Coasters can protect your furniture and counters from getting wet or developing permanent water stains. But if you use coasters that aren’t waterproof, you’ll encounter a similar problem. Luckily, you can waterproof your coasters so that you can use them and keep your home looking pristine.
There are a couple of ways to make coasters waterproof. Existing coasters will need a layer of lacquer or varnish to seal in the coaster material. However, creating a waterproof coaster at home is an excellent craft project idea, and there are many ways to customize the coasters.
Whether you have a set of coasters that you want to make waterproof or need new ones, you should protect your coasters. After all, you’re using them to protect your furniture, so you should treat them with care. Consider a few ways to make your coasters waterproof.
RELATED: Make Your Own Coasters from Ceramic Tiles (Surprisingly easy craft project for adults or kids!)
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If you have existing coasters that you want to make waterproof, you can do that with the right tools. The best materials for the job will depend on the material of the coaster. In some cases, you may not be able to add coatings to your current set.
For example, fabric coasters are hard to make waterproof. But if you have wood or ceramic ones, you can add a little something to the exterior.
While waterproofing your coasters won’t take away any current water spots or stains, it can prevent future ones. Plus, it can be a fun project for yourself.
Make sure you know the material of your current coasters so that you can choose the best coating. Consider a few things you can use to make your current coaster waterproof and how well each option works.
You can use lacquer to add a glossy appearance to the outside of your coasters. It is a smoother material than you can apply with a sprayer, so it goes on quickly and evenly. At first, the lacquer will be durable and can resist damage.
However, because it is relatively thin, scratches can develop. If you need to waterproof coasters for more delicate glassware, this can be a good option. But if you want to use the coasters for glasses that can scratch materials, lacquer shouldn’t be your first choice.
Varnish is an excellent material for making coasters waterproof because of its chemistry. It contains a high ratio of solids compared to other finishing solutions. You can use spar varnish to protect wood and other materials, and it’s perfect for waterproofing.
Spar varnish is a popular choice for waterproofing items that will go in or around water a lot. So even if you don’t take your drinks or coasters outside, it can protect your coasters from water stains.
You can paint the varnish on like a top coat, and it is durable once you apply it. If possible, use a natural-bristle brush for the best results.
Another option to consider is polyurethane, which comes with water or oil as the base. Oil-based polyurethanes are more durable, but they do add a slight color, which can bring out the natural colors of wood or other materials.
The coat can protect against heat, which is especially helpful if you use your coasters for coffee or other hot drinks. However, it does take a long time to dry and cure after you apply it.
Water-based polyurethane is a great option for a light coating. If you don’t care about protecting your coasters from hot drinks, you can add the finish, and it will dry quickly.
With either type of polyurethane, you can use a synthetic paintbrush to put it on. Make sure you apply it evenly and let it dry completely before you use the coaster.
If your coasters aren’t wood, you can use shellac. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do well under heat, so it’s not suitable for coasters and hot coffee. However, it can protect different items aside from wood.
You can use a natural-bristle brush or a cotton rag to put the shellac on your existing coasters.
Chlorine Bleach and Latex Waterproofing Compound
Chlorine bleach is a surprisingly effective option to help waterproof ceramic coasters—mix one-half cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water. Grab a pair of latex gloves so that you don’t get the bleach on your hands.
Use a scrub brush to mix the two ingredients together. Next, use the brush to put the solution on the outside of your ceramic coaster. After you clean the coaster, rinse it with warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.
After the coaster dries, put your latex gloves back on and grab a paintbrush and some latex waterproofing compound. Make sure you have a drop cloth beneath you in case the compound falls.
Go over the top of the coaster with strokes in the same direction. Make sure the strokes overlap each other so that you don’t leave any gaps. Let the coaster dry overnight before you put anything on it. You can repeat this process with each coaster that you have.
If you have some new coasters and want to prevent water stains right now, you should waterproof them. You may be able to find waterproof coasters, but it can’t hurt to add another layer of protection. Plus, you can use this time to add a personal touch to your coaster if you want. If not, you can continue with the same process, but you can skip a step.
By making your coasters waterproof before you use them, you can reduce their risk of developing water stains. When you have guests over, you can display convenient coasters and you can protect your beloved home.
First, grab the coaster or coasters you want to make waterproof. Consider their size, shape, and material. Assuming you have a standard, plain coaster, you can add a unique design to it if you opt to add a personal look to your new coaster.
Look for a photo or graphic that you want to add to the top of the coaster. You don’t have to do this, but it’s a nice touch. The image could be anything from a funny quote to a fun family memory.
Print out the photo or graphic and cut it to fit on your coaster. You may want to cut it a little smaller so that it won’t hang off the sides.
If you have an image you want to add, put Mod Podge on its back so that there’s enough coating to stick it to the coaster. Let the solution dry for about 15 seconds or so, then put it on the coaster where you want it.
Wait another 20 minutes so that the Mod Podge can completely dry. If you don’t add an image, you can skip the prior steps, but for everyone, now’s the time to add a topcoat.
Apply at least three Mod Podge coats to your coaster and let it dry between each application. The layer should be clear before you add anything on top of it. You can wait for about 15 minutes, at least, but you may need to wait longer if it isn’t clear.
While Mod Podge is a great start to waterproofing a coaster, it’s not perfect. To finish everything off, add a layer of clear acrylic gloss spray to your coaster.
The extra layer will help solidify everything to keep out liquid. After the layer dries, you can use the coaster for anything from water to alcohol.
Making coasters waterproof requires some sort of protective coating. But the best material for that will depend on the material of your current or new coaster. Consider what you have and what liquids you need to protect against so that you can make your coasters waterproof.
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