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How to Seal Inkjet Paper

High-resolution photographs and artwork can be printed using an inkjet printer to create special gifts. These inkjet prints should be sprayed with a protective sealer to protect the ink from exposure to water and enhance its durability. Clear acrylic sealer is available at craft and hardware stores. Select a spray sealer or varnish to apply thin, even layers of varnish over the print. Since inkjet paper is very absorbent, a spray produces a thin layer to coat the surface. Plan for ample drying time to apply several layers of sealant to properly preserve your memorable print.

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  1. Cover a flat surface with newspaper and lay your inkjet print on top. Check that the print is flat, with no corners or edges curled.

  2. Spray a thin layer of clear acrylic coating on the paper and allow to dry flat according to manufacturer's instructions.

  3. Repeat step 2 two or three times to obtain the desired level of sealing.

  4. Set the coated paper aside overnight to completely dry.

  5. Tip

    Use solvent-based acrylic varnish that is less reactive to water-soluble inks. Select fast-drying, waterproof acrylic for durable results. Matt paper is more absorbent of ink and other media. Consider printing on glossy inkjet paper (e.g., premium photo paper) and allow the print to dry overnight on the medium before applying a sealer. Place the print to dry away from any moisture and do not handle the sprayed print until all layers are dry (to prevent smudges).


    Use the acrylic spray in a dry, well-ventilated area such as a patio, or use a paint hood. Wear protective glasses and a mask to avoid contact or inhaling fumes. Keep the paper and sealer away from heat sources because the solvent in the spray is flammable.

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Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Table
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Optional: Mask, protective glasses

About the Author

Regina Edwards

Regina Edwards has been a freelance writer since 1990. She has penned video scripts, instructional manuals, white papers and abstracts. She has also ghostwritten diabetes journals. Edwards is a scuba instructor and Usui and Karuna Reiki teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Saint Joseph's University.

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