Protecting and Finishing Alcohol Ink Tile Paintings

by | May 16, 2017 | Alcohol Ink, Alcohol Ink Basics, Alcohol Ink on Tile, Alcohol Ink Tips, Barbara Nahmias, How-Tos, Substrates

By Barbara Nahmias

Sealing and Protecting Alcohol Ink Art on TileMany alcohol ink artists paint on ceramic tile. Tile painting is popular because tiles are smooth and non-porous allowing the inks to flow beautifully. It is also popular because tiles make great gifts as coasters, trivets and small art pieces. Alcohol ink tends to “flake off” ceramic tile if it is not sealed. In my earlier days of painting on tile, I did not know this. I sold a few tiles and gave some as gifts and was very dismayed to hear that they did not last. Even those that had just been sitting on little easels as art pieces eventually dried out and flaked. I offered to repair and seal them, but that didn’t work out too well either. Eventually, through trial and error, and learning from other artists, I found solutions to this problem.

Before deciding how to seal your tile, you need to determine how it will be used. If it is an art piece that will be framed or displayed on a small easel, it can be sealed with a brush-on, water-based sealer like “Liquitex Gloss Varnish” or “Ranger Gloss Multi-Medium.” Varnishes that are not water-based, either brush-on or spray, will act as solvents and totally destroy your work. I learned this the hard way! The key to using these brush-on sealers is to use a very soft, clean brush and apply one coat very lightly. Do not go over your brush strokes multiple times. If you do, it will create “drag” and begin to move the inks around.

Another option for art pieces is a spray-on sealer. I have tried many, but I get my best results by spraying one light coat of “Krylon Kamar Varnish on a totally dry piece. I allow the varnish to dry for about an hour. To further protect the tile and create a shinier finish, I then spray several light coats (with at least 30 minutes drying time between each) of “Krylon Triple-thick Crystal Clear Glaze”. I then set the tile out to dry overnight in an area that is not dusty. Once I set a tile to dry by an open window and ended up with a lot of dust debris embedded in the sealer!

If you are going to use your tile as a coaster (usually a 4 ¼ “ x 4 ¼”) or trivet (6” x 6”) you will need a harder, more protective finish. For this, I suggest artist’s resin- a 2-part epoxy resin that is mixed in a one-to-one ratio and then poured onto the tile. This is a somewhat messy process that also requires 24 hours for the resin to cure and dry properly. You must follow the mixing directions precisely or you will get “sticky” results. As with spray and brush-on sealers, you must protect your piece from dust while it dries. Also, you will need to wipe away any drips from the sides with a flat stick. Yes- this is a big production and there is a learning curve, however, the results are amazing! You end up with a clear-as-glass, shiny, hard finish that is just beautiful. Tim Holtz, the maker of Adirondack Alcohol Inks, sells a resin called “ICE.” I have also used “EnviroTex Lite Acabado Brilliante Resin.” It is a little cheaper and I don’t notice any difference in the results.

Finally, I finish coasters and trivets with a stick-on cork backing. You can usually find these as well as small display easels on Amazon.com. I buy my tile frames and boxes (to inlay tiles) on Aftosa.com. I glue them into the frames or boxes with a small amount of Gorilla Glue. The glue tends to expand and does not wipe off easily so beware! I ruined a tile and frame once by using too much glue. Here are a few photos of some of my favorite pieces.

See also:  How to Seal Alcohol Ink Art

 

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Barbara Nahmias is a self-taught artist, and art instructor living in Riverdale, New York. She defines herself as a “latent lifelong artist” who, until retirement from her position at a major media company, never had the time to nurture her creative expression. View Barbara's full profile and see her work!

75 Comments

  1. Laura

    Does it matter whether your tile is already “shiny”/glossy (like bathroom ready tile) or if it is matttw/without any finishing? I bought my tiles online and I want to make sure I can still use them for my coaster project even though they have no finishing or gloss on them.

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Laura, you want the tiles to be glossy (or non-porous). If they don’t have the finish, the alcohol ink is likely to soak into the tile. I would definitely test one to be sure it’s working for you.

      Reply
      • Krystal

        I want to use alcohol inks on coffee cups and wine glasses. Can i use this technique for this use? Are they food safe and dishwasher safe?

        Reply
    • Carole Brisson

      the tiles that I use do have a little shine to them and they are fine. I have used some that seem to have no finish and you cannot control the flow of ink very well; it can soak in. ;you can use a straw and blow the ink around or use a brush to move it as you want. You can also tilt it in different directions for a different result. The one saving grace is 91o/o rubbing alcohol. pour it on paper towel and wipe the tile clean and start over. Fun!

      Reply
    • Lynette Hayes

      Hi,
      Am about to spray 24 alcohol painted tiles with krylon triple thick crystal clear glaze. Do I shake the can before spraying. This is my first attempt.
      Kind regards Lynette

      Reply
    • Jennifer

      I want to know this too!!

      Reply
  2. Astrid Adler

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  3. Abigail Weissman

    Great article. Thank you very much for sharing, Barbara.

    Reply
  4. Pamela Habing

    I’m interested in painting some custom tiles to use as a back splash in a kitchen but am really nervous about how to properly seal them so that when they are grouted into place they will remain protected. Any advice?

    Reply
    • JJ

      Hi,
      I’m relatively new to alcohol inks and I am struggling to seal tiles for coasters. I’ve been using kamar varnish, uv protectant, triple thick clear glaze, and the duplicolor engine enamel so that they are heat resistant.
      I’ve done heat tests on two separate sets now and the cups keep leaving indents on the enamel. What am I doing wrong?? I’m making sure that its warm enough to do the sealing and not too humid. I can’t use resin because I don’t have a respirator, and I’m not willing to try until I have one. Can someone please help me? I’m getting so frustrated and desperate.

      Reply
    • Sherry Osmond

      Good morning
      Could Krylon Satin Finish be used to seal porcelain tiles that will be put on the wall at an entry way? I can’t find the Kamar here.
      Your thoughts?

      Reply
      • Alcohol Ink Art Community

        It’s possible. The issue is that most spray sealers have ethanol or another chemical that reactivates the ink. The Satin finish may do the same. I guess you could give it a try. I would make sure the art work is fully cured/dry before doing so, however.

        Reply
  5. Barbara Nahmias

    Hi Pamela! The only way I know to permanently seal the tiles is by using resin. You can use either artist’s resin (like “Ice” by Adirondack, the same company that makes our inks) or resin that is sold in home improvement stores like “Enviro-tex Lite.” They use it to seal wood, as in table-tops for example.There are many brands out there and I am not recommending a particular one because I’ve only tried one. I hope this helps!

    Reply
    • Grey Freeman

      I too was wanting to use it in a backsplash or as a centerpiece on the bathroom shower wall…looking at resins – do you know anything about “Art Resin” https://www.artresin.com/pages/faq? I was thinking of trying it (there are other art projects I think it would be great for and would prefer only buy one kind) but am new to both alcohol inks and resin and not sure if I’m overlooking something. Thanks for this post – very helpful!

      Reply
      • Barbara Nahmias

        Hi Grey! I have heard great things about Art Resin, it’s durability and lightfastness. I haven’t used my tiles in a moist environment so I can’t speak on that, but if you are going to try it, I would double-seal the tile with the resin. Would love to hear how that works out for you!

        Reply
        • Jessica

          I’ve been painting with alcohol inks on marble tiles. If I spray a few coats of krylon kamar, do you think the tile with ink would hold up to a lot of handling (no moisture or heat)?

          Reply
      • Susan

        Love ArtResin. I use it for many of my projects with amazing success.

        Reply
  6. Kate Antosz

    Do you have to set the painted tiles with Krylon before using the Ice or Enviro-tex Lite?

    Reply
    • Barbara Nahmias

      Hi Kate! I think it’s a great idea to spray with Kamar before using any other sealer. While I’ve never had a problem with art resin changing or dissolving the inks, I’ve heard that others have.

      Reply
    • Robyn Dunahee

      I use the EnviroTex Lite epoxy and love it for sealing just about anything. I have noticed that purple alcohol ink disappears if you use epoxy directly on the surface, so I would definitely seal it with something before putting epoxy on it.

      Reply
    • Merryl

      Hi, I’ve been using alcohol inks for a while now, but still experimenting and learning. I have an issue where if I use mixatives blended in with my inks on glass that even after being varnished with any of the Krylon varnishes or a water based varnish, that they start flaking or lifting, do you have any suggestions

      Reply
  7. KC

    I HAVE SEALED MY TILES WITH THE KRYLON TRIPLE THICK AND DRYED SEVERAL DAYS. I HAVE TRIED THIS IN MANY DIFFERENT WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE EDGES CHIP. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

    Reply
    • Barbara Nahmias

      KC, I have never had this chipping problem. These days I routinely spray everything with Kamar first (even before Krylon Triple-thick.) Maybe that would help. I am interested to hear whether anyone else has had the chipping problem and how they solved it.

      Reply
  8. Linda

    Envirotex also has a spray sealer. I have used it for the inks. I used very light coats of it for metal.

    Reply
  9. Lillian Lovato

    following

    Reply
  10. Rosamund Stewart

    Hi artists, I’m Ros Stewart, a New Zealander who can’t access Krylon acrylic spray to seal my alcohol inks on wood. NZ won’t allow it imported. I’ve sealed my boards successfully with Binder medium. My question is How do I seal my finished alcohol ink painting?
    I’m currently using Atelia Gloss varnish with a soft brush very carefully, bcos it does move red based inks in particular. 2 or 3 layers of that. Is that enough? Another artist here uses Liquitex pouring medium after that to give a resin like finish. Do I need to do it as well?

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Hi Ros, I’m in the process of experimenting with a number of mediums as alternatives to Kamar and will be reporting those when I have all the research completed, but that probably won’t be until next month. If you are on Facebook, check out the facebook group and search for “sealing” and “UK”. There have been a number of suggestions lately, but I need to do more research before making a recommendation! – Laurie Williams

      Reply
      • Lori Pranger

        Following

        Reply
    • Maureen Messer

      A painting instructor advised using several coats of Casein workable fixative before varnishing water color paintings. You might try some experiments with that. Spectrum makes one.

      Reply
  11. dyan lee

    Great article. Very helpful. I’m new to the alcohol painted tile art, but love it! I want to set some of my tiles into the backsplash over the cooktop in the kitchen. Any recommendations for which sealing method to use? They need to withstand some amount of heat radiating from the cooktop and, of course, be washable. Thank you.

    Reply
  12. Marcia

    I discovered Alcohol Ink on Pinterest a few months ago. I was very excited. I’ve been away from the art world for many years and thought this would be something I could embrace. So a couple of weeks ago I bought some supplies and got started. The first day I did two tile and a mug. They turned out great. Yay! I knew they would need to be sealed so I read tips/suggestions online. I bought and tried “Dishwasher Safe Mod Podge” and smeared my mug. Then I bought and used Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel. After three coats I set a water glass on it for a few min and then flaked my art off with a paper towel. Next, I tried Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane Clear. It hasn’t smeared or flaked yet but I’m not sure how it will work long term.
    For the last two weeks I’ve been doing one or two tiles a day. I’ve enjoyed it enormously.
    But I knew I needed to solve the sealing issue so I searched and found your solution. So, the only successful way to deal them is a two part resin? Ugh! Are you supposed to make a few and seal a few? That sounds very unappealing to me. Isn’t there anything you can spray on?
    One of the great things about AI was the fact that you could create “useful” art projects. If they aren’t going to be useful I might move on to another medium.
    I am very discouraged.

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Hi Marcia, Sealing is highly recommended with alcohol ink. You don not have to use 2 part resin to protect your paintings on tile. The recommended solution is to use Krylon Kamar varnish (2-3 light coats, waiting about an hour between coats), then a UV protector to help keep the painting from fading. The Kamar Varnish helps “set” the alcohol ink to keep them from moving… then you can use the Mod Podge on top. I recommend testing, but I believe this will work for you! Be sure to share what you create on our FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlcoholInkArtCommunity/

      Reply
      • Marcia

        Thanks, Laurie

        Reply
      • George

        Back to the drawing board. As per recommendation from my alcohol ink instructor, I sealed my tiles with The Kamar Varnish. Three coats with 10 hours drying time between. They came out great until I was selling at a local farmers market and it started to rain lightly. I didnt cover them as I
        Figured they would be just fine when I wiped them off after the drizzle. After an hour I wipped them with a tissue and lo and behold the ink came right off. Ie,dont get them wet!

        Reply
        • Michele C.

          Since Ice Resin is “self-doming”, how should it be used on a tile which I want to remain flat rather than domed?

          Reply
      • Andrea

        I used the kamar and had great tales, but then I went over the pots with a coat of krylon UV, and the inks spread and faded. Any way to prevent this?! It was so disappointing!

        Reply
        • Gina

          I’m struggling with the same issue 🙁 I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong

          Reply
  13. jim

    has anybody tried
    Valspar® Professional
    Interior Pre-Catalyzed Epoxy to sealAI on ceramic?

    Reply
  14. Cristy Grimberg

    I am very frustrated. I used Rustoleum Clear Glaze. My silver mixitive, that I used to enhance my alcohol ink coasters, seemed to blend with the brown alcohol ink. Any ideas? Can I apply the silver on the current sealer and then seal them again?

    Reply
  15. dyan Lee

    Love this site! I’m trying to make coasters. I sealed with Kamar Varnish and then topped them off with Mod Podge to add a protective coat – and all my glasses and cups stick to the coasters when you pick up the cup! Broken one so far. Any recommendations for a sealer that won’t stick? Or does curing the sealer for days or a week help?

    Reply
    • Lib

      I am just starting to work with alcohol inks so I know little about specific sealers for that purpose but am trying to learn. However, I have worked with the regular formula Mod Podge for many years (on wood, paper mache, paper beads, etc). No matter how long it cures, Mod Podge almost ALWAYS gets tacky if there is *any* humidity, even indoors. So it can’t work as an outer coat. For my wood and paper projects, an acrylic spray sealer goes on top. I don’t know if tackiness is a problem with the MP dishwasher formula.

      Reply
    • Nancy

      I bought a ceramic high heat spray at the automotive store. (Duplicolor I think)
      Make sure it is the last couple of coats and it is recommended to let it “cure” for a couple of weeks before using as trivets or coasters.

      Reply
  16. Katharine A Dreier

    How about if I want to use alcohol inks on a ceramic mug? I am very familiar with resin and don’t think would be the route I’d want with a mug. The mug will not only be used to drink but also go in a dishwasher and microwave…. any suggestions on a sealer for mugs or other ceramic items such as this?

    Reply
    • BReed

      I just tried my second attempt using mod Podge dishwasher safe on 2 bowls. First was a dismal failure (different decorating technique the first time)… first time in the dishwasher the sealer failed, shriveled up and turned itself (& my art) crispy, for lack of a better answer. First attempt I used a foam brush and applied per instructions (3 coats w/at least 2 hours between coats, followed by 28… yes, 28 days of curing time!!).. I’m an engineer, and thin coatings are typically more successful than thick ones.
      Second try today I used a bristle brush and applied substantially thicker coats over my AI work. We’ll see how things work out in a month(!).
      I was really happy to see this post, because I can’t wait a month to find out if my pieces are stable! Too much risk!

      Reply
  17. Beth

    I’m interested in making a tile to be used as part of a cheese board, for serving cheeses. If I seal the tile with Kamar and then coat with EnviroTex, will the resulting finish be food safe as well as strong enough to withstand a cheese knife?

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Hi Beth,
      This was and email that came from EviroTex regarding the food-safeness of their products.

      “EnviroTex Lite is considered safe for casual food contact, so bar tops, counter tops and table tops. It is not suitable for the inside of coffee mugs, on plates, or bowls.”

      It would probably be ok on a cheese board.

      As far as how it holds up on to cutting, I’m not really sure. This would probably warrant testing. I know some of the resin harden very well, but I don’t think they are bullet-proof. I just think of bar-tops and tables at restaurants. They are usually coated with EnviroTex or similar resin and hold up well. But I do see scratch marks and dents in those, but they really get hit heavily.

      Reply
  18. Alisha

    Hi there! I have painted ceramic mugs with alcohol inks and am wondering the best way to seal them. I am in search for a sealant and technique that is not only durable, but food safe. I have read that Mod Podge Dishwasher-Safe Sealant is great and takes about 30 days to cure; however, that you need something in between, so the inks don’t run. I have found Mod Podge Spray Acrylic Sealer (clear) and wondering if this is the best option? I would love some help! I’m also new to resin and have been thinking about sealing with that, but with the curvature of mugs, this is going to be extremely tricky. All advice welcome! Thanks, all! -Lisha

    Reply
  19. donna beckman

    I’m new to alcohol ink on tile. In reading other comments and your suggestion of using kamar then a resin, will this also protect the tiles from hot pans or dishes out of the oven? I’d like to use them as a trivit also.

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Donna, Resin is not made to withstand higher temperatures. This is what Art Resin states on their website…

      “Can I use ArtResin epoxy resin to make coasters and hot plates?
      Art Resin epoxy resin works very well as a coaster protectant; the heat generated from a hot mug will not damage the resin surface. However, hotter temperatures such as that produced from a frying pan or casserole dish straight from the oven are typically too hot for the resin surface, so we do not recommend using Art Resin epoxy resin for hot plates. It is recommended for use up to 120° F.”

      I’ve heard of folks using engine enamel on tile to seal for use as trivets.

      Reply
  20. Laurie Samara-Schlageter

    I purchased open backed trivet frames, but am perplexed as to how to adhere the tile into the frame. They lay within the front side of the frame. Suggestions??

    Reply
    • Lori Pranger

      Gorilla glue?

      I had special frames made, and on the back of the frame is a couple of screen door turns, so that I can easily “change out” my pictures when I want to, without buying multiple frames.

      Reply
  21. Karen

    Hello!
    I am making 100 coasters and I’m loving the alcohol ink look. I followed a YouTube video last night and then went out and bought the stuff to make them. What are your thoughts on Mod Podge matte acrylic sealer? Thanks so much for your help!

    Reply
  22. Cera

    Hello to all and thanks for all the great info! Is Kamar the only product that will set the ink? I was about to order some on line but I see a lot of comments about the nozzle and/or stem being poorly designed resulting in globs. Also, is it possible to seal AI applied on a mirror? Just looking to embellish one but it’s built in so I’d like to get it right the first time! Thanks in advance for your help! ~ Cera

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Kamar is what we’ve found works best. There are other varnishes and finishes that will work. They have to be water based and most finishes contain alcohol or chemicals that will activate the inks. Kamar for sure works, though!

      Reply
  23. Cindy

    Many seem to recommend Krylon Kamar Varnish. But, Krylon.com states they do not recommend any of their products for alcohol inks.
    Kamar has mineral spirits in it so it is not water based.
    It is confusing since the artists are saying the varnish needs to be water based.

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Thanks. I’ve never heard that they recommend not to use their products with alcohol ink. Do you remember where you saw that? I’d like to investigate. I’ve used Kamar for about five years and it works better than anything else I’ve tried.

      Reply
  24. Debbie Fauria

    I find that when I have finished an alchole ink design on ceramic tile that I am unhappy with how the back of the tile looks. I know what backing to use if it is coasters that I am working on but what about tiles to hang?

    Reply
    • Virginia Coyle

      I’m new to alcohol inks, i have really enjoyed working with them. I was wondering, why not use the same type of backing on your art tiles? I’m still trying to figure out some good framing alternatives (cheap). I have ideas just need to do them.

      Reply
  25. Emma

    Hi there! I am in the process of researching how to paint pour on ceramic tiles to make coasters and have a quick question. Many of the paint pouring tutorials I have seen use silicone oil in order to create cells within the piece. If I choose to use silicone oil, will that create major issues when I go to use the epoxy resin? Any guidance is greatly appreciated!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Nancy

      Go to the dollar tree and get some cornstarch to get the silicone oil off your tile it works great also check out the YouTube videos for removing silicone oil from your finished artwork

      Reply
  26. Becca

    I’m having trouble with sealing my tiles and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m in no rush so I tend to several tiles at once then go about the sealing process over a few days to make sure everything is dry. After they are dry (6-24 hours later) I spray them with Krylon Kamar Varnish, wait 2 hours then spray a second coat. 24-48 hours later I will spray a coat of UV then once that is dry (2-6 hours) I’ll go back with either a matte or gloss finish and do about 2 coats (2-4 hours drying time between each coat). Finally I let them sit there for about 72 hours to fully dry. Unfortunately as soon as the surface is wiped with anything from water to alcohol, the ink starts smearing. I could be ok not making the tiles into coasters and just using them as art, but I worry about when anyone tries to clean that they will just get ruined.

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      The process you are describing should work. This is exactly the process that I and many, many others use. It’s possible that you have a defective can of Kamar Varnish. The Kamar Varnish is really what seals and “fixes” the ink. Nothing should move especially after you’ve allowed it to cure for 72 hours… something in the process is defective and I suspect the Kamar. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  27. Carol

    I’ve tried using something called mod podge on my ceramic coasters, whilst it seals it, I wasn’t happy with the brush strokes it leaves, and more importantly the coaster stuck to my hot coffee cup and marked it. Whilst I’d like to try the spray, I can’t justify the price for 3 cans of spray. I have some art resin which I haven’t tried yet and that’s really expensive and not something I want to use on the coasters as I have many coasters and again can’t justify spending x amount all the time. So need something that’s fairly cheap, looks reasonable and most importantly isn’t going to stick to my cup! 🙂

    Reply
  28. Meg

    I have made over 200 coasters for favors and the 50 I have sealed are not looking good. They are faded and blurred. How can I seal them to make them usable. I don’t think I would be able to use resin successfully. I am confused as to what to do and don’t want to ruin my hard work and still want to use them for my daughter ‘s wedding. Please help.
    Meg

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      Meg, Wow! 200 coasters.. you were a busy girl! As far as sealing for coasters… resin is really the only real successful way I’ve heard to do this. Otherwise, hot beverages could “melt” the sealer. If you know they were only going to be used for cold drinks, you could use triple thick brush-on. (ONLY after setting the inks with Kamar Varnish). I’ve used the triple thick on the tiles before with really good results, but have not used them on hot beverages. The blurring is because you did not “fix” the ink. I’m sure there are alternative, but Kamar Varnish is the only think I’ve found to date that do not “move” the inks…So i use it as a barrier layer before applying top coat. alcohol ink… as they stand currently… are dye-based an prone to fading if left in the sun. If they are used indoors away for a lot of light, I haven’t had issues. The UV sprays do help. Again, resin DOES protect against the UV rays and some of our contributors have even tested leaving coasters out in direct sunlight after using Art Resin, with wonderful results. Sorry. I can’t give you a more clear solution.. The best advise I have is in the video presented on this page on how to seal alcohol ink art. Best of luck with your project. I think its a great idea for party favors!

      Reply
  29. Safia

    Excellent article, and a lot for me to learn! Ive been reading through the comments and clearly no one has managed to fully crack the alcohol ink sealing mystery! The experiments continue. I wonder why the manufacturers of alcohol inks dont come up with their own varnish. Sounds simple doesnt it?

    I have 2 Qs.

    Have you any experience sealing alcohol ink paintings (on Yupo or other synthetic paper)? What would you recommend?

    Secondly, if I wanted to use alcohol ink tiles as a splashback, i.e. they have to be able to withstand heat from the hob, as well as water and grease splashes, and be easily cleanable, is that possible? Or will any sealant/resin I use go up in flames?

    Thanks for all your help.

    Reply
  30. Liz Stauffer

    I’m a newbie in the alcohol ink world and when I decided to seal my painted tiles I explored ways to do so and decided to combine an epoxy resin with an epoxy hardener – mixing for some three minutes before pouring onto the tiles. But I must have over mixed because there are lots of tiny bubblies cured into the finished product. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the bubbles? The tiles are beautiful and I don’t want to throw them away. Thanks for your help

    Reply
    • Alcohol Ink Art Community

      While the resin is still not set, you can use a small torch or heat gun and they will come right out. Also sometimes blowing on them when resin is wet with a straw can work.

      Reply
  31. Sue K

    I am having a problem with the finish of my ceramic tiles after spraying 9 coats of sealer on them…all Kamar products. First 3 coats of varnish, next 3 coats of UV (blue can) and final 3 coast of Triple Thick Glaze. These all turned out very dull with a chalk-like rough surface. When I began making coasters, the results were OK…not glossy or anything like I hoped for such as the nice glossy finish I started with…but acceptable. These are all a pile of junk. I sprayed and waited many hours – sometimes even a day or two in between each spray coat. Any suggestions for a topcoat which will fix these and give a nice glossy finish so I can be proud of these?? (One coaster had metallic ink, which was the worst chalk dry finish.) Thank you for any help you can suggest!!

    Reply
    • Lori

      I am so excited to see this article. I am new to alcohol inks. I did an alcohol ink on a larger piece of tile. I want to seal it and use it on my bathroom counter. I see people are using the Krylon Kamar Varnish. What is the best way to seal the tile and turn it into a tray in my bathroom? I would like to use Epoxy resin. Would it work best to use the krylon Kamar varnish let dry then pour epoxy resin on it to seal and make it durable? I have never used Epoxy resin. I will practice first. Let me know if that is the way you would do it. I would like for it to be shiny and look the same as when I painted it. Thank you so much. Lori

      Reply
      • Alcohol Ink Art Community

        Yes. This method would be best. Resin is the only real way to seal the tiles being used for functional purposes like this.

        Reply
  32. Lois

    I’m wondering if Kamar varnish can be sprayed between layers of alcohol inks…. can I paint multiple layers over layers of kamar? Then resin as a final coat?

    Reply
  33. Andrea R

    Wondering if anyone can help!
    I did some alcohol inks on some tiles for coasters. They turned out so beautifully with wispy stunning layers. When I woke up the next day the design was no longer bold in colour but full of tiny little dots as if I had flicked alcohol all over it (which I had not) I am continuing to notice some of my ink splitting and separating on the tiles. Does anyone know what could be happening here and how I would prevent this?

    Reply
  34. Laura

    So I created these beautiful designs with gold blues and purples that I was wanting to make into coasters. I sealed them with krylon varnish 2 maybe 3 coats and let them set for maybe 2 days, but when I poured the resin on top (in a room at about 20degrees celcus as advised) its faded out and changed the colours, its even created little white dots all over the pieces and Im gutted.

    I have no idea why this has happened, does the temp in which I was letting the tiles cure before pouring the resin have an effect? My studio is outside so can get quite cold at the moment-

    Any advice would be amazing as I do want to seal these properly as they stick to the bottom of drinks if you dont coat them after using the krylon

    Reply

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