How To Make Paper Waterproof without Laminating

Laminating paper is a very effective way of making it waterproof; this fact has been well established. Although there are other reasons why we laminate paper, I believe the primary one is to protect it from water or make it water-resistant.

Before you can do this, you will need a laminator. You don’t necessarily need to have a laminator; there are business centers around you that offer the service for a token. You pay a fee to get your document laminated.

However, depending on the area, these fees can be a little expensive. Laminators themselves cost quite a lot from significant sellers. It will be very economical to find other ways to make paper waterproof without laminating it.

Of course, other alternatives include using Self-Laminating sheets or laminator pouches and sealing them with an iron or stapler. These are widespread methods of making paper waterproof. However, they all involve the use of laminator pouches or sheets.

What if I told you there are cheaper ways to make paper waterproof without using laminators or laminating sheets? Sounds surprising, right? Let’s get right to it!

Ways To Make Paper Waterproof Without Laminating

Asides from laminating, there are six effective ways to make paper waterproof. I have tested these methods, and I can confidently recommend them to anyone. They include;

  • Waterproof Spray
  • Micro glaze
  • Mod Podge
  • Wax
  • Clear Nail Polish
  • Wood Varnish

Waterproof Spray

Using Waterproof spray is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make paper waterproof. However, you must take caution when using waterproof sprays, as things can quickly go wrong.

I will advise that you only use them in well-ventilated areas, preferably outdoors, so they dry up quickly. You should also wear protective clothing while spraying on the paper; this will prevent the spray from touching your body.

Before you can make your paper waterproof using a waterproof spray, you need to follow this simple procedure;

  1. Put on rubber gloves and remember to do the spraying outdoors. If you can’t do it outdoors, ensure you wear a mask.
  2. The spray usually comes in a spray can. Shake the can vigorously for up to ten seconds to ensure the mixture’s effectiveness.
  3. To prevent the spray from going to other areas, I will advise you to place the paper you want to spray on cardboard or newspaper.
  4. If you are spraying outdoors, you can clip the paper to a clothesline; this will even make it easier to spray both sides without turning over.
  5. Ensure the spray is a little distant from the paper you want to spray; I will recommend 13 inches apart.
  6. Carefully spray each side of the paper till it is completely covered in the waterproof mixture.
  7. Once you spray the first side, leave the paper to dry before picking it up and repeating the process for the other side. If you are doing it on a clothesline, you wouldn’t need to wait for one side to dry up.

Micro glaze

Many people might be familiar with what Micro glaze is. If you are not, I’ll explain what it is. The micro glaze is an all-purpose paper protector, having an oily consistency like that of vaseline. When it comes to making paper waterproof, Micro glaze makes a perfect choice.

However, like the waterproof spray, Microglazing has a procedure you should follow. Here’s how to go about it;

  1. Ensure the ink on the paper is completely dry before you begin microglazing. If you Microglaze on a wet paper, it will get smudged.
  2. Microglaze usually comes in a small pot. Please open it and use your index finger to take a small portion of it.
  3. After that, rub the Microglaze over the paper in a roundabout motion. Do this until the entire document is covered.
  4. Ensure the glaze you are applying is minimal so you can achieve a very thin film. Excess Microglaze will make the paper too oily.
  5. After glazing both sides, leave the paper to dry for about 20 minutes.

I wouldn’t advise microglazing if you are trying to make waterproof paper in large amounts. Applying Microglaze to each piece of paper might take about two minutes or even more; therefore, it is not time-efficient for bulk.

Mod Podge

Mod Podge is not only used to make paper waterproof; it is a mixture of several ingredients that can also be used as glue, sealer, and to give nice finishing touches to your craft. The product has been around for a long time and is well known for its versatility.

However, it would help if you noted that Mod Podge is not fully waterproof; it is water-resistant. This means that it can only prevent your paper from getting wet when exposed to small amounts of water. If your paper gets soaked in water after applying Mod Podge, it will get destroyed.

To apply Mod Podge on your paper, get a paintbrush and paint a thin layer over the form. Ensure the Mod podge is kept minimal during the process. Leave it to dry for at least an hour.


Waxing is another effective method of making paper waterproof. It will help create a layer on the form that is impenetrable by water. However, this procedure can be time-consuming, so it is not advisable for bulk application.

For Waxing, you will need a Wax candle. You don’t need to select candle colors as it does not matter since you won’t see them. If, however, you are concerned about the color, then you can use a white wax candle.

Follow this procedure to apply wax to your paper;

  1. Cut or slice out a thin layer of the candle to expose the clean, softer wax inside of it.
  2. Carefully use the exposed part of the candle to gently rub both sides of the paper until it is completely covered in wax. You should do this very carefully, as the friction involved can easily tear your paper.

You can also use this method to make cardboard boxes waterproof.

Clear nail polish

Using clear nail polish to make paper waterproof is very common with origami and paper jewelry creations. This method will help give the paper a more rigid exterior, strong enough to make it waterproof.

You can use it on flat paper, like paintings and drawings. The aim is to give the paper a hard finish. Follow this process to apply nail polish to your paper;

  1. Get some clear nail polish in place. Do not use colored polish. The clear nail polish is usually transparent.
  2. Use the small brush that comes with the polish to paint a thin even layer over your paper gently.
  3. Leave the paper to dry for about 30 minutes.

Be very careful when applying nail polish to paper, as they have constituents that can make you feel dizzy and nauseous when inhaling them. I will advise you to wear a mask and wear gloves when applying nail polish to paper.

Wood varnish

Wood Varnish is usually used to protect the wood but can also make paper waterproof. When selecting the wood varnish to use, go for a clear one to avoid a strange-looking effect on your paper.

To waterproof your paper using varnish, follow these steps;

  1. You can place your paper on cardboard or peg it to a clothesline.
  2. Get a small paint brush and use it to apply a thin, even layer of the varnish to your paper.
  3. Leave the paper to dry.

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