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Food-Safe Sealant?

Last post Wed, Jun 16 2010 3:33 PM by Steele Moran. 3 replies.
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  • Thu, Jun 19 2008 12:39 PM

    Food-Safe Sealant?

    I found some unfinished wooden plates at Hobby Lobby last night for a good price.  My husband and I use plain, finished wooden plates for our medieval reenacting.  I'd like to get these raw plates and paint them with our coats of arms.  Of course the paint will have to be sealed if we are to actually use them.  Do any of the crafty ladies on here know what kind of sealant to get that is safe to eat food off of? 

  • Fri, Jun 27 2008 10:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Food-Safe Sealant?

    I don't know the answer Keriamon but if you can get to your local Michael's craft store someone in there will be able to tell you. I know that they have clear glass plates that people decoupage and put a finish over so there has to be some kind of polyurethane or varnish that is food safe. You might even be able to get the answer over the phone if you can get someone to pick up when you call. Good luck!
  • Thu, Jul 3 2008 7:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Food-Safe Sealant?

    as an addendum to the previous poster's info, the way the glass plates can be made food safe is, you paint and decorate the underside, leaving the eating surface plain glass, and then put the protective sealant over the artwork, on the underside of the plate only. That way the only thing that touches your food is glass.

    For the wood, be aware that all wood finishes except beeswax (as in, melt or soften pure beeswax and rub into the wood, then remove as much excess as you feel you need to. It isn't knife-proof, but will keep liquids from seeping into your food) are toxic because of the solvents they contain. Even "pure" tung oil isn't pure: on the label you will see that it contains something like aromatic hydrocarbons. Very very toxic. If you could procure actual tung nuts, they are very oily and maybe then you could use that oil. But anything at the hardware store for finishing wood is hazardous to ingest or have contact your food. If the finish smells like a gas station, you know right off not to inhale it again or ingest it, etc.

    If you want to use wood for historical reasons rather than glass as mentioned above, you could treat your plates (or trenchers) like chopping blocks, and oil them with vegetable oil and wipe dry, and clean with soap and hot water and then re-oil with each use. but that won't help with a painted design.  If you wanted to get fancy, and more practical and possibly more historical than a painted wooden plate, you could carve or burn your design into the plates on the rim only, if they are the kind that have nice flat rims, and use veg. oil or beeswax as a finish, keeping the food off the rims if you don't want to scrub anything out of the carvings.If color is really important one could consider inlay with natural materials such as shell or bone, but that's way beyond the skills of most of us ordinary folks.

    Just ideas, hope you find a good solution. I thought of the do-it-yourself clear polyurethane, but again, that is a plastic that you would get bits of in your food if you used utensils at all, and besides getting scratched and gouged and ugly, it's unhealthy. Probably an unpopular thought, but did people who displayed their coat of arms generally eat from wooden plates anyway? On the other hand, did people put coats-of-arms on plates that were actually for eating and not wall display anyway? Well anyway, I guess re-enactment has to be equal parts fantasy and factualness or it's no fun, so forgive me for being pedantic. Hope you find a workable solution and have a great time.

  • Wed, Jun 16 2010 3:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Food-Safe Sealant?

    Salad Bowl Finish,Find it at www.woodcraft.com

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