How To Seal Sharpie On Wood? – 3 Methods To Try

Did you try to draw to a wooden surface with your sharpie markers? And you are so amazed at the outcome and want to preserve the art for years. It’s understandable.

So, how to seal sharpie on wood?

Yes, you can seal sharpie on wood following 3 methods. The first one is applying sealant. This is the easiest of all. Then comes the mod podge method. It’s also quite easy to accomplish. Finally, the last technique is varnishing. You can choose any of these methods to seal your wooden artwork.

However, it’s hard to understand the procedure from this amount of information. So, we provided step-by-step guidance to solve this issue. 

If you got some time, let’s have a look into the writing-

how to seal sharpie on wood

How To Seal Sharpie On Wood

MethodEase of ApplicationDurabilityAppearanceCost
Polyurethane VarnishEasyVery durableGlossy finish$$
Clear Epoxy ResinModerateHighly durableClear, glossy finish$$$
Acrylic SealantEasyModerate durabilitySatin finish$
ShellacModerateModerate durabilityAmber tone$$
Mod PodgeEasyLow durabilityMatte finish$
Clear Lacquer SprayEasyModerate durabilityGlossy finish$

One of our articles –How To Make Wood Engraving Stand Out.

Artworks done by markers are getting popular day by day. As Sharpie markers work well, people are using them on wood too. But after the paintwork, they need to seal the sharpie to protect the art for years.

Now, there are various ways to seal your sharpie markers on wood. But few of them work really well and are popular amongst the artists. 

So, we will show you the three most popular methods. From these options, you can choose one, which will work best for you-

Method 1 of 3: Applying Decent Sealant

Most of the artists use a decent sealant to overcoat their artwork. It protects the ink to last for years without being bled. Though it depends on the product’s quality. The quality depends on how long it can hold the ink and serve the purpose.

Keep in mind to read the instructions before buying sealant. As different sealants serve different delivery methods. If you choose the wrong sealant it may affect the artwork.

Another thing you need to decide is if the artwork will remain indoor or outdoor. Because the sealing process will vary for both places.

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So, here, we will share the processes for both indoor and outdoor wooden art-

Sealing Indoor Artwork

First, wait about 24 hours so your sharpie marker is fully absorbed into the wood. Now, hold the sealant spray at least 30cm away from the wooden artwork. Then spray an even coat over the wood. 

This is where you might apply an uneven coat. Or you might leave some area out completely. As a result, the final outcome will disappoint you. You have to avoid these types of mistakes. Try to coat equally and evenly on each side of your wood.

When the coating is done, leave it to dry for 24 hours. You must wait for the sealant to dry before showcasing the artwork in an open area.

Note: There are some sealants that require two coatings to offer optimal protection though. So, always go through the label to acknowledge the specific requirements. Then buy the sealant that suits your painting surface the best.

Sealing Outdoor Artwork

Ink’s longevity is gonna be your first concern if the artwork is placed outside. Because most of the sharpie markers will fade their color and details over time.

To prevent the ink from fading away you need a sealant that offers UV protection. It will preserve the ink from UV light and will keep the artwork protected.

But wait, let us tell you something, some of these sealants offer less protection. Their performance loses against wind and rain. So, people use multiple sealants to hold the artwork perfectly. And it is truly beneficial for the artworks to stay unharmed for years.

Anyway, let’s check out the procedure now-

So, firstly let your artwork dry properly. Then spray UV protective sealant all over your art. Once done, wait 24 hours. 

Next, apply the heavy-duty sealant over the UV protective sealant. It will work as the outer coat and will ensure the best possible protection.

That’s all! Your sharpie artwork is totally protected now, thanks to the sealant!

Method 2 of 3: Applying Mod Podge for Both Indoor & Outdoor

Using mod podge is another way to seal the sharpie wooden artwork. But there is a certain type of mod podge you have to use. So, make sure to buy the mod podge with a white tub, yellow label, and red text. 

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As you know, you have to let the artwork dry first. Then you can start the coating process. Firstly, apply a very thin layer over the sharpie. Because a thin layer will seal the sharpie correctly as well as maintain good visibility. 

But people often make one mistake. They overcoat the sharpie by applying too much mod podge. This affects the artwork’s quality.

You can even overcoat your artwork twice. For that, wait until the first coating is totally dried. Then being extremely careful, apply the second coat. Now, let it dry once again. 

If it looks complicated for you, apply a sealant to seal your sharpie artwork. 

Method 3 of 3: Varnishing Over Sharpie

The last method you can try is varnishing on sharpie over wooden arts. People have different experiences with this process. Because they got mixed results as there are different variables involved throughout the procedure.

But if you practice a few times, varnishing can work really well. You can test over woods to practice varnish spraying. Then you’ll get the idea of what your combination is gonna look like.

Remember one thing, sharpie markers are alcohol-based markers. And varnishing sprays might also contain alcohol. When you put two alcohol-based products together they might harm your artwork. 

So, buy a varnishing spray that has no alcohol in it. Then spray it over your sharpie art.

Well, the color of your sharpie markers will also affect the varnishing. Black sharpies perform better with vanish-based artwork. Whereas, lighter varnishes can also work with colorful sharpies. But the outcome won’t be as pleasing as the dark ones.

Note: Some people might make this overly complicated. The reasons behind the complexity are using the wrong products or using the right product incorrectly. These mistakes make the whole process nothing but a mess.

One of our articles –How To Remove Polycrylic Finish.

Important Tips on How to Prevent Sharpie Bleeding on Wood

While sealing many artists face this problem. Their sharpie marker bleeds and the whole art gets destroyed. But there’s always a way.  

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You can prevent sharpie’s bleeding by applying white glue. This works like magic. To apply it, just follow these tips of ours-

  • Firstly, take some glue in a bowl and mix water with it. Make a thin liquid so the texture doesn’t affect the artwork. The ideal proportion is 2:1, try to maintain that.
  • Then coat the wood with this glue with the help of a brush. You have to coat a thin layer over the sharpie artwork. Try to brush correctly so no tiny bubble shows up. Now, coat each side of the wood properly. 
  • When the coating is done, let it dry completely. At least wait for half an hour to 1 hour. But if you’re in a hurry use a hairdryer to speed up the process. Blow for 4-5 minutes to let the glue dry.
  • When you are sure enough that the glue has dried perfectly, then start painting.

Hopefully, this technique will prevent the marker from getting bled.


Question: How do you preserve sharpie on wood?

Answer: You can preserve your sharpie on wood through mod podge. But there are different types of mod podges in the market. You have to pick the one with a white tub, yellow label, and red text. Its texture is gonna preserve the sharpie pretty well.

Question: Can you clear the coat over the permanent marker?

Answer: Before coating over the marker, set the marker to dry properly. At least for a day. Then you can use a Krylon spray to seal your paint. You should spray in a light layer without applying pressure. Or you can spray a heavy liquid over your permanent marker.

Question: How do you seal sharpie on painted wood?

Answer: Firstly, wait until the sharpie is perfectly dry. Then overcoat your paint through a water-based spray. You can try waterborne finishes as well. So, any of those can hold the paint on wood for years.

Question: What can I seal sharpie with?

Answer: You can seal your sharpie by using a mod podge. It is a glue that can also be a sealer. It is often used to overcoat decoupage art. You can have either a matte finishing or a gloss finishing. Any of those works well with sharpie markers.

Final Words

We hope you got the solution for how to seal sharpie on wood.

In brief, we tried to explain 3 easy methods to you. It might look a little complex to you. But believe us, these sealing processes are really simple. 

You can share your sealing experience with us by leaving a comment down below.

Wish you all the luck!


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