Learn how to properly weatherproof decoupage craft projects for outdoor use. Decorate terra cotta pots, rocks, signs and more with these tips!
Ever since I shared How to Paint Terra Cotta Pots and this collection of Terra Cotta Pot Ideas, I get asked a lot of questions. So, I thought I’d share with you just how to weatherproof your decoupaged (Mod Podge) pots, rocks, signs, and more!
No one likes to spend time crafting only to have the paint chip or the decorations to peel off, right?! Well, follow these tips to help preserve your outdoor craft projects.
How to Weatherproof Decoupage Projects
If you are using acrylic paint in your outdoor craft project, be sure to follow these tips to help keep your projects looking just as good as the day you first painted them.
Use the Right Paint
The good news is that you CAN use acrylic paint on your outdoor projects!
Just make sure to read the labels and select an acrylic paint designed for outdoor use. Some paints may say “multi-surface” or “outdoor“.
You’ll also want to make sure the paint is designed for use with the type of surface you will be painting. For example, if you’re painting on terra cotta, select a paint that is designed for use with terra cotta surfaces.
Allow Paint to Dry Between Coats
Like I always say, read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, with multi-surface paint, you will need to shake the paint well before using. Then allow the paint to dry 1 hour between coats.
Cure the Paint
Another crucial step when painting outdoor craft projects with acrylic paint is to “cure the paint.” Why? Curing is the process of drying the paint in such a manner that causes the water in the paint mix evaporates and causes other chemicals to react, causing the paint to bond with the surface.
Once your project is fully cured, then the material will be more durable, resistant, and better able to handle the outdoor elements.
Here’s how to cure the painted item:
- Paint your surface as desired with acrylic paint intended for outdoor use and the surface you are painting.
- Place in a cold (not heated) oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the oven (with your item still in the oven) to cool to room temperature.
- After your item has cooled, remove it from the oven.
Use Weather-Resistant and UV Stable Colors
When you select an acrylic paint for your outdoor craft project, be sure to select a paint that is weahter-resistant and use UV stable colors. These paints are perfect for painting flowerpots, birdhouses, mailboxes, patio décor, signs and so much more.
Use a Sealer to Weatherproof Decoupage Projects
Although you don’t “have” to use a sealer, if you seal your outdoor pieces it will extend the life of your painted project.
You’ll find most sealants in aerosol form. They are easy to apply and quick drying. The use of a sealer will help protect your masterpiece from the elements.
For best results, seal your acrylic paint projects, your home decor pieces, and your decoupage paper projects with a sealer. Here are a few Mod Podge brand options:
- Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer – This Acrylic Sealer is a quick-drying formula that will not run, drip, or yellow. Protect everything from paint to wood to stain with this easy-to-use decoupage spray.
- Mod Podge Outdoor – Mod Podge Outdoor dries clear, leaving a smooth, gloss finish. Preserve the beauty of your outdoor decoupage projects and more with this all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish. This formula is intended for use in sheltered outdoor environments and is not waterproof.
- Mod Podge Water Resistant – This is a high-performance, easy-to-use formula that adds a protective layer to guard against water for a beautiful and functional finish to your DIY projects. This handy decoupage glue dries to a beautiful clear, hard, glossy finish and is durable with high adhesion and a self-sealing formula.
How to Weatherproof Decoupage Projects for Outdoor Use
If you are going to decoupage your outdoor craft project, there are a few tips to keep in mind. But, first, let’s take a look at what we mean by decoupage.
What is “Decoupage”?
Decoupage is the art or craft involved in decorating a surface with paper or fabric and applying and/or sealing with a glue.
Such as applying a picture to a wooden surface, or cutting out designs on a napkin or fabric and applying to a flower pot.
Decoupage is a glue-like substance that adheres the items to the surface of your craft project. And the glue also provides a protective barrier to the surface.
Keep in mind, though, that decoupage itself is not waterproof. It is water resistant.
Apply a Sealant to Waterproof Decoupage Projects
If you want to make your decoupaged project waterproof, you will need to use a sealant. You can use:
- Varnish – A clear, glossy finish that is applied with a brush or roller. Best for smooth surfaces.
- Polyurethane – A clear, durable finish that is applied with a brush or sprayed on. Use on smooth or rough surfaces.
- Lacquer – A clear, glossy finish that is applied with a brush or sprayed on. Best used on smooth surfaces.
- Enamel – A glossy or matte finish that is applied with a brush or sprayed on. Use on smooth or rough surfaces.
- Spray-On Sealant – A clear, easy-to-apply finish that is sprayed on. Use on smooth or rough surfaces.
Choose the Right Sealant
There are different types and brands of sealants that you can choose from for your decoupage project. There are two important things to consider:
- Select a sealant that is suitable for the type of decoupage medium you are using.
- Select a sealant that is suitable for the type of object you are using in your project.
As you prepare to work on your project, it’s also important to consider how the item will be used. For example, will it be used in your house only? Or maybe it will be subject to the harsh sunlight or rain and wind outdoors 24×7.
This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a list of products I have used in various decoupage projects and can recommend for you to use in yours.
- Mod Podge Outdoor
- Mod Podge Spray Acrylic Sealer
- FolkArt Outdoor Acrylic Paint
- Apple Barrel Multi-Surface Paint
- Foam Paint Brushes
- Rust-Oleum Lacquer Spray
- Grade #000 Steel Wool
- Craft Scissors
- Floral Paper Napkins
More Decoupage Craft Ideas
If you enjoy working with decoupage, you might like these craft ideas from The Birch Cottage:
- How to Paint Terra Cotta Pot
- Fabric Covered Flower Pot
- DIY Terra Cotta Pot Luminaries
- DIY Terra Cotta Pot Ideas for Mother’s Day
And be sure to pin this tutorial to your favorite Pinterest craft board to save it for later or to share with family and friends!