How to Seal Painted Wooden Coasters for Long-lasting Protection

You need to know the proper process of how to seal painted wood coasters to ensure that your wood coasters last for a long time. Wood Coasters are highly used products in our daily life. These things often experience wear and tear issues because of their regular use. We will discuss how to seal painted wood coasters in this article, including the many ways to do it. So let’s get started.

Why Do You Need to Seal Painted Wood Coasters?

Sealing your wood coaster will protect it from moisture, scratches, and stains. It will increase your wooden coaster’s lifespan, making it more durable and easier for you to use. It will protect your wood coaster from warping, splitting, or cracking. Also, it will protect the wood coaster from ultra violate rays damage which will not allow its paint to fade.

You can seal painted wood coasters using a water-based or oil-based polyurethane sealant. Below we will discuss how to do that.

Step-by-Step Procedures for Sealing Wooden Coasters

Step 1: Prepare the Required Materials

Before beginning, you should have these things:

Step 2: Sand the Wood Coasters

Sanding the wood coaster will rough up the surface of the wood and allow the sealant to stick better to the coaster. You can use fine-grit sandpaper to do it—however, no need to sand if you are using cork or felt.

Suppose there are any raised edges, you must remove them. To remove them, sand in the direction of the grain.

Step 3: Clean the Wood Coasters

After sanding the coasters, you must remove any dust or debris. However, You can skip this if you are using cork or felt. To remove any dust or debris from them, clean them by wiping them with a damp cloth or a vacuum with a soft brush. Vacuum in the direction of the wood grain.

Step 4: Apply an Oil-based Polyurethane

After you have finished sanding and cleaning the coasters, you are now ready to apply the sealant. We recommend you use oil-based polyurethane sealant. If you prefer oil-based polyurethane, it will be much more durable than water-based polyurethane. 

Oil-based polyurethane will give a more natural and richer look than water-based polyurethane. However, it takes more time to dry and makes the surface slightly yellowish. Use water-based polyurethane if you can’t wait for it to dry for so long or if you don’t want the color of the coaster to change. 

If you are willing to use the coasters outdoors, then oil-based polyurethane will be a better choice. 

It would be best if you used at least three coats of oil-based polyurethane. And then allow each to dry for at least 24 hours.

For applying the polyurethane:

  1. Stir it well.
  2. Apply a thin and even layer to the coasters using a foam brush or a lint-free cloth.
  3. After doing these things, dry the coasters for at least 24 hours. You can apply another layer if you want.
  4. Just ensure that they are dry before using.

Recommended: How to Dispose of Painted Wood: Top 8 Effective Ways

Different Ways of Sealing Painted Wooden Coasters

Using a Water-based Polyurethane 

You can use a water-based polyurethane if you want your coaster to not change color and have protection from water damage. Water-based polyurethane takes less time to dry and will not make the surface yellowish. However, you can use oil-based polyurethane to use your coasters outdoors.

Using Varnish

Varnish is available in both oil and water-based formulas. So you can choose the one that will work best with your paint. First, ensure to work it into all the crevices. To do that, apply a thin layer of varnish with a brush. Then, before applying the second coat, let the first dry completely. You should apply a third coat if you are using oil-based varnish.

Using Polyacrylic

Another way to seal your coasters is to use polyacrylic. Polyacrylic is water-based and will dry clear, and you will not smell any chemical odor. It will be a great choice if you are sealing coasters that will be used for food and drinks, as it is not toxic. Brush on a thin layer of polyacrylic and let it completely dry before using.

Using a Clear Coat

Using a clear coat is another way of sealing your coasters. It is available in both water-based and oil-based formulas. You should use a water-based clear coat if you want your coasters to remain bright and vibrant over time, as oil-based clear coats tend to yellow over time. 

To apply a clear coat, you need to ensure it covers the entire surface of the coaster. To do that, apply a clear coat and brush it with a soft-bristled brush. Then let the clear coat completely dry before using the coasters. 

Using Shellac

Shellac will be a good choice if you want something durable that provides high protection. It is available in both spray and liquid form. Using shellac in a well-ventilated area is essential as it has a powerful smell. Also, keep it away from any open flames as it is flammable.

Using a sprayer or brush, apply a thin layer of shellac to the coaster. Let it dry for some time before applying another layer.

Tips: A Complete Guide on How to Fix a Missing Chunk of Wood/


Do You Need To Stain to Seal the Coasters?

Hardwoods like cherry, maple, walnut, and oak don’t need to be stained as they have beautiful natural colors. You should stain if you are using woods with very light natural colors like pine.

Is Polyurethane Heatproof for Wooden Coasters?

The answer is yes. Polyurethane makes the coaster heatproof. If you want the best protection, we recommend using oil-based polyurethane, which cures a more rigid and durable finish than water-based polyurethane.

How Much Will it Cost to Seal the Coasters?

Usually, it costs around 10 to 20 cents per coaster, depending on the type of sealer and how many coats you apply. Oil-based polyurethanes cost less than water-based polyurethanes. Shellac will cost the most.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, it is an excellent choice to seal wood coasters as it protects them from many things like moisture, stains, warping, splitting, or cracking. You can seal painted wood coasters in many ways, such as with polyurethane sealant. Both water-based and oil-based polyurethanes have their benefits and drawbacks. You can choose the one which is more suitable for you. 

Learn more:

How to Get Hair Dye Off Wood Using 9 Effective Elements 

How to Repair Fire-Damaged Wood: 9 Steps to Follow

Hey, I'm George Fanton. I've over nine years of experience in the woodworking industry. I've cultivated a deep interest in practical wood and tasks. I enjoy sharing new information on woodworking technology to maintain my expertise in the current woodworking industries.

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