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Sealing your Cricut projects – is it necessary? What is the best product to use? What’s the best technique? This is one of the top 3 questions we get again and again here at Makers Gonna Learn. People always want to know about sealing their Cricut crafts.
If you’re curious about when and how to seal your Cricut craft projects, this is a must-read. We’re going to share everything we know based on our years of experience working with Cricut machines and making thousands of Cricut projects. Let’s dive in.
Sealing Your Cricut Projects
Supplies and products we’re talking about in this video:
UV Resin: https://amzn.to/3BvlpHI
UV Light: https://amzn.to/3BsD7vj
Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge: https://amzn.to/354190H
Minwax Polycrylic: https://amzn.to/2KzC588
Minwax Polyurethane Clear Satin Spray Sealer: https://amzn.to/3cIRSh5
Tumbler Turner – https://amzn.to/3W7nwMM
CrystaLac Grand Finale Fast Dry Tumble Coat – https://thecrystalacstore.com/collections/tumbler-products/products/grande-finale-fast-dry-tumbler-coat
1 – Your vinyl doesn’t always have to be sealed.
In fact, we rarely ever seal ours. Adding sealant over the top of vinyl can make it look less professional (often brush strokes show through). If you use a high-quality vinyl and make sure to burnish it well, it should last for a very long time. Burnishing adds that extra bit of pressure to help with adhesion of the vinyl.
Many types of vinyl are water-resistant as well and they simply don’t need the addition of sealant. You can also look into the different types of vinyl that you’re using. For example, with Oracal you can buy it in different adhesive strengths for different types of projects. For example, you will want to use one specifically suited for outdoor projects and that sort of thing.
2 – What about sealing Cricut mugs?
We believe that when something is handmade, it should be hand washed. So, if you follow this rule, then no, you don’t need to seal your mugs. If you know that the mug is going to be thrown into the dishwasher, you’re going to need to use some Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge. One thing that is really important to note about this product is that it takes 28-30 days to fully cure. Yes, that means you need to make it and then put it aside for a whole month before using it! You also have to apply multiple coats and once again, you can have the issue of there being brushstrokes in it, so it is labor intensive and time consuming to make your mugs dishwasher-safe.
3 – What should I use for sealing tumblers?
We highly recommend using UV Resin. You will either need to have access to the sun or a UV light for curing it and you will definitely want to use a tumbler turner for the best results.
Another product we really like is CrystaLac Grand Finale. This is a fast drying, self-levelling product. It takes multiple coats and you will need a tumbler turner for this as well.
Adding resin to a tumbler can make it look so much more professional and will make it more durable. Tumblers often get rougher use than mugs as they are taken on the go so sealing them with resin can be a really great idea.
4 – How do you seal projects that will be placed outside?
Again, we always recommend looking for the higher-level vinyl for your outdoor Cricut projects. There are vinyls made to remain durable even when exposed to the elements outside and these are your best bet. But, if those aren’t available to you, what else can you do to seal outdoor projects?
We have two great products to recommend. A clear sealant spray is a fantastic idea. We really like the Minwax Polyurethane but Rustoleum and Krylon also make excellent products. The main drawback of these sprays is that they have a tendency, especially when exposed to the sun, to yellow a bit.
Another one we have a lot of success with is a polycrylic. We use this same product for making glitter ornaments during the holidays. This is also a fantastic product but it is not self-levelling, so a disadvantage of using it is that you will see brush strokes. This might be a good opportunity to try the CrystaLac product since it’s self-levelling instead.
SUMMARY OF PRODUCTS
Polyurethane spray –
This is a great sealer. It’s thinner and less noticeable and since it’s a spray, there are no brushstrokes. This is good to use on wooden signs that will be exposed to the elements when you don’t have access to the higher level vinyl.
Polycrylic sealer –
This is fantastic for giving a really good seal, but you need to be okay with seeing brushstrokes. It’s not as noticeable on some items as it is on others. For example, it’s very noticeable on metal.
Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge –
We use this for the rare occasions we want to seal a mug or for other similar projects where we can’t use a resin-type sealant.
UV Resin –
This is, in our opinion, the best product to use for tumblers. It’s the fastest with the best results. The only negative to this is that you must have a tumbler turner to use with it because it is self-leveling.
CrystaLac Grand Finale –
CrystaLac also requires the use of a tumbler turner. It takes quite a bit longer than UV Resin because you need to wait at least an hour between coats and it requires multiple coats. However, if you’re hesitant to use resin, this is your best choice. It is non-yellowing and non-toxic.