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4 Great Supplies To Seal Organics Before Electroforming

different ways to seal organics before electroforming

Electroforming organics is one of the most beautiful ways to create unique nature-inspired jewelry. But before you obtain a stunning piece of electroformed jewelry, you must seal your organic items. This is a very important step in the process. In this post, I explain why you should seal organics before electroforming and give you 4 different ways to do it. 

Note: Affiliate links may be used in this post. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. 

Why should I seal organics before electroforming

If you intend to electroform organics, you definitely need to seal them beforehand or they will contaminate your bath. They can also literally dissolve during the process. The main reason why you need to seal all organics before putting them into the electroforming bath is simply to protect them. 

Sealing will make your item waterproof and prevent it from contaminating your electroforming solution. 

Things like crystals or shells will be damaged by the acidity of your bath if they’re not sealed properly. This could simply ruin your entire design. For this reason, you should learn how to seal organics! 

Also, if your item contains metal (like Pyrite for example), it will be electroformed over so you need to seal it in order to create a protective barrier from the bath. 

In fact, most gemstones must be sealed. Any stone under a 7 of the MOH scale of hardness definitely needs to be properly sealed or it will be eaten away in the bath. 

See also: How to seal crystals with liquid latex

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4 great supplies to seal organics before electroforming

There are several ways you can seal organics. You can protect your objects with a clear sealant, such as polyurethane or clear nail polish, that can remain on the final design, or one used as a mask, such as liquid latex that will be removed at the end of the process. 

I’m going to give you 4 different techniques you can use to seal organics, and you can the ones that you prefer depending on what you’re working on. I personally use 3 of the below techniques I’ve listed. So, here is how to seal organics before electroforming:

1. Acrylic sealer or Polyurethane (spray)

Type of sealant: clear, can remain on the final design

spray sealant

You can use an acrylic sealer to protect organics. In my opinion, it’s one of the best techniques, especially for brittle items such as leaves or bugs for example. I use spray sealant as a first coat of protection on my item. Usually, I apply two coats of spray sealant onto my item before I apply another 2 or 3 coats of Mod Podge on top. 

I think the spray is best used on organics like leaves, shells, or bugs as I said before. I’ve never used it on crystals, to be honest. 

I use an acrylic sealer that was made for crafts, but you can also use polyurethane, it’s a popular way of sealing organics. It’s a product that is usually used for protecting furniture or wood for example. This would also work for sealing organics. 

Buy acrylic sealer or polyurethane on Amazon

2. Mod Podge

Type of sealant: clear, can remain on the final design

mod podge seal organics before electroforming

Mod Podge is definitely a must-have if you’re an electroformer. I use it for practically everything. It’s my favorite medium to seal organics. It’s perfect for crystals, shells, pine cones, and leaves that are not fragile. 

You can apply Mod Podge with a paintbrush and it dries pretty quickly. I usually apply 3 coats of protection on each side of my item. If it is something very fragile I will put spray sealant before.

I’ve never had any problems in the bath sealing something with Mod Podge. You can also use it on crystals. For example, if you want to electroform a crystal that requires a lot of sealing like larimar, you can apply 3 coats of Mod Podge onto it before adding liquid latex on top. 

Buy Mod Podge on Amazon

3. Liquid latex

Type of sealant: mask, can be removed at the end of the process

liquid latex

Liquid latex is definitely one of my favorite media to protect organics. It is in my opinion the most effective way to protect crystals. I have written an entire post about how to seal crystals before electroforming here. 

The only thing with liquid latex is that you can’t really use it on brittle organics such as leaves for example. It will definitely break it down when you apply it. Also, I found that liquid latex is kind of thicker than Mod Podge for example, which means you’ll get fewer details on your final project if you protect your item with liquid latex.

Basically, I definitely recommend using liquid latex to protect crystals and also to protect any organic that you do not want to electroform. For example, if you had a shell on your design but you want the shell to stay natural, then you should protect it with several layers of liquid latex.

However, if you want your shell to be copper-plated, I’d recommend protecting it with Mod Podge instead of liquid latex. 

You can also use Frisket. It is similar to liquid latex and can be great for sealing organics. You can use it to mask areas of your design that are not meant to be electroformed and remove it at the end of the process. 

Buy liquid latex or frisket on Amazon

4. Clear nail polish

Type of sealant: clear, can remain on the final design

clear nail polish

Nail polish is another effective medium to protect organics. I used it a lot of stones that don’t require sealing like quartz or amethyst ‘just in case’. But I find nail polish very annoying to remove.

If you intend to copper plate the thing you are sealing, then applying a coat of nail polish before painting is a good idea. I’ve never tried it to be honest but I know others use it. This is probably the cheapest way of sealing things also. 

Since you’ll have to use a little paintbrush to apply it, I think it would be best to use it on wood, or shells like you’d use Mod Podge. Don’t forget to apply several coats of it to make sure your item is well protected. 

Buy clear nail polish on Amazon

How to seal organics before electroforming

There are several methods you can use to apply your sealant. Most of the time I use a paintbrush, but if you’re worried about stroke marks, here are options for you:

  • Spray: This is probably the best way to seal organics. Sprays don’t leave any marks and are quick and easy to use. To spray your organics, simply hold them with spring clamps and spray evenly.
  • Paintbrush: Solid organics such as shells or pine cones can be painted with a brush. Just be careful not to leave any strokes or brush hair on your design or it’ll show on your final design after electroforming.
  • Dip: Quick and easy, you can dip your items straight into your sealant’s bottle. Hang and let it dry. 

See also: How to electroform a leaf

Bottom line

Sealing your organics properly before electroforming is a very important part of the process. I use Mod Podge, spray sealant, and liquid latex. 

For organics that I want to electroform, I apply 2 coats of spray sealant before protecting some more with Mod Podge. Be careful not to seal too much or you’ll lose details! Otherwise, I simply use liquid latex to protect my stones or other organics that I do not want to electroform in my design. 

 I hope this post helped you figure out which sealant would be best for your projects! How do you seal your organics? Let me know in the comments below!

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