Making Paper Mache Waterproof

I want to make paper mache garden pots, if possible, so it would be paper/flour and need to be covered in something that would not ruin the artwork/shape. I have not tried any sealants out yet, thought I would ask and see if anyone has experience with this or something similar. I have looked up some Kryolan products, but am unfamiliar with what these sealants and stuff even do. Like what is epoxy or resin? Please help me out, thanks! 

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Mad Props4 months ago

Another option is to use thin-set mortar in your top layer of paper mache and paint with exterior house paint. The downside is that you lose a lot of detail, and it makes for a pretty grainy/rough surface, but it will be waterproof.

It's a great method for outdoor statues or anything you want to look like concrete.

Here's an Easter Island head I made. It's kept outdoors all year long in rainy Vancouver.

LadyZandra25 years ago
I have found THAT "Marine" or Yacht sealant/varnish works real well! Another Paper Mache Artist I know of experimented with several types- and it held up through more than a year in the U.K weather--- including winter!

Good Luck! I love the Planter!
shossner (author) 5 years ago
Here is the pic...
shossner (author) 5 years ago
I guess there are a lot of variables! I will have to do a test run first I think. I'll get the weather proof varnish and just try it out and see if it does the job, with whatever paints I have on hand. Thanks for the info, I was not sure where to start!

What I want to make is an animal planter. Like the base is a pot and it has like a neck and feet or something. So sculpt it out of paper mache and have an opening in the middle for a plant. The artwork would just be paint for the animal, but I was also worried about water making the other parts fall off. I am hoping if it is varnished it should hold.

I added a picture example, this is out of plastic though.

Thanks again for the help!
Goodhart5 years ago
It totally depends on what the artwork is made of. IF it is painted on, what kind of paint. Oils withstand a lot, but will dissolve if a solvent (acetone, etc) based coating is used. If the paint is water based, solvents might make it crinkle up (wrinkle).

If the artwork is solvent proof, any vanish that dries water proof will do.

IF the artwork is painted but is a laquer base, most solvents will dissolve that too.  IF however the artwork is epoxy based paints, it will be fairly solvent proof.
Kiteman5 years ago
Any weatherproof varnish should do the job.