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January 5, 2012 12:23 PM   Subscribe

What is the best varnish/sealer to use on a mural painting with kids?

I'm using a series of plywood panels that are 22"x 40". These will be primed with Gesso or elastomeric paint (haven't decoded on paint yet). The panels will be painted by the students and sealed by the adults after the paint is dry. I'm not sure which sealer to use. We are located in a temperate climate that gets hot (90's, no humidity) and never cold (25* at the absolute lowest). These panels are for an outdoor garden. Also, any suggestions for paint other than Gesso or acrylic-based elastomeric outdoor house paint are welcome.
posted by luciddream928 to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Spar urethane holds up well to UV And water, but gives a slightly yellow tint.
posted by cosmicbandito at 12:34 PM on January 5, 2012

Minwax Polycrylic(the blue bucket). It's waterbased and dries quickly and you can get gallon buckets at the hardware store usually near the wood stain section. Just about any waterbased sealant will be fine.
posted by sawdustbear at 12:45 PM on January 5, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the suggestions!
posted by luciddream928 at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2012

Just be aware that, depending on what you use to paint the murals themselves, the sealer may dissolve the painting itself - try a small section first to make sure. You may need to spray rather than brush or roller the sealer on to prevent smearing of the mural.
posted by dg at 1:44 PM on January 5, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, DG - this is what I'm afraid of. We are using acrylic paint, so I thought if I used an acrylic sealer, I could resolve that issue. Since acrylic basically dries like plastic, I thought it might be okay. A spray might work best just to be on the safe side but I want to make sure I get a thick coat on to protect it from the elements. I'm looking at Home Depot's website and I can't find a variety of outdoor sealers, perhaps my search terms are wrong.

I'm looking at Seal-Krete and Sawdustbear's suggestion of "Minwax Polycrylic"
posted by luciddream928 at 2:17 PM on January 5, 2012

If you are using an acrylic paint for the mural, an acrylic sealer should be fine - make sure the paint is completely dry before sealing it, though. I'm not sure that you are looking for something called 'sealer', though - try looking for varnish instead. Basically, what you want is the clear equivalent of what you are painting the mural with, but make sure that it's suitable for exterior use.
posted by dg at 2:23 PM on January 5, 2012

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