We want our coasters to be coasters, not a coaster display
June 6, 2011 7:36 PM   Subscribe

How should I make my collection of pub coasters waterproof?

I have a smallish collection (around 30-40) of pub coasters collected over several years, and would like to be able to use them for their intended purpose instead of keeping them in a photo binder. There are enough of them, and in particular enough in various wobbly/oblong nonstandard shapes that I think I'm looking for something to coat them in, rather than little coaster-shaped containers to purchase. (Maybe I'm wrong about this?)

So, what's clear and water resistant and can be painted onto cardboard? A wax-based product of some kind? Something else? Mod Podge was my first thought, but I'm concerned the water-solubility would make them liable to get sticky...
posted by heyforfour to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How about two or three coats of polyurathane?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:08 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've put 3" by 3" cardboard puzzle pieces between 2 sheets of clear contact paper to make coasters. Don't use them much but they still look great.
posted by stray thoughts at 10:10 PM on June 6, 2011

Scotch Guard Maybe. I know it works well on porous fabric. Should work on cardboard coasters. test on something first to see if it discolors. Good luck.
posted by hot_monster at 10:34 PM on June 6, 2011

You could try laminating them (poster shops often have laminating machines, and will happily laminate whatever you want...well, laminated). If you don't care about the edges being waterproof, you can trim the laminate flush with the coaster, otherwise you'll have an air gap, a seal, then a trimmed edge. This will be wider for thicker coasters, unless the shop has a nice soft roller setup.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:32 PM on June 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Clear varnish?

But do a test one first to make sure it wont discolour, warp or otherwise damage them.
posted by talitha_kumi at 2:12 AM on June 7, 2011

I mat someone who built a frame, filled it with his coasters, and then poured in a ton of polyurethane. It's the bar top for his garage-converted-into-a-brewery. That was some awwwwesome homebrew.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:56 AM on June 7, 2011

Acrylic Resin Casting! A local place has been giving jewellery workshops, but I think you can buy kits at craft stores or hobby shops.
posted by peagood at 7:42 AM on June 7, 2011

(Rats. I spelled "polyurethan" wrong.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:42 AM on June 7, 2011

(Rats. I did it again. "Polyurethane".)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:43 AM on June 7, 2011

Just to update, we went with plain old contact paper, and several months in they are doing fine! One or two of them have a tendency for the contact paper to peel away from the coaster, but that's it. The edges not being waterproofed has not been a problem at all!
posted by heyforfour at 2:06 PM on November 7, 2011

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