It’s vital to use the best epoxy for tumblers if you want the item to last a long time, be glossy, and be water-resistant. In contrast, epoxy overexposure can cause several serious health issues, including dermatitis, chemical burns, and respiratory irritation. Here’s how you can seal a glitter tumbler without epoxy.

Tumblers can be sealed without epoxy in a number of ways. As an alternative, you can use CrystaLac, Mod Podge, or a clear acrylic spray. The one that suits you best will have its own advantages and disadvantages.


A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Get the tumbler ready

Get the tumbler ready
  1. The tumbler needs to be sanded and washed with dish soap and water. 91% rubbing alcohol and a paper towel can also be used. It is necessary to remove the grit, grease, adhesives, and other substances that can degrade the quality of your cup.
  2. If you do not want epoxy on the part, tape it off. It is optional.
  3. Apply your favorite base color, but make sure the paint is flat. Black and white are commonly used colors.

2. Decorate with glitter

 Decorate with glitter
  1. Use the brush applicator to apply Mod Podge. If you prefer spray adhesive, you can also use that.    
  2. Tap to remove excess glitter after covering with glitters. Fill in blank spots with glitter and tap again. Allow to dry. 
  3. Steps A and B should be repeated. 
  4. With parchment paper, spray E6000 glue spray and apply glitter. After 24 hours, remove the glitter. 

3. Follow the CrystaLac instructions

Follow the CrystaLac instructions
  1. CrystaLac should be applied thinly and allowed to dry for 4 hours. Follow with sanding.
  2. As you apply CrystaLac, sand every 2 layers until the thickness is right. Typically, 8-10 layers are applied with 4 hours between each application.
  3. You can apply your decals before the final two coats to seal them in. 
  4. Use rubbing alcohol or acetone to remove the excess finish. Be careful not to damage the finish when removing the mess. 


The glitter tumbler can be sealed without epoxy using three different methods. Make sure you read through the pros and cons before making your choice.    

1. Using the CrystaLac Method – the most recommended

Alternatives to epoxy include the CrystalLac method. Because it is water-based, it does not cause allergic reactions like epoxy. In the step-by-step instructions above, we discussed how to seal a glitter tumbler without epoxy. 

2. Mod Podgeing

You will need two types of Mod Podge to complete this method. The first three layers should be covered in gloss luster Mod Podge, while the fourth and fifth layers should be covered in dishwasher-safe Mod Podge. Note that the tumbler is not dishwasher-safe, but it is water-resistant.


  1. Sand and wash your tumbler then apply your flat paint. 
  2. Cover your tumbler with glitters after applying Mod Podge with a brush applicator. Allow to dry. 
  3. To prevent glitters from falling off, dab the Mod Podge on the second and third layers with a sponge. 
  4. Scrub it lightly with 12-grit sandpaper and wash off the glitter dust. Allow it to dry.  
  5. Apply Mod Podge using a sponge applicator and the dishwasher-safe variety.

3. Spraying Clear Acrylic

In order for the clear acrylic spray to cure properly, you’ll need an oven. 


  1. To prevent glitters from sticking to your tumbler, clean your tumbler as directed. Tape off any parts you do not want to glitter. 
  2. The stainless steel finish of your tumbler can be enhanced by spraying it with flat paint. Let it dry. 
  3. Then, apply one layer of glitters with Mod Podge and lightly sand. Krylon Resplendent Red Glitter Shimmer should be applied in two layers. Allow to dry. 
  4. Spread Rust-Oleum Clear Gloss over the surface until completely covered. Put it in the oven at 200°F for 5 minutes. Repeat twice until it is done. 


The following are some problems that occur when dealing with glitter tumblers without epoxy. Having an understanding of them can improve your expectations.  

Water-repellent finish less effective

Water-resistant finishes are not available for Mod Podge or clear acrylic spray, except for the water-based CrystaLac. Therefore, you should never leave your tumblers in water or other liquids for prolonged periods of time.

Curing takes a long time

In order for CrystalLac to become inert, it must be dried thoroughly for five days and cured for thirty days. Epoxy has a better quality than the other alternatives, but it isn’t as fast. For CrystaLac and Mod Podge there is no such luck, but clear acrylic can be baked to improve quality and curing time.

Limitation of Design 

Alcohol ink reacts with CrystalLac, so you can’t use this design on your tumblers. The Mod Podge has limited application as well as the option to bake clear acrylic isn’t always available on all designs.

Application limited to certain applicants

For crafts involving resin, such as jewelry, keychains, coasters, and more, the alternatives to epoxy cannot be used. This resin art can be made with Crystallac, but it takes a long time to cure and dry.


You can make glitter tumblers without epoxy if you are allergic to its fumes. It may not be the same quality overall, but it’s worth a shot. 

Crystal is the best choice for sealing a glitter tumbler without epoxy because it is water-based, aerosol-free, and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

 Allergies are not induced by it. CrystaLac’s most significant disadvantage is the cure time, although epoxy is also fully cured and inert after 30 days. CrystaLac-finish glitter tumblers can be safely used after 5 days.

What would be the best epoxy alternative to seal your glitter tumbler? Share your thoughts below.

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