How to Seal Diamond Paintings
Next time you’re sitting in front of your newest diamond painting kit, take a look between the round drills or at the meeting points of some of the square drills. You’ll notice the round drills have quite a bit of space between them most of the time and the square drills, although flush against one another, are still not quite uniformly melded into a sum of their disparate square diamond parts. While the canvas is fresh from the full drill diamond painting kit, the adhesive sticks well and the rhinestones will stay attached. Time will, unfortunately, wear the adhesive away, especially if it’s exposed directly to open air. So, after all, it is in diamond painting as it is in all crafting: nothing lasts forever.
Don’t despair just yet though, craft lovers. To paint with diamonds is the opposite of the built-to-be-destroyed sand mandala. The diamond embroidery lords have handed down a DIY solution from on high, delivering us high-quality diamond painting sealants. Any expert or enthusiast will tell you that when you paint with diamonds it’s not truly complete until it has been sealed. It’s a simple and easy procedure that will protect your newly assembled diamond art and keep it together for you to frame and give as a gift or use to decorate your home.
There are a few different high-quality sealant products on the market and each is generally just as easily applied as any of the others. The most important thing before you apply the sealant is to make sure your diamond beads are flat, flush, and even on the canvas and clear any dust or debris that may have fallen onto the diamond painting accidentally.
Before the sealer
If you like the DIY nature of diamond art, you’re going to enjoy this next stage of the process. To seal DIY diamond paintings, all you need to do is apply a sealer to the finished canvas and wait for it to dry. There are some more in-depth steps that we’ll cover later on, but before we get to that point there is likely going to be some much-needed housekeeping to do on your diamond painting.
Particularly for those crafting enthusiasts who enjoy working on their diamond embroidery outdoors, there is almost always going to be some kind of dust or other debris that has accidentally fallen onto your rhinestones. Although you can prevent the worst of this sort of thing from happening by not removing the entire protective plastic film from the DIY diamond painting kit, eventually the painting has to be left exposed to some of the elements, even if it’s left indoors.
The good news is this problem has a very simple solution. All you need to do is take a common household toothbrush or hairbrush and go over the fixed diamond beads, brushing debris and dust from them. In theory, you can use just about any tool to finish this part of the job. A dry paintbrush might work, or you can experiment with using a dry washcloth to dust the surface of the finished diamond painting. Don’t use any product at this stage just yet, because it could interfere with the efficacy of the sealer used in the next step.
Imperfections in the rhinestones
While you’re cleaning off the tops of your rhinestones, pay special attention to how they are holding up and what condition the entire finished diamond puzzle kit is in. Sometimes the diamonds can have manufacturing imperfections or some kind of defect from their packaging or transportation. If you think of the rhinestones as if they were teeth, then these imperfections often look like ‘cavities’, little divots in the round tops of the plastic diamonds similar to the damaging effects of sugar on teeth. You’re going to want to know where these little cavities are because they can be easily filled in and fixed while you’re applying the sealant in the next step.
If you feel any unevenness in the diamonds, or in other words if you can’t run your hands over all the diamonds fixed to the canvas without feeling bumps, then you’ll also want to fix that in the next step. It’s an easy fix with a household rolling pin, but you have to do it before you actually apply the sealant because the rolling pin won’t be effective afterward.
This step is especially important if you are planning on framing your diamond painting after the sealant is dry. Frames with a glass front won’t fit quite as well if the diamonds are unevenly fixed to the canvas. Once you have everything cleaned off and you have some idea of the overall condition of the diamond painting at this stage, you’re ready to move on. Hopefully, your DIY diamond painting has been on a flat surface during this brushing off, but if it isn’t it’s definitely time to move it there now.
Evening out your diamond painting
If you noticed any unevenness while you were cleaning off your diamond painting in the last step, now is the time to fix it. Place your completed diamond painting kit on a flat surface with enough room for the edges of the canvas to sit comfortably. This trick won’t work if they are drooping over the side of a table. There must be a hard, flat surface underneath so that the pressure you exert on the diamond painting will even out the rhinestones.
Grab a high-quality rolling pin from the kitchen for use in evening out the rhinestones in your diy diamond painting. It may not seem like one of the official diamond painting tools like an applicator pen or red wax, but a rolling pin should really be a mainstay for any crafting enthusiast.
With the rolling pin, slowly go over the entire 5D diamond painting from one end to the other. If you hear any snapping or popping, don’t worry. It’s only the rhinestones slipping into place. Apply consistent and even pressure with the rolling pin and make sure you’re going from one end of the canvas to the other end. Then roll slowly and with even pressure from the top of the canvas to the bottom.
Once you get the hang of this procedure, it should be easy enough to flatten out the diamond painting without causing any slipping with the rolling pin. If you’re having a hard time at first, try putting a thin towel on top of the diamond painting to give the rolling pin some traction. Keep in mind that you may need to apply more pressure to get the rhinestones even beneath the towel, though.
Sealing your diamond painting
We’ve made it to the big show now, folks. Your diamond painting should now be cleaned off and all the drills should be nice and evenly pressed. Now we’re going to treat it with a store-bought high-quality sealant to preserve it and keep it together so you can hang it up, frame it, or keep it in a storage box for later use. There are two general types of high-quality sealants.
One is sold in an aerosol spray can applicator. It’s really easy to use, essentially the same as a hair spray or deodorant can. It has many benefits, including its ability to quickly apply several coats of sealant for folks nervous about that sort of thing. It may behoove you to stock up on filter masks if you’re going to try to use an aerosol sealant because inhaling one can cause light-headedness and dizziness. Make sure you find an area outside to apply the sealant if you choose an aerosol brand.
The second sealant is one of the most common painting accessories there is. It is a thicker sealant that is usually applied with a paintbrush called mod podge, a word that comes from the French word “découpage”, which describes the art of using cut-out figures to decorate other objects. To seal 5D diamond paintings with mod podge, you should prepare a small reserve of water to use as a dilution.
This will not only make the mod podge last longer, but it will make the substance more liquid which will help it seep into space between round drills much better. The application of this type of sealant will be much more familiar to most crafting enthusiasts who know some painting techniques from other arts and crafts. You can apply the mod podge in the same place where you assembled the diamond painting or you can take it outside if you want. In general, it’s much more versatile than the aerosol method.
Aerosol sealants versus mod podge
Let’s take a closer look at how exactly you use each of these methods to seal your 5D diamond painting.
If you’re using the aerosol variety, make sure you apply it in a garage or outdoors where there is plenty of room and ventilation. You won’t be spraying that much of the product, but it’s harmful to inhale and may cause dizziness or light-headedness. If you do begin to feel light-headed while you’re spraying, take a break. The sealant can dry at different rates without issue as long as the entire canvas is completely dry before you move on to the framing process.
The first step in sealing the diamond painting is to lay it out on a flat surface in a wide-open space. A small area won’t do for the aerosol spray product. A table or bench will do just fine, and some diamond art enthusiasts even lay their diamond art out on paint buckets or trash cans. Any flat surface works as long as there’s ample space around the canvas so it won’t bend or fall. Spray the aerosol lightly in horizontal lines across the surface of the diamond art, then back. Move up and spray another horizontal line across and back, and so on until you’ve covered the whole diamond painting with the seal.
Don’t spray for the aerosol can for very long with each spray. Count to 3 and move the can horizontally while you spray. At the count of three, stop that spray and move on. For good measure, you can spray a few times vertically as well. Once it has been sealed, make sure you let your diamond art air dry for about an hour after each coating. You can apply as many coats of the seal as you want, just keep letting the canvas dry between coats. Aerosol may not be for the detail-oriented diamond painter who prefers to get their hands on the details with their diamond art and fill in the gaps one small area at a time. Applying the coating via aerosol can still be used to fill little imperfections in the diamonds like pits and cavities.
If you decided to go with mod podge, you don’t need to be outdoors but of course, you certainly can be. If you like 5D diamond painting as a winter hobby when you’re stuck indoors because of the cold, then you should definitely get mod podge. To use mod podge, get a paintbrush and a small amount of water to dilute it. Dip your paintbrush into the mod podge and then into the water. This makes the mod podge a little more fluid to fill in gaps between round drills and cover square drills more effectively. Lightly brush the diluted mod podge onto the square diamond or round drill diamond art until the sealant is evenly spread over the surface. Don’t worry about mod podge looking white, it dries clear and won’t damage the DMC color of your painting with diamonds.
The thinner you apply mod podge the faster it will dry. If you love diamond embroidery that sparkles and shine, try the extreme glitter mod podge to give your work that extra shimmer. Mod podge gives you hands-on assurance and precision in applying the sealant, which is very appealing for detail-oriented crafting enthusiasts.
Regardless of which sealant you use, you’ll be able to tell when the product has dried because you’ll be able to run your hand over the top very lightly. The dried sealer will be dry to the touch, not sticky or wet. It should be completely clear once it has dried, and the sparkle version will add an extra sheen that you should be able to see in good light. One thing to look out for is spots on the diamond painting drills in places where you may have applied it thicker to make up for spots or cavities in the individual diamond beads. That should dry too and go away, but don’t apply the sealant too thick if you don’t have the available time to let it dry.
After you seal your diamond embroidery
There are a few different things you can do once your work has been safely sealed and allowed to dry. At this stage, it’s very common to frame a diamond painting for use as home decor or to give away as a gift. A few people have successfully started selling completed diamond paintings for people who like the shine and the wide variety of DMC colors but don’t have the free time or the enthusiasm required to finish a diamond painting kit themselves. You could also put your diamond art in a storage box for transportation or begin your own archive. Perhaps there is a place for your work in the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, right next to La Grande Jatte. Or maybe, and this is slightly more likely, you have a friend or coworker who wouldn’t mind having something shiny and colorful to brighten up their cubicle.
In any case, once you seal DIY diamond paintings they are just about finished. It’s up to your discretion what you do with the completed work, but a frame is usually a good idea because once it has been outfitted with a frame the diamond art can be easily sold, stored, or transported. But for some people, it’s just the peaceful concentration that attracts them to 5D diamond painting. The finished product is not so important as the time spent in contemplation. Some swear that painting with diamonds is a soothing method of reducing stress and anxiety. For these crafting enthusiasts, it’s more about what happens when you go into the zone in the middle of a diamond DMC paint-by-number. For them, the sealing of a diamond painting is just a DIY signifier of completion. Afterward, they may give it away or they may forget about it completely.
The only absolute truth about DIY diamond painting is that once it’s sealed and finished, there’s only one thing that will give you the same feeling of peace and concentration as a full drill diamond painting kit, and that’s a brand new full drill diamond painting kit to start with all over again. Once the sealant is dry on your diamond painting, get back out there and start filling in another one. In terms of crafting, this hobby is a real diamond in the rough and there can never be too many of those around.