Vinyl stickers are strong and durable, especially compared to other types of stickers, which are often made with paper. Still, you might want to make your custom made vinyl stickers even more resistant to sun and water exposure so you can enjoy them for longer.
You can do that with sealing. We’ll show you exactly how you can seal vinyl stickers on plastic surfaces in this article.
Why Should You Seal Vinyl Stickers?
Custom vinyl logo stickers are waterproof and water-resistant, making them great to apply on tumblers, lunch boxes, and other items that get exposed to water and frequent washing. There’s even a variation called permanent vinyl, which can last for years.
Despite vinyl stickers being durable and able to retain their strength and quality for quite a while, we recommend sealing them to improve their longevity. With a heavy-duty sealant, sealing will protect your vinyl stickers from peeling, cracking, and fading over time.
Use the Right Glue or Polyurethane Spray
To get the best results, you have to choose the right glue for sealing your vinyl stickers. Decoupage glue is the most ideal — it’s similar to white glue in that it goes on opaque and dries clear but it’s stronger and works well as a sealant and adhesive.
You can also use polyurethane spray, which gives the sticker a protective satin clear varnish. Regardless of which glue you choose, make sure to choose the type that’s suitable for plastic.
Clean the Plastic Surface
Next, you’ll have to clean the plastic to remove dust and dirt that can ruin the sticker’s adhesive. Thoroughly clean your surface with soap and water then let it dry. Once dry, apply the sticker on the surface.
Now, some types of stickers adhere well to plastic while others don’t. Assess the strength of the adhesive. If it sticks, press the sticker firmly in place. If not, you need to glue down the sticker.
Glue Down/Spray the Stickers
For stickers that don’t adhere well to plastic, you’ll need to glue them down with decoupage glue or spray them with polyurethane spray. If you’re doing the former, grab a paintbrush and apply a thin layer of decoupage glue to the area where you intend to place the sticker. If you’re using the polyurethane spray, spray the area with the solution.
Take your sticker and press it firmly in place while the glue is still wet. Before moving on to the next steps to seal your sticker, you’ll have to let the glue fully dry — otherwise, you’ll end up with a big mess that will ruin the quality of your seal.
Depending on how large the sticker is and how much glue you put in, leave it to dry for one to two hours.
Seal the Stickers
When the glue has fully dried and the stickers are firmly in place, it’s time to begin sealing! If you’re using decoupage glue, use a paintbrush to apply a thin layer of glue over the stickers. Also, add some to the plastic surface immediately around the glue’s edges.
Let the first coat dry completely. When fully dry, repeat the process to apply a second coat. If you want a stronger seal, you can add more coats of glue.
If you’re using polyurethane spray to seal your vinyl stickers, spray the solution onto the sticker and around its edges. Leave it to dry for about 30 to 60 minutes and then apply another coat. You can do this three or more times for a stronger seal. There’s also liquid polyurethane that you can apply in the same manner as decoupage glue.
After this process, you’ll end up with sealed stickers that will hold up better to water and weather elements. Sealing will help prevent fading, curling, peeling, and cracking, ensuring you can enjoy your vinyl stickers for years to come.
Bonus: Waterproof the Stickers
While sealing your vinyl stickers is enough to make them more durable, you can also opt to strengthen them further through waterproofing. Decoupage glue and polyurethane spray both have water-resistant characteristics, but for a waterproof finish, you need a clear acrylic sealant or spray enamel.
You can find both products in brush-on or spray-on formulas, so choose one depending on your application preferences. Apply the solution to your vinyl stickers in one or more coats after your final layer of sealing is dry.
Sealing your vinyl stickers will enhance their durability and increase their longevity. It’s especially helpful for stickers you wish to apply on plastic surfaces that will see a lot of water exposure, such as tumblers or lunch boxes.
To make your sealed vinyl stickers last longer, take good care of the item by hand-washing it instead of tossing it in the dishwasher. After exposure to wet conditions, wipe the sticker dry.