Stickers are a fun and creative way to add a personal touch to our belongings or promote businesses and events.
However, when stickers are exposed to moisture, they can quickly lose their vibrancy and adhesiveness. To address this issue and preserve the quality and durability of your stickers learning how to make stickers waterproof after printing is a valuable skill.
In this guide, we’ll explore simple yet effective methods and techniques to protect your stickers from water damage, allowing you to enjoy them for longer periods and in a wider range of applications.
Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a business owner looking to protect your branding, these techniques will help you keep your stickers waterproof and long-lasting. So read on!
How to make stickers waterproof after printing?
Waterproofing stickers is a great way to make them more durable and resistant to moisture. Here’s a step by step guide on how to make stickers waterproof:
- Gather Your Materials: You’ll need your printed stickers, clear packing tape or a waterproofing spray, a pair of scissors and a flat, clean surface for your work.
- Clean the stickers: Before applying any waterproofing method, make sure the stickers are clean and free from any dirt, dust or oils. Any moisture or dirt trapped under the protective layer can affect the quality and durability of your stickers. Use a clean cloth to gently wipe the sticker surface.
- Choose a waterproofing method: In waterproofing, there are three method involved.
A. Waterproofing spray: This is the most common method. It creates a waterproof layer over the stickers.
- Lay the stickers out on a flat surface.
- Shake the waterproofing spray well.
- Hold the can about 6-8 inches away from the stickers.
- Apply a thin, even coat of the spray over the stickers. Be sure not to oversaturate them, as it can cause colors to run.
- Let them dry completely according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This might take a few hours.
B. Laminate sheets: If you prefer a more protective option, you can laminate the stickers using self-adhesive laminate sheets.
- Cut the laminate sheet to a size slightly larger than your sticker.
- Peel off the backing from the laminate sheet and carefully place it over the sticker, smoothing out any air bubbles as you go.
- Trim the excess laminate from around the sticker, leaving a small border.
- This method will encase the sticker in a waterproof, clear film.
C. Clear packing tape: In a pinch, you can use clear packing tape to waterproof stickers. This isn’t as durable as the other methods but can work temporarily.
- Cut a piece of clear packing tape slightly larger than your sticker.
- Carefully apply the tape to the front of the sticker, smoothing out any bubbles.
- Allow stickers to dry: Regardless of the method you choose, it’s essential to allow the stickers to dry completely. Make sure they are no longer tacky to the touch.
- Store or use your waterproof stickers: Once your stickers are fully dry, you can store them, apply them to your desired surfaces or use them outdoors without worrying about them getting damaged by water or moisture.
Keep in mind that while these methods will make your stickers waterproof to some degree, they may not be completely waterproof in all situations. Extreme exposure to water or prolonged submersion might still cause damage, so exercise caution in such cases.
Waterproofing method for different types of stickers
Different types of stickers require different waterproofing methods to ensure longevity and durability.
- Vinyl Stickers: Vinyl stickers are inherently water-resistant but applying a layer of waterproofing spray or laminate can further enhance their durability, making them an excellent choice for outdoor applications.
- Paper Stickers: Paper stickers are the most vulnerable to water damage. Waterproofing them can be trickier but not impossible. Applying a layer of clear packing tape or self-adhesive laminate will make them water-resistant.
- Glossy Stickers: Glossy stickers already have a certain level of water resistance due to their finish. However, to make them waterproof, using a clear waterproof sealant spray can be the ideal choice.
- Matte Stickers: Matte stickers require careful waterproofing to maintain their unique texture. A waterproofing spray is recommended but it should be applied in light, even coats to avoid over-saturation.
- Bumper Stickers: Bumper stickers require extra protection as they are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Laminating them with a thick, clear laminate sheet and sealing the edges with waterproof tape will ensure their longevity.
By understanding the type of sticker you’re dealing with, you can choose the right waterproofing method to extend its life and maintain its quality.
Common mistakes to avoid when waterproofing printed stickers
Waterproofing printed stickers can be a delicate process and certain mistakes should be avoided to ensure the best results.
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when waterproofing your printed stickers:
- Oversaturating with spray: When using a waterproofing spray, it’s essential to apply thin, even coats. Oversaturating the stickers can cause colors to bleed and ruin the design.
- Using unsuitable materials: Not all waterproofing methods are suitable for every type of sticker. Using the wrong materials or techniques can damage your stickers instead of protecting them.
- Not allowing enough drying time: Allowing enough drying time is crucial when waterproofing stickers. Rushing this process can lead to smudging, wrinkling and other unwanted effects.
- Applying to a dirty surface: Stickers should always be applied to a clean, dry surface. Applying them over dirt, dust or moisture can compromise the adhesive and cause bubbles or peeling.
- Skipping the trimming step: Trimming excess laminate or tape from around the sticker is crucial as it prevents water from seeping underneath and causing damage.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your waterproof stickers are properly protected and have a longer lifespan.
Remember to always take your time and follow the instructions carefully for the best results.
Tips for maintaining stickers waterproofing
Caring for and maintaining your waterproof stickers is equally as important as the waterproofing process itself.
Here are some tips to ensure their longevity:
- Clean the Surface: Before applying your waterproof sticker, ensure the surface is clean and dry. Dust, grime or moisture can interfere with the adhesive and lessen the lifespan of your sticker.
- Careful Application: Apply the sticker slowly and carefully to avoid creases or air bubbles which can compromise the waterproof seal.
- Avoid Abrasion: Even though they are waterproof, stickers can still be damaged by harsh scrubbing or scraping. When cleaning the surface your sticker is on, be gentle and try to avoid the sticker area.
- Limit Sun Exposure: Although waterproof, stickers are not always UV-resistant. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause colors to fade over time. If possible, limit the direct sun exposure of your stickers.
- Use of Chemicals: Avoid the use of harsh chemicals or solvents when cleaning your waterproof stickers as they can deteriorate the adhesive and the protective layer over time.
By following these tips, you can maintain your waterproof stickers and keep them looking brand new for longer.
Remember to always choose the right materials and methods for your specific type of sticker to ensure the best results.
FAQ’s – Sticker Waterproofing
How long do waterproof stickers last?
The lifespan of waterproof stickers can vary depending on the type and quality of materials used, as well as the level of exposure to water and other elements. When properly applied and maintained, most waterproof stickers can last for several years.
However, extreme exposure or damage can shorten their lifespan. It is important to choose high-quality materials and proper methods when waterproofing your stickers to ensure longevity.
Can I use any waterproofing method for my stickers?
No, not all waterproofing methods are suitable for every type of sticker. It is essential to choose the right materials and techniques based on the type of sticker you have to avoid damaging it. Refer to the section above on “Waterproofing method for different types of stickers” for more information.
Can I use clear nail polish to waterproof my stickers?
No, clear nail polish is not a suitable waterproofing method for stickers. It can damage the sticker and cause discoloration or smudging. It is best to use materials specifically designed for waterproofing such as sealant spray or laminate sheets.
Always follow the recommended methods for the type of sticker you are working with to achieve the best results. As always, it is best to test the method on a small area first before applying it to the entire sticker.
How do you know if a sticker is waterproof?
Look for the waterproof rating or specifications on the sticker’s packaging. If it is not indicated, you can test it by placing a small drop of water on the sticker and gently wiping it off after a few seconds.
If the design remains intact, then it is most likely waterproof. It is always best to double-check with the manufacturer if unsure.
In conclusion, making stickers waterproof after printing is an essential process to ensure their longevity and durability. With the right techniques and materials, you can create high-quality stickers that are resistant to water and wear.
Whether you choose to use waterproof vinyl, laminates or sealants, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and pay attention to the details.
Additionally, it’s recommended to test the waterproofing before using the stickers on any important projects or surfaces. By taking the necessary steps to make your stickers waterproof, you can enjoy their vibrant colors and designs for a long time.