Great info at How To Make Your Own Playing Cards by Chris Wasshuber
Making Cards: You’ll never use your old method again.
Have not tested:
Krylon K07110 Low Odor Clear Gloss Finish Aerosol Spray, $20
Turtle Wax 53409 Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Wax, $15
Easy Peasy Spray Wax 8oz, $21
WET SHINE Silicone Spray Coating, $12
Clear acrylic spray
“This has produced the best results so far for the home printed cards. The acrylic coating makes the colors darker and richer. The surface of the cards are much closer to real playing cards, but the main benefit from this method is that the acrylic adds much needed springiness to the cards”
Krylon 1303 Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating Spray, $8
Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish Spray for Wood, $12
“The best playing card coating I have found is minwax polycryllic, it’s not a spray-on. To apply it use a roller, like a printing brayer, put a line of polycrylic at the top of the page and pull it down the page with the roller (you might have to cut the page in half to allow you to do this in one smooth stroke). “
Mod Podge Matte, $10 (glue and sealer)
“gives enough of a finish on my cards that they easily slide and shuffle. I spray it a bit close (but not too close) to get a nice thick coat.”
Pylon clear Lacquer paint (imported from Japan)
MinWax Clear Gloss Polyurethane, $8
“The place I had issues with smell was using the Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic spray. That stuff stinks & it lasts a few days. I switched to the Minwax clear polyurethane. Much less smell that dissipates faster–and what smell there is smells like furniture.
RustOleum 1906830 Lacquer Spray (Clear coat – one coat) +
Finishline Teflon bike polish*
“This is applied by spraying a lint free cloth and gently wiping-down the uncut sheet of cards. Don’t saturate. Allow to dry for 24 hours. *This is what I had in my shop. This bike polish caused a slight color transfer to my wiping cloth from a couple of cards that weren’t sufficiently clear coated. There might be solvents in this polish that cut through the clear coat. After 24 hours the cards are fine and slide over each other very well.
Wasshuber advice on coatings:
KardKoating: $45 for 4 oz.
ACE Clear Enamel: This is a coating not primarily for paper but for wood and other hard objects. It has a somewhat rough feeling, doesn't slip well, and smells for a while. Not recommended.
Rustoleum Clear Enamel: Same as for the ACE brand. Not recommended. Krylon Kamar Varnish: It feels somewhat slick to the touch, does not smell but does not produce slippery cards - not enough to produce a good fan and nowhere near the feeling you are used to from store bought cards. If you work the cards, slide them against each other, shuffle them, etc., they become a bit better a bit more slippery over time.
Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic: Not as smooth and slick to the touch as the Kamar one.
Damar Varnish: Stay away from this one. Smells a lot. Soaks too much into the card itself.
Drytac suggested their 'Digital Gloss UV' liquid coating.
Cutting: suggestions are rotary cutters, guillotine cutters, sliding blade cutters. For corners, corner punches.
Card boxes (Tuckbox)
Super Deluxe Tuckbox Template Maker by Craig P Forbes