How To Seal A Glitter Tumbler Without Epoxy: 3 Alternative Ways

Using the best epoxy for tumblers is essential to make the item long-lasting, glossy, and water-resistant. However, overexposure to epoxy causes several serious health issues, such as dermatitis, chemical burns, and respiratory irritation. In this article, we will show you how to seal a glitter tumbler without epoxy.

There are various ways on how to seal a tumbler without using epoxy. You can apply CrystaLac, Mod Podge, or a clear acrylic spray instead. All have advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that’s most convenient for you.

How to Seal a Glitter Tumbler Without Epoxy

What You’ll Need

        Step-by-Step Instructions

        1. Prepare the tumbler

        Supplies you need to prepare a tumbler before sealing it without epoxy
        1. Prepare your tumbler by sanding it and washing it with dishwashing liquid and water. You can also use a paper towel and 91% rubbing alcohol. The reason for this step is to remove the grit, grease, adhesives, and other substances that can affect your cup’s quality.
        2. Tape off the part you don’t want to apply epoxy. (Optional)
        3. Spray paint using your preferred base color, but remember to use flat paint. The most commonly used colors are black or white.

        2. Add glitter

        Adding glitters to a tumbler before sealing it without epoxy 
        1. Apply Mod Podge using the brush applicator. You can also use spray adhesive.    
        2. Cover with glitters and gently tap to remove excess glitters. Add glitters to blank spots and tap again. Let dry. 
        3. Repeat steps A and B. 
        4. Spray with E6000 glue spray and pat the glitters on with parchment paper. Let it dry for 24 hours. 

        3. Apply CrystaLac

        Applying CrystaLac as one of the alternatives on how to glitter a tumbler without epoxy 
        1. Apply a thin layer of CrystaLac and let it dry for 4 hours. Repeat and sand.
        2. Continue applying the CrystaLac, sanding every 2 layers until you get the right thickness. The typical application is 8-10 layers, allowing 4 hours of drying between applications.
        3. You can add your decals before the last two coats to seal in the decals. 
        4. Clean off the excess finish with a coffee filter and rubbing alcohol or acetone. Be careful when wiping off the mess to avoid damaging the finish. 

        Methods of Sealing a Tumbler Without Epoxy

        We included three methods you can use to seal your glitter tumbler without epoxy. Make sure to read through and take note of the pros and cons before making your choice.    

        1. CrystaLac Method - Most Recommended

        A glitter tumbler sealed with CrystaLac 

        CrystaLac method is the most recommended alternative to epoxy. It gives the same shine as epoxy, but it does not have allergic reactions because it is water-based. We discussed the steps on how to seal a glitter tumbler without epoxy in the step-by-step instructions above, so check it out. 

         Pros Cons
        • Safe to use
        • Easy to apply
        • Fewer quality issues on your finished tumbler
        • Needs 8-10 applications or more depending on the thickness you want
        • Requires 30 days to cure but can be used in 5 days
        • Does not work with alcohol ink designs

        2. Mod Podge Method

        A glitter tumbler sealed with Mod Podge

        For this method, you’ll need two types of Mod Podge. Use the gloss luster Mod Podge for the first three layers and the dishwasher-safe Mod Podge for the fourth and fifth layers. Note that the tumbler will be water-resistant but not dishwasher-safe.

         Pros Cons
        • Kid-friendly
        • Dries fast
        • Seals in the glitters very well
        • Not as shiny as epoxy


        1. Carefully prepare your tumbler by sanding and washing it then applying your flat paint. 
        2. Apply Mod Podge with a brush applicator, then cover your tumbler with glitters. Let it dry. 
        3. For the second and third layers, use a sponge to dab the Mod Podge to prevent the glitters from falling off. 
        4. Lightly wet sand it with 12-grit sandpaper and wash off the glitter dust. Let it dry.  
        5. Use the dishwasher-safe Mod Podge and apply using a sponge applicator.

        3. Clear Acrylic Spray Method

        A glitter tumbler sealed with Clear Acrylic Spray

        You’ll need an oven for this method to help the clear acrylic spray cure well. 

         Pros Cons
        • Easy to apply
        • Dries faster
        • Not as water-resistant as CrystaLac or epoxy


        1. Prepare your tumbler as recommended to remove all substances that may affect the adhesion of the glitters. Tape off the parts you don’t want to add glitters. 
        2. You can spray your tumbler with flat paint so that the stainless steel finish of the tumbler. Let dry. 
        3. Use Mod Podge to apply one layer of glitters, then sand lightly. Spray two layers of Krylon Resplendent Red Glitter Shimmer. Let dry. 
        4. Spray with Rust-Oleum Clear Gloss until well-covered. Bake it for 5 minutes at 200oF. Repeat twice or until you are satisfied with your finish. 

        Common Issues When Sealing a Glitter Tumbler Without Epoxy

        Here are some of the most common issues when dealing with glitter tumblers without epoxy. It's important to be aware of them to help manage your expectations.  

        • Less Water Resistant Finish

        Aside from the water-based CrystaLac, Mod Podge and clear acrylic spray do not have a water-resistant finish. This means that you cannot leave your tumblers in the water or other liquids for extended periods.

        • Long Curing Time

        CrystaLac takes 5 days to be thoroughly dried and 30 days to cure to an inert state. The other alternatives take less time, but the quality is not as good as epoxy. The clear acrylic finish can be baked to improve quality and curing time, but there’s no such luck for CrystaLac and Mod Podge.

        • Limited Design 

        CrystaLac reacts with alcohol ink, so you cannot use this design for your tumblers. The Mod Podge also has limited application, and baking clear acrylic finish is not always an option for all designs.

        • Limited Applications

        Except for woodwork, you cannot use the alternatives to epoxy for tumblers for resin crafts like jewelry, keychains, coasters, and more. CrystaLac may work for these resin arts, but it takes longer for it to dry and cure.


        If you are allergic to epoxy fumes, now you can make glitter tumblers without using one. The overall quality may not be the same, but it’s worth the try. 

        Although there are various alternatives on how to seal a glitter tumbler without epoxy, we found that CrystaLac is the best choice since it is water-based, does not contain aerosol, and does not induce allergic reactions. The most significant disadvantage of using CrystaLac is the curing time, although epoxy also needs 30 days to be fully cured and inert. On that note, you can safely use CrystaLac-finish glitter tumblers after 5 days.

        Which of these epoxy alternatives would you like to try to seal your glitter tumbler? Let us know in the comments.


        • Response to Elizabeth

          While it is true that you can wash and use the tumbler applied with CrystaLac after 5 days, it can still change its chemical composition during this time, especially when heat is applied. Wait until the CrystaLac is fully inert after 30 days before popping it into the dishwasher.

        • When you say the crystalac is safe to use after 5 days but not fully cured, what does that mean? Can it be washed after 5 days? Then dishwasher safe after 30?


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