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How to Make Air Dry Clay Waterproof?

How to Make Air Dry Clay Waterproof?

Making air dry clay waterproof is a process that can seem daunting to beginners. However, with this comprehensive guide, you’ll be able to do it like a pro in no time! In this article, we will answer some of the most common questions about how to make air dry clay waterproof. We’ll provide tips and tricks for every step of the process, from mixing the clay to curing it. So whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been working with air dry clay for years, this guide has something for everyone!

Air Dry Clay and Its Uses

Air dry clay is a type of modeling clay that does not require baking in an oven to harden. It is made from natural, earthy materials like flour, water, and salt. Air dry clay is a popular choice for artists, hobbyists and crafters because it is easy to use and can be molded into a variety of shapes. It also dries fairly quickly, which allows for quick turnaround times between creation and final product. It is used for creating pottery, jewelry, and a variety of other decorative items.

Air Dry Clay and Its Uses

One downside of air dry clay is that it is not waterproof. This means that if you want to use your creations in water (such as in a fountain), they will eventually soften, dissolve and disintegrate. However, there are several ways to make air dry clay waterproof, so your projects can last longer. And we will discuss them later, but first let’s find out why exactly waterproofing air dry clay creations is important. [1], [2], [3]

Why Do You Need to Seal Air Dry Clay?

To protect your creations from water damage

If you are like most people, you probably use your air dry clay creations for a variety of purposes. You might make a few pieces to keep around the house as decoration, or you might make a bunch to give away as gifts. However, if your pieces are not waterproofed, they will eventually dissolve and disintegrate when exposed to water. This means that any creations you make that include water (fountains, dishes, etc.) will not last long at all and will be ruined within some time. The extra layer of coating can also can reduce the chance of chipping to some degree.

In addition to protecting your creations from water damage, sealing them can also help protect them from other elements. Sunlight and humidity can both cause air dry clay to deteriorate over time, so by waterproofing your pieces you can help them stay looking new for longer. So no more color fading!

To make surface look even better

Another great reason to waterproof your air dry clay pieces is that it can make them look even better. A sealant can help give the surface of your piece a smooth, shiny finish that really makes it stand out. This is a great option if you are planning on displaying your pieces somewhere where they will be seen by others. [1], [2], [3]

Ways to Seal Air Dry Clay

So now that you know why waterproofing air dry clay pieces is important, let’s take a look at how you can do it. There are several methods you can use, but we will focus on three of the most popular ones.

By using craft glue

By using craft glue

One way to seal air dry clay is by using a craft glue like Mod Podge. This method is simple and easy, and all you need to do is brush a coat of the glue over the surface of your pieces. Plus it’s non-toxic and once it dries, it will be sealed and give your creations a water resistant layer.

The best way to apply it is by using a soft bristled brush. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies, and be careful not to apply too much glue or it will drip off the sides. For the complete coverage and better protection, you will need to apply at least two layers of it. After that, wait for it to dry completely before handling or displaying your pieces.

If you are using this method, we recommend using a gloss finish Mod Podge. It will give your pieces a nice shine and help protect them from fading in the sun.

Downsides to this method is that it won’t make your pieces completely waterproof. If you are planning on using your creations in humid environments, you might want to consider another option. The glue can also add an unsightly yellow color to your art pieces after being left on the sun. And it’s not the sealant that lasts the longest either- it will eventually start to peel and chip over time. [1], [2], [3]

By using varnish

Varnish is another option you can use. Varnish is a type of sealant that can be applied to the surface of your pieces in order to protect them from water and other elements. It comes in both spray and liquid form, and there are a variety of brands available on the market.

As an alternative, you can use acrylic sealer instead of varnish. Acrylic sealer is a type of paint that is specifically designed to seal and protect surfaces. It comes in both matte and glossy finishes, and it can be applied with a brush or spray gun.

By using varnish

To apply polyurethane varnish, you will need to place your sculpture on a smooth plastic or tile surface and gently apply the polyurethane with a brush. Make sure to avoid getting any on the bottom of your sculpture, as this will cause it to stick to the surface. After you apply the first layer, leave it to dry for a few hours and add another one. You will need to apply at least three coats for maximum protection.

When using varnish, it is important to make sure that you apply it evenly and in several thin layers. This will help ensure that your creations are fully protected. Depending on the brand of varnish you are using, applying just one coat might be enough for a decent level of protection.

Both varnish and acrylic sealer will protect your sculptures from water and other elements, but they also have the added benefit of providing a layer of gloss or shine. This can be especially beneficial if you are displaying your pieces in a public place. They also have the added benefit of protecting them from UV rays and humidity.

However be vary that you will have to check on your creations from time to time and reapply the protective finish. [1], [2], [3], [4]

By using acrylic paint

You can also seal air dry clay by using acrylic paint. This is a type of paint that comes in a variety of colors and can be found at most art stores. Its main advantage is being fairly affordable, which makes it a popular choice for many crafters.

To use acrylic paint to waterproof your pieces, first make sure they are completely dry. Then, apply a coat or two of the paint to the surface of your creations using a brush or sponge. Once the paint has dried, they will be sealed and waterproof.

If you don’t have an acrylic paint, you can use any other water based paint as a substitute. Just be sure to test it out on a small piece of clay before applying it to your larger creations.

Keep in mind, this method won’t completely save your art pieces from water, but simply will protect them from water drops. If you are planning on using your creations in water, you might want to consider another option. [1], [2], [3], [4]

By using liquid epoxy resin

Epoxy resin is a type of sealant that is often used to waterproof different types of materials. It consists of two components that you will need to mix beforehand. The con is, it can be pricey.

Another downside is that it can be difficult to work with, especially if you are new to using it. It can take some practice to get the hang of using epoxy resin, and it is easy to make mistakes that can ruin your pieces.

By using liquid epoxy resin

You see, you will need to pour the substance over your dry clay piece in order to seal it. If you do not get the coverage right, or if there are any gaps in between the clay and the resin, then it will leave an unsightly look.

In addition, you should use epoxy resin as a coating for bowls or cups only if they will be used for decorative purposes only. If they will be used for food or drink, you should use a different type of sealant that is safe to eat or drink from.

But if you are willing to take on these challenges, epoxy resin can be a very effective way to waterproof your air dry clay pieces. It is long-lasting, durable, and will give your creations a high level of protection from water and other elements. [2], [3]

Don’t be afraid to use a mix of these methods

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to waterproofing air dry clay. So feel free to experiment with different methods until you find one that works best for you. You might want to try using a combination of sealants, or use multiple coats of the same sealant.

One of the interesting ways to do this, is apply a layer of varnish for waterproofness and a layer of acrylic sealer to give it a nice sheen. Just don’t forget about letting each sealant dry for some time!

The most important thing is to be patient and take your time. It can be frustrating if your creations don’t turn out the way you want them too, but with a little practice and experimentation, you will get the hang of it. And before you know it, you’ll be making waterproof masterpieces that everyone will admire. [5]

Care Tips for Air Dry Clay Creations

Once your masterpiece is complete, you’ll want to make sure it lasts. Here are some simple tips for taking care of your air dry clay creations:

If your creation cracks, you can use a little amount of slip sealer to fix it. This will both seal and strengthen the crack, along with keeping the nice appearance of your art.

Care Tips for Air Dry Clay Creations

Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaners to clean your clay art, as they can damage the surface, be it a paint or sealant. Instead, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe them down.

If you are not going to be displaying your pieces for a while, store your pieces in a cool, dry place when not in use. This will keep your creations looking their best. If it’s exposed to too much heat or humidity, dry clay may become brittle with time. [4]

Is Waterproof Air Dry Clay Safe?

This question is an important one to consider before starting your project. Air dry clay is a natural material that is composed of clays, sands, and minerals. It is safe to use for most projects. However, if you are working with food or will be coming into contact with the finished product, it is important to consider using a food-safe sealant.

There are many sealants on the market that can be used for this purpose. A quick online search will yield several results. When choosing a sealant, make sure to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.

What we can say for sure, is that epoxy resin is not food safe and should not be used as a sealant on food related projects.

But if you do want to keep your homemade bowls and cups in their best conditions, it’s best to avoid putting foods there altogether, wet or dry. Air dry clay is incredibly porous and will absorb any moisture. [2]

Can Air Dry Clay Become Completely Waterproof?

This is a difficult question to answer, as there are many factors that can affect the outcome of a project. Air dry clay is not always completely waterproof, and how well it resists water will depend on a variety of things, including the type of clay you are using, the paint or sealant you apply, and your own personal technique.

For example, white arts glue is not completely waterproof, but only water resistant. Epoxy resins for example, are known for their high level of water resistance and are probably the best among all the sealants. Applying water resistant sealant will definitely minimize the damage from regular cleaning with a damp cloth. However even if you use the strongest sealant, you just can’t let your art lie in water for a prolonged period of time.

In general, air dry clay is not as waterproof as other materials like ceramic or porcelain. However, with a good sealant and some careful drying and handling, it can be made to last for quite some time.

So, while there is no definitive answer to this question, we can say that with a little bit of effort and the right supplies, you can make your air dry clay creations fairly water resistant. Just keep in mind that they will never be completely impervious to moisture. [1], [2], [3]


Can air dry clay be waterproofed?

Yes, air dry clay can be waterproofed. There are a few different ways to do this, and the one you choose will depend on the specific project you are working on.

One way to make air dry clay waterproof is to coat it in a sealant or varnish. This will protect it from moisture and keep it from absorbing any liquid that comes into contact with it.

Another way to make air dry clay waterproof is to use a water-based paint, this will make your arts only slightly resistant to water and won’t provide them with 100% waterproof coating.

Does acrylic paint seal air dry clay?

Yes, acrylic paint will seal air dry clay. However, it is important to note that it won’t do the best job at completely protecting the clay from water. For a more waterproof seal, you can use a varnish or liquid epoxy resin.

If you wish to use acrylic paint as your sealer, make sure to use a paint that is specifically marketed as being suitable for ceramic or pottery projects. This will ensure that your air dry clay is sealed properly with acrylic paint.

Do you need to seal air dry clay?

It’s not a requirement but if you want to ensure your project is waterproof, a sealant or lacquer is recommended. Water can soften air dry clay and, over time, can cause it to crumble. Sealing your project will help to prevent this from happening.

Useful Video: How to Waterproof Air Dry Clay


All in all, it’s a good idea to seal your art pieces with a waterproof coating to protect them from water damage.

Applying a waterproof sealant is one way to help protect your pieces from water damage. You can apply either varnish liquid epoxy resin or special arts glue to ensure the water resistance… Another option is to paint your artwork with acrylic paint which will also help make it more water resistant and give your creations a pretty glossy look. By following these simple tips, you can help safeguard your art against water damage and keep them looking beautiful for years to come.


  1. https://www.gatheringbeauty.com/blog/how-to-glaze-air-dry-clay
  2. https://craftknights.com/how-to-make-air-dry-clay-waterproof/
  3. https://craftknights.com/working-with-and-sealing-air-dry-clay-properly/
  4. https://www.theworkbuzz.com/how-to-make-air-dry-clay-waterproof/
  5. https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Waterproof-Air-Dry-Clay/