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Best Clear Coats For Painted Clay Projects

Have you ever wondered what to do after you paint those ceramic projects? We see you decided to forgo glazing, but sometimes your projects need extra shine. Here are six different ways to add a clear coat to your clay projects.

different examples of clay projects and clear coats you can use to seal them.

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Considerations Before Clear Coating Your Painted Ceramics

  • Do you want just clear and shiny?
  • Would you rather have a matte appearance?
  • Do you want a little something extra? Say glitter or extra shimmer? 
  • Do you need to spray a clear coat or can it be brushed on?

Will this make clay food safe?

No, let me repeat it again for the people in the back…NO! If you want your clay projects to be food-safe, you need to use fired clay with food-safe glazes and fire them following the instructions provided by the glazing company.

Just because you can make a clay art project look glazed or shiny, does not mean it is food safe. 

Read More>>>Non-Glaze Ways To Add Color To Clay

Our Favorite Clear Coats To Buy

Spray utlra gloss mod podge bottle on green marble background.
Mod Podge Ultra Gloss (8 Ounce),
This spray is easy to use and we love that it comes in ultra shiny. This non-yellowing spray is good to just have around for a variety of arts and crafts.
Buy Here
supplies used to create oil pastel resist on clay tile.
Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Sparkle
Just like the spray listed above, this glitter clear coat is the perfect way to add sparkle to your projects. Don't worry you won't have glitter brushing off once it dries.
Buy Here
Iridescent medium on clear food lid.
Liquitex Professional Effects Medium, 8-oz, Iridescent Medium
Want to impress people with how cool your painted ceramic projects look? Use this acrylic gloss medium to add just a little shimmer on top of your clay. Kids love how cool this looks when it dries.
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Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze Aerosol Spray, High-Gloss
Sometimes you just want to be able to seal a whole group of clay projects easily. Spraying is by far one of the fastest ways to add clear coats and you don' have to worry about smudging painted details.
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FolkArt Waterbase Varnish, Satin
Another tried and true way to seal your clay pieces is to use an acrylic varnish like this one. Just make sure you are purchasing the right sheen.
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DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze,Thick Gloss Glaze
Just one more option for an acrylic varnish to seal your projects with. Apply with a foam brush to help give your ceramic piece a little more shine.
Buy Here

What is our favorite clear coat?

We love the unique look of using this iridescent medium. Before adding it, you can see below what our flower pinch pot looked like.

acrylic gloss medium and painted clay flower.

Our clay project was painted using acrylic paint. Look at the amazing difference once the gloss medium was added. If this is too shimmery for you, you can always mix in a little plain gloss medium to cut it down.

clay flower art project painted with pink & yellow acrylic paint and clear coated with gloss medium.

You could even use a similar painting technique on air dry clay projects.

What does Sparkle Mod Podge look like on clay?

Children absolutely go crazy when they see their finished clay piece with Sparkle Mod Podge on it. We know that glitter isn’t for everyone, but kids love it.

Here is a simple clay relief tile that was done with an oil pastel resist. The glitter Mod Podge was added after the project dried (which doesn’t take very long).

finished oil pastel done ceramic tile with black paint and clear coat sealer of a flower design.

Spray Mod Podge on a Watercolored Clay

This ceramic fish project was fired and painted with watercolor paints. Two coats of Ultra Gloss Spray were added to the finished project.

clay fish painted with watercolor paint and sprayed with Ultra gloss Mod Podge.


  • If you don’t have a spray booth or don’t want to spray a clear coat, a bath to dip your projects in may do the trick. Mix Modge Podge and water in a container in a one-to-one ratio.
  • Dip the painted clay projects and let them dry on a raised surface like a grate. If you dip the project quickly you will limit the bleed of even tempera paints.

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More Ceramic Ideas

Whether spraying a clear coat or brushing one on for a special effect this list has a clay clear coat for any project.

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