors such as humidity, temperature, and the type of paper or surface you’re using.
To speed up the drying process, you can try using a heat gun or hair dryer, but be cautious not to overheat and damage the surface.
Curing, on the other hand, refers to the process of ink becoming permanent once it dries. This process can take several hours or even days before it’s fully cured.
One way to accelerate curing time for water based inks is by applying heat, such as using an oven, for at least 10 minutes at 300°F, as demonstrated in this YouTube video.
Here’s a summary of drying and curing times to keep in mind:
- Drying Time: A few seconds to a couple of minutes
- Curing Time: Several hours to days
Remember to always test the ink on a small, inconspicuous area when applying heat for drying or curing to ensure it doesn’t damage your artwork or surface.
And be patient; giving your water-based marker project ample time to dry and cure will lead to better, longer-lasting results.
Tips for Long-Lasting Results
Getting the most out of your water-based markers can be achieved if you follow some essential tips.
These tips will prolong the life of your markers and ensure smooth, vibrant lines every time you use them.
1. Store markers horizontally
This keeps the ink evenly distributed and prevents one end from drying out. Storing markers with the caps pointing down can cause the ink to flow toward the tip, making them dry out faster.
2. Put caps back on tightly
Make sure to put the caps back on your markers as soon as you’re done using them. Air exposure can quickly dry out the marker tips.
3. Use the right surface
Water-based markers work best on porous surfaces such as paper, cardboard, and canvas. Using them on non-porous surfaces like plastic or glass won’t allow the ink to set properly and may wear out the tip.
4. Revive dried-out markers
If your marker tip has dried out, you can try dipping it in a mixture of 3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar for a few minutes.
This can help rehydrate the marker and restore its ink flow.
5. Prime your markers before use
If you’re using a new marker or have one with a little trouble starting, tap it up and down a few times to help get the ink flowing. This ensures consistent ink distribution.
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech).
While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney.
While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts making Art his full time source of income from the age of 18 until 25.
His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia.
He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.