With my son I made a wooden shield, glued canvas over it and then he painted the canvas with his sigil. We used poster paint (children's paint) because I remembered I could not completely wash it out of clothing.

However there seems to be wiggle room between 'not coming out in the laundry' and 'being fixated to a DIY project'. The paint does come off when wet, not completely, but enough to stain seats and clothes.

Could I use regular wood glue to fixate the paint? Just applying a thin layer? My other option would be varnish.

The main point is that the shield will be in use, so whatever I apply cannot be brittle. It should stay in place when the shield is hit by a wooden sword (obviously).

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    Hello! Just looking for a bit of clarification: when you say, “ We used poster paint (childrens paint) because i remembered i could not completely wash it out of clothing” I am confused, do you mean you remembered that a different paint wouldn’t come out of clothing, therefore you chose poster paint? And now the poster paint that you used does come off of clothing when laundered, but alas does not stay put on the shield? Thanks for clarifying...
    – Laurent R.
    Jun 4, 2020 at 22:49
  • @LaurentR.When i used the paint previously a shirt also got a few brush-strokes and this did not come out in the laundry. For this reason i thought that the paint would dry up waterproof.
    – Ivana
    Jun 5, 2020 at 7:51
  • @Ivana, my only concern with using wood glue it that it usually has a yellowish brown color to it. It also may have a chemical reaction with the paint and produce a negative outcome. Maybe test it (paint a small piece of wood and try the glue) and if it works out then go full scale. Jun 10, 2020 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


For a quick fix use acrylic medium which is simply clear acrylic binder; acrylic paint without the pigment. It is soluble in water, easy to thin and work with and clean up after, and it dries waterproof. Available in any art store or online. You can get it in matte or glossy or in between. That should bind the poster paint no problem.

And for the next shield you paint, start with acrylic paints. There are affordable grades equivalent to poster or tempra paint, but they start off waterproof (when dry). And you can get higher quality colors, different thickness mediums to add texture, better range of colors, etc.

Just remember to rinse out your brushes as you use them, the acrylic will dry to waterproof in the bristles too and destroy them.

Oh... and you could use wood glue maybe thinned a bit, but it would be a poor solution. Likely to dry too slowly and the colors will bleed. Also may not have as nice of a finish, may remain sticky. Finally it will likely lead to discoloration over time. Its possible it would still be water soluble too so don't use wood glue unless there is absolutely no alternative.

  • Do you mean like this lady does: youtube.com/watch?v=UQFRzdL2A_0 Would'nt that make the paint run?
    – Ivana
    Jun 8, 2020 at 22:18
  • Kind of. You can brush on thicker medium instead of pour coating like in video it which would be less runny. You could also spray apply it or apply a spray fixative like those used for pastels before coating.
    – rebusB
    Jun 10, 2020 at 19:39

One way (never tried, I have no idea from where to buy xylene) is to dilute silicone with xylene, then "paint" the shield / canvas with the silicone solution. Let it cure, voila. The silicone will also act as a glue between the wood and the canvas as well.

Another way is to use these sprays which make clothes water-proof. I found out about them in an answer to an older question of mine.

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    You can spread simple transparent construction silicone with your bare fingers in a thin layer. Just put a glass or bowl of water with lots of dish detergent next to you and keep your fingers very wet with this water. It keeps the silicone from sticking to your fingers. Try to keep the shield as dry as possible in the process. I recently did the same thing for a craft project and it's dead-simple. I squirted a bit of silicone from the cartridge, dipped my fingers in the water, grabbed the silicone with my bare fingers and pushed it around over the object.
    – Elmy
    Jun 5, 2020 at 7:00
  • @Elmy: I always considered silicone as too viscous to be used directly for the mentioned purpose (without thinning). However, if you have a good experience, thank you for sharing.
    – virolino
    Jun 5, 2020 at 7:05
  • With this method the thickness of the layer depends on how much force you excert with your fingers. By pushing harder, you can easily create layers thinner than 1 mm. However, since the shield is supposed to be used as a shield, I suggest keeping the silicone 1 mm thick or maybe thicker.
    – Elmy
    Jun 5, 2020 at 7:10
  • Thinning clear silicone and applying it like paint is much easier, and easier to get an even coat, than trying to smear the pure silicone. Also, clear silicone is often more translucent than clear, so a thick layer will affect the appearance more. You can buy xylene the same place you buy paint. Paint thinner will also work.
    – fixer1234
    Jun 16, 2020 at 23:55

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