Successful Sealant for Alcohol Ink on Copper Jewelry?

by Jenn Kessler.
(Vacaville, CA)

Successful Sealant for Alcohol Ink on Copper? - Jewelry Making JournalHas anyone successfully used a sealant on a piece of copper decorated with alcohol ink without any distortion?

How long did you wait to see the results over a period of time?

I learned that Mod Podge remains safe for several weeks before it distorted my jewelry piece.

Jenn Kessler

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  • Sarah S. says:

    I haven’t done this myself, but I believe that spray sealants are most commonly used. A clear acrylic or even a spray resin should work.

  • Margaret says:

    Spray sealants may work but a word of caution: test on a scrap piece of metal first. One I used made the inks run.

  • Hi Jenn, according to the Ranger alcohol inks website, here’s the official recommendation for sealing their inks:

    “Alcohol inks must be sealed with a water based sealer. We recommend Rangerโ€™s Gloss Multi-Medium.” (Source:

    Possibly the sealants you’ve tried previously weren’t water based? I hope this helps!

  • Tammie says:

    I often color my copper etched pieces with alcohol ink.
    I use Vintaj metal glaze/sealant – There is a glossy and a matte version.

  • Linda says:

    I use Rustoleum matte spray sealant and have not had any problems. To get more intense color with the alcohol inks, I do a light coating between applications of color. It also allows me to layer the colors without blending or smearing.

  • Heather Johne says:


    What is the process of using alcohol ink on copper? I have never heard of it? How does it work?
    Thank you!


  • Hi Heather, thanks for asking! See my free tutorial,
    Coloring Metal with Alcohol Ink .
    Have fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jackie says:

    I have used resin, and it’s beautiful!

  • Stephanie Thompson says:

    I made a copper band for my watch over a year ago. I wear it every day. On the connectors I made impressions of the backs of the new quarters, then I put black alcohol ink on them and sanded, so that the impressions really showed. I covered these with ICED Resin. Waited the 24 hours for it to cure and I have had no problems with them since! The resin didn’t smear the ink to start with and has not chipped at all! They still look as good as the day I first made them! And they have a permanent gloss!

  • Colleen says:

    Hi. I have made quite a few copper bracelets using alcohol ink. I seal all of them with a clear non-yellowing sealant spray. I’ve been using Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic coating #1303. I also use it on plain copper jewelry when the customer doesn’t want the natural patina copper turns to and I’ve used it on brass earrings with alcohol ink. I not only spray the outside of the bracelets, but the inside too. So far I haven’t had any problems or complaints. Make sure you spray in a well ventilated place, it’s pretty smelly .

  • Colleen says:

    I forgot to tell you….make sure you don’t over spray!!! This will cause drippy looking pieces, may cause your ink to run and could even cause some little bumps. A nice even, light coat it best. I usually give my pieces at least three coats with them drying over night.

  • Dianne H. says:

    I recently learned about Everbrite ProtectaClear. I have just ordered some and have not used it yet. You could contact the company and ask them about using with alcohol inks.

  • Valerie says:

    Dianne, I will be interested to hear what you think about Everbrite ProtectaClear. I’m embarrassed to say I bought some a year ago and have yet to use it.

  • Laurie says:

    Hi I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments. I just went to a glass and bead show this past weekend. I bought 14 bottles of alcohol ink and I am ready to get started. It looks endless to what you can do. I’m so excited. Thank you Laurie

  • Laurie, you will have so much fun with those 14 bottles of alcohol ink! We’d love to see some of the wonderful, colorful things you create with them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Margaret says:

    Dianne H. and Valerie,

    Protectaclear is what I used on my bracelet – it made the inks run.

  • Would Renaissance wax work as a sealer? I’ve used it often on silver and copper.

  • Nancy Lee says:

    Hey Rena:
    I just love your newsletters, and I always look forward to receiving them each month. My favorites are the tutorials on coloring on metals, and the different things you can use to patina metals. I am always amazed at some of the things you can use, like boiled eggs and potato chips. Thank you Rena.

  • Nancy Lee, thank you so much for your lovely comment – you made my day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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