One of the most common questions we get at Wildfire is, “Should I add a sealer to my UV artwork?”
The answer is always, “It depends.”
As a general rule, if your artwork will be kept in a safe place away from touching or handling, then you don’t need to worry about sealing.
However, if it will appear in a public area where it may be touched or handled, then you will want to add a sealer to protect the paint. There is a downside, however…
Once you seal the artwork, you will not be able to do any touchups or make any changes. At that point, your painting is done.
You should not use just any sealer, however. Most commercial sealers have UV inhibitors, which are great for protecting ordinary paint. But since black light paint needs UV to fluoresce, then you can see what kind of problem you’ll have.
We’ve heard horror stories from artists who have spent countless hours on their masterpiece, only to have the fluorescent effect destroyed by a commercial sealer.
So what sealer should you use?
Wildfire makes a specially designed water-base sealer which is designed for UV paint. It will protect the artwork from light handling and touching, but not from heavy traffic or outdoor use.
Remember, there are no UV inhibitors in Wildfire’s sealer, so if the artwork is placed out in the sun, it will fade just like any other paint exposed to the sun for too long.
Wildfire Sealer is also not appropriate for counter tops or floors, which get heavy abuse. You’ll need another solution, such as a solvent-based sealer or epoxy (with no UV inhibitors), for those kinds of applications. (If you use a commercial based sealer or epoxy, be sure and test it first to make sure it doesn’t block UV.)
Before adding the sealer, make sure the paint is completely dry. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with bubbles. As a general rule, wait 72 hours before applying the sealer. If you live in a humid climate, you may have to wait longer.