How To Seal Tempera Paint On Wood!

With more and more people turning to tempera paint for general arts and crafts as well as a quick and easy way to keep their children entertained, we have noticed more and more questions being asked from the community. One of the more common questions regarding tempera paint that we have noticed being asked time and time again is how to seal tempera paint on wood.

Due to constantly seeing people reaching out about sealing their tempera paint on wood we have decided to publish this dedicated article to help any of our readers looking to use their tempera paint with wood. Thankfully, the process of sealing your tempera paint on wood is quick, easy, and cheap in most cases.

We will go over the whole process below and the techniques are applicable for both tempera paint and poster paint with many people using the two interchangeably. That said though, they are both actually different products to each other and we have our ultimate poster paint vs tempera paint guide online for anyone curious about the differences between the two.

Can You Seal Tempera Paint On Wood?

You are able to easily seal tempera paint on the majority of types of wood that you may be using in your arts and crafts sessions, especially for children’s arts and crafts. Although there are a few methods that you can take advantage of, they are all very easy to do and they are usually cheap.

There are two main sealant types that you are able to use to seal your tempera paint on a wood surface. The first is a spray based and the second is applied using a brush with both having their advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs. In our opinion, the spray based solutions do tend to be quicker and easier to use while also offering slightly better protection too.

If you are using your tempera paint to entertain your children and you use a spray based sealant, it is usually better for you to spray the sealant onto the wood surface. If you choose a sealant that is applied via a brush then your child can hold the brush with your hand guiding them when needed.

How To Seal Tempera Paint On Wood!

To seal your tempera paint on wood, make sure that the paint is dried and then apply the sealing agent of your choice over the paint. Spray sealants usually need to be sprayed on from around six inches away while brush based sealants only need a very thin layer.

Although there are a wide range of sealants on the market that will work with wood, not all of them will work well with tempera paint so we usually recommend the spray based Krylon sealant. It is an excellent option for most people and will allow you to quickly and easily seal your tempera paint onto most wood surfaces and get the best possible protection.

If you are using a different brand of sealing agent then we would highly recommend that you read the label of the product. Even different types of spray based sealant need to be applied in slightly different ways with some of them needing two or even three coats for optimal protection, especially if you will be using them outdoors.

Does Mod Podge Seal Tempera Paint?

Mod Podge can be an excellent option for sealing your tempera paint on wood provided the wood will be kept indoors. Mod Podge tends to suffer when exposed to the elements so a more specialist sealing agent is usually needed for any outdoor wooden surfaces.

As most people use tempera paint for children’s arts and crafts, they will usually have some Mod Podge in their arts and crafts kit already due to it being so versatile. This can help you keep your costs down as many of our readers will already have Mod Podge.

To seal your tempera paint onto a wood surface using Mod Podge, you only need a very thin layer. This is where most people often make an easily avoidable mistake as they tend to use way too much Mod Podge. Once the thin layer has dried, your tempera paint on the wooden surface will be protected with the Mod Podge having dried clear causing minimal issues with the paint.

How Long Will Sealed Tempera Paint Last On Wood?

Depending on the sealing agent that you have used, your sealed tempera paint on a wooden surface can easily last you years and as much as a decade. There are a number of variables to factor in though so it is hard to offer an exact timeframe.

In our opinion, the Krylon sealant is the best option and will offer you the best long term results for both indoor and outdoor use. It is easily able to take the punishment from the elements as well as wear and tear helping to keep the surface protected for as long as possible.

Although products such as Mod Podge can work surprisingly well for sealing your tempera paint onto wood, it tends not to last as long as a specialist sealant. Even if you keep the wood indoors then the sealant will start to have issues after a few years if you use Mod Podge.

Can You Seal Tempera Paint On Unfinished Wood?

Unfinished wood can be harder to seal, especially if it is rough so we usually recommend that you at least try to sand it down prior to painting it. The smooth surface will be better for both the tempera paint and the sealing agent that you choose to use offering better results.

Thankfully, there are some “unfinished wood” products that have already been sanded down offering a nice, smooth surface that is ready to go as soon as you need to paint it. On the flip side of this though, a large amount of unfinished wood is not smooth and should be sanded prior to painting.

Even just running some cheap sand paper over any unfinished rough wood prior to painting it will make it much easier to seal your tempera paint onto it. Then, once the paint has fully dried you can apply your sealing agent and seal the paint to the wood quickly.


That brings our article going over how to seal tempera paint on wood to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and sealing your tempera paint based artwork onto a wood surface is usually considerably easier than most people think. There are plenty of sealing products on the market that can work well with tempera paint on wood but the main thing to remember is to ensure that the paint is dry prior to apply your sealant!

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