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Have you ever before had your painted family members items chip, peel, gain dirty, or fade? If girlfriend have, you know how frustrating it can be to have to keep repainting the exact same thing year after ~ year.

This is wherein a nice clean coat deserve to really come in handy. A clean coat will safeguard the paint and be much simpler to clean.

You are watching: Can you put polyurethane over acrylic paint


What is polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a polymer that is used in plenty of different ways and to create countless different things. Some polyurethane item you might recognize space skateboard wheels, foam sponges, spandex, gaskets, and also hoses to name a few.

In this situation though, we room talking around polyurethane together a clear surface ar coating or sealer.

Polyurethane is a plastic material and as such, when you apply a cloak of liquid polyurethane come a surface, you will finish up with a clear protective plastic film once it cures. It is durable, weather resistant, and corrosion resistant.

They even use it to coat bridges and also roadways.

Can you apply polyurethane over paint?


You don’t necessarily have to paint a surface before protecting it with polyurethane, yet if friend would prefer a hard color, then paint is the way to go.

Before girlfriend start, see our tips on how to remove and also prevent paint spills!

Polyurethane will certainly adhere to and also protect latex and also acrylic repaint as lengthy as you have actually prepped the surface properly.

Will polyurethane rod to all surfaces?

Polyurethane will certainly stick to many well all set surfaces. The surface should be clean, dry, and free of dust, wax, and also grease.

To prep your painted surface ar for polyurethane:Let your repaint cure completely.Lightly sand the paint with 120 grit sandpaper to tenderness scuff and flatten the paint. Make sure to remove all dust before using your finish.If over there is any kind of grease ~ above the surface, be sure to clean that well.

What sort of polyurethane must you use?

The 2 main alternatives for polyurethane room oil-based and water-based. There room some other options, prefer water-based oil-modified for example.

Oil-based polyurethane is a stronger end up than water-based and can host up to warm better. However, oil-based will include a slight amber/yellow hue to the surface which can adjust the look of your repaint beneath it.

Water-based poly dries clear and also will not readjust the appearance of your paint color.

Additionally, water-based poly dries quicker, has less odor, and also lower VOC’s (volatile essential compounds) than its oil-based counterpart, make it best for the residence user.

Can polyurethane be supplied outdoors?

If you space planning to use polyurethane to defend outdoor furniture, make certain to inspect the label. To buy a polyurethane that is formulated because that exterior use and also is UV resistant.

Exterior polyurethanes room formulated in a method that allows the complete to expand and also contract together with the wood during moisture and temperature transforms throughout the year. Furthermore the UV inhibitors will protect the finish from the harsh sun.

How to apply polyurethane end paint

First, friend will should decide wherein you will be law the finishing process. You want a well ventilated area, v as little dust together possible.

Lay under drop cloths or newspaper (be aware that polyurethane can soak with newspaper, so pay fist to what surface you have actually underneath).

Polyurethane deserve to be applied in several different ways. You have the right to use a fine bristled brush, a spray can, a lint-free rag, a foam brush, or a roller.


Be sure to undertake a respirator mask, prefer this one, and apply the finish in a well ventilated area, particularly if you space using oil-based polyurethane or using a spray can.

For the ideal protection, apply two or an ext coats of finish.

How to gain the smoothest and also best looking results with polyurethane

While sanding between coats isn’t constantly 100% necessary for adhesion, it is a good idea to take this step. Easy sanding in between coats will knock down runs and brush strokes, remove dust that may have stuck to the wet surface, and also lightly rough up the surface ar for the next layer come adhere to.

320 grit sandpaper is an ideal grit to use when sanding between coats. This will certainly sand the surface ar thoroughly without placing deep scratches in the end up that coarser grits can quickly cause.

Apply the final coat as smoothly as possible if you desire a really flat finish.

How to accomplish a glass-like finish with polyurethane

Wait for the last coat come cure, climate sand through progressively greater grit sandpaper. Begin at 600 grit and work your means up, being especially mindful not to sand with the finish on the edges.

Automotive shops carry an excellent quality high grit sandpaper that you might not uncover at the hardware store. One thing to note is that you will desire to constantly examine the surface ar of the sandpaper and also remove dust and also build up so the it doesn’t end up scratching your finish.

If your piece has detail work and is not a flat surface, you might want to protect against sanding too much so that you execute not cut through the finish.


If you have a perfect flat end up without dips or timber pores showing and you desire a high top quality mirror finish, continue to buff through paste wax or car polish top top a non-abrasive foam pad or microfiber cloth.

In the video clip up above, I display how i fine sand and polish a etc that I built using these techniques. You can see at the finish of the video how shiny and reflective the polished surface is. The labels on the party of polish are conveniently readable in the reflected surface.

How come clean up after you space done using polyurethane

Good news if you decide to go v water-based polyurethane – you have the right to clean up any type of messes with just soap and water.

Brushes can additionally be cleaned v soap and also water if you space using water-based poly.

If you use oil-based poly, soak her brush in one of two people mineral soul or paint thinner to clean and refresh the brush because that future use.

Final Thoughts

Applying polyurethane over repaint is a good way come protect and also enhance your furniture and also other family members items. The will safeguard the surface from scratches, prevent water and heat damage, be much much easier to clean, and will also add a sheen or gloss come the surface.

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