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Have you ever before had her painted household items chip, peel, get dirty, or fade? If girlfriend have, you know exactly how frustrating it have the right to be to need to keep repainting the same thing year ~ year.

This is whereby a nice clear coat deserve to really come in handy. A clean coat will protect the paint and be much much easier to clean.

You are watching: Can you polyurethane over latex paint


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What is polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a polymer that is provided in plenty of different ways and to create plenty of different things. Part polyurethane items you may recognize are skateboard wheels, foam sponges, spandex, gaskets, and hoses to name a few.

In this situation though, we space talking around polyurethane as a clear surface coating or sealer.

Polyurethane is a plastic material and also as such, as soon as you use a coat of fluid polyurethane come a surface, you will end up v a clean protective plastic film as soon as it cures. The is durable, weather resistant, and also corrosion resistant.

They also use it come coat bridges and also roadways.

Can you use polyurethane end paint?


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You don’t necessarily need to paint a surface prior to protecting it with polyurethane, but if friend would choose a hard color, then paint is the way to go.

Before friend start, see our tips on exactly how to remove and prevent repaint spills!

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

Will polyurethane stick to all surfaces?

Polyurethane will certainly stick to most well all set surfaces. The surface need to be clean, dry, and cost-free of dust, wax, and also grease.

To prep her painted surface for polyurethane:Let your repaint cure completely.Lightly sand the repaint with 120 grit sandpaper to gently scuff and flatten the paint. Make certain to eliminate all dust before applying your finish.If there is any kind of grease top top the surface, be sure to clean it well.

What kind of polyurethane should you use?

The two main choices for polyurethane room oil-based and water-based. There are some other options, choose water-based oil-modified for example.

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

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

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

Can polyurethane be offered outdoors?

If you are planning to usage polyurethane to protect outdoor furniture, make certain to examine the label. Purchase a polyurethane that is formulated because that exterior use and is UV resistant.

Exterior polyurethanes are formulated in a way that permits the finish to expand and also contract together with the wood throughout moisture and temperature transforms throughout the year. In addition the UV inhibitors will protect the complete from the harsh sun.

How to use polyurethane over paint

First, friend will have to decide wherein you will certainly be act the finishing process. You want a well ventilated area, with as small dust together possible.

Lay down drop cloths or newspaper (be aware that polyurethane can soak through newspaper, for this reason pay fist to what surface you have actually underneath).

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


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Be sure to wear a respirator mask, favor this one, and apply the complete in a well ventilated area, specifically if you room using oil-based polyurethane or making use of a spray can.

For the ideal protection, apply two or more coats that finish.

How to acquire the smoothest and best looking results with polyurethane

While sanding in between coats isn’t always 100% essential for adhesion, that is a good idea to take this step. Lightly sanding between coats will tear down runs and also brush strokes, eliminate dust that may have actually stuck to the wet surface, and also lightly turbulent up the surface ar for the following layer to adhere to.

320 grit sandpaper is suitable grit to use when sanding between coats. This will sand the surface thoroughly without putting deep scratches in the finish that coarser grits can quickly cause.

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

How to attain a glass-like complete with polyurethane

Wait for the final coat to cure, then sand through progressively higher grit sandpaper. Start at 600 grit and work your method up, gift especially cautious not come sand through the end up on the edges.

Automotive shops carry great quality high grit sandpaper the you might not find at the hardware store. One point to note is the you will desire to constantly inspect the surface of the sandpaper and remove dust and also build increase so that it doesn’t end up scratching your finish.

If your item has information work and is no a level surface, you might want to avoid sanding too much so that you perform not cut through the finish.


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If you have actually a perfect flat end up without dips or hardwood pores showing and you desire a high high quality mirror finish, continue to buff v paste wax or automobile polish ~ above a non-abrasive foam pad or microfiber cloth.

In the video clip up above, I present how ns fine sand and polish a etc that I developed using these techniques. You deserve to see in ~ the finish of the video how shiny and reflective the refined surface is. The brand on the bottles of polish are easily readable in the reflected surface.


How to clean increase after you room done using polyurethane

Good news if you decision to go through water-based polyurethane – you have the right to clean up any kind of messes with simply soap and also water.

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

If you use oil-based poly, soak your 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 paint is a good way to protect and enhance your furniture and other family items. It will safeguard the surface ar from scratches, protect against water and heat damage, it is in much less complicated to clean, and will also include a sheen or gloss to the surface.

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Wondering what to execute with old timber that has gone untreated because that too lengthy to it is in saved? here are part ideas.