Can Oil Pastels Be Laminated?


There are lots of different ways to protect and display your artwork. Some people like to laminate their art. If you want to display your work this is probably not the best way.

Many people want to know if you can laminated oil pastels. It’s possible but I do not recommend that you laminate oil pastels for the reasons I have given below. There are other ways to protect your artwork that are better for it and work much better.

Lamination has its place, however, for oil pastels, it is not ideal and there are alternatives which are better.

The main difficulties with laminating your oil pastel art in general are:

  1. The size and thickness of your work.

    You may find that your work does not go through the laminator very well. This can be due to the paper being is too large or too thick. You need to use a lighter paper to get it to go through. Or you will need a stronger more heavy duty laminator.
  2. Heat and chemicals can destroy your work.

    When you laminate you are putting your artwork into the laminator which is hot. Oil pastels should not be melted nor heated up (I know people do, they shouldn’t according to the manufacturers). Heating them in this way will damage your artwork. As will the chemicals. Oil pastels do not dry out so will always react to this process.
  3. Laminators have adhesive which attaches itself to your art.

    This can change the art or damage it.

Overcoming Lamination Difficulties for Oil Pastel 

Can You Use Cold Lamination?

The main issues with lamination are the heat and the chemicals. Therefore you could use a cold laminator to avoid heat issues. This does not avoid the chemicals. The artwork will be pressed much harder which could also change it and there are still chemical adhesives used.

Cold lamination does not protect your art as well as hot lamination though. But it hot lamination is going to destroy your work anyway it may be an option to try.

I have not tried this as cold laminators are more expensive to buy – a lot more expensive.

Another Form of Cold Lamination

I haven’t used this method of lamination at all so please use with caution. You can buy self-adhesive lamination sheets/pouches.

You do still have the issue of the adhesive but not the heat.

Lamination Of Your Art For Practical Use

If you wanted to laminate your work because you want to use it for practical things like placemats or bookmarks etc there are alternatives. It would be better to get a quality photo taken from it and get it printed off and laminate your photo rather than your art. 

Or have your photo put directly on something that you want to use.

Better Alternatives To Lamination For You Oil Pastel Art

My view is that the main reasons for laminating your artwork are to protect it from damage, dirt, and dust. You also want to make it look good. There are a lot easier and better ways to do this for your art. Not to mention a more professional look when finished.

  • If you want to protect your oil pastel paintings is to use a specialist fixative. This prevents it from smudging. It typically comes in either a liquid form or the form of an aerosol. You will need several coats of fixative on your art to protect it.
  • Or/and you can place it behind a glass frame. This is the best protection from dust. If you want to do this you need to make sure the pastel painting does not touch the glass. You need to have a matte (mount) around the outside to make sure it doesn’t. (source)
  • If you don’t want to frame your art simply get a see-through sleeve to place it in to protect it temporarily.

A Final Note

My view is lamination is more for documents. That it is better to protect your art in other ways such as with glass. Or if you intend to use it for practical purposes with the alternatives shown above. 

If you still want to try it, it might be worth using a piece of art that you don’t mind losing.  

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