Applying Polycrylic Over Spray Paint: Yay or Nay?

Polycrylic is a popular topcoat used to protect and enhance the finish of painted surfaces. Many DIYers wonder if it is possible to apply Polycrylic over spray paint to achieve a smooth and durable finish. The answer is yes, you can put Polycrylic over spray paint. Polycrylic is a water-based protective coating that can be applied over various surfaces, including spray paint, to provide added durability and protection. It is commonly used on furniture and other DIY projects to create a professional-looking finish. However, there are some important considerations and steps to follow to ensure a successful application of Polycrylic over spray paint.

Key Takeaways:

  • Polycrylic can be applied over spray paint to protect and enhance the finish.
  • It provides added durability and protection to painted surfaces.
  • Following proper application steps is essential for a successful outcome.
  • Polycrylic is water-based, making it easy to clean up.
  • It is available in different finishes to suit your desired look.

Pros and Cons of Applying Polycrylic Over Spray Paint

When considering whether to apply Polycrylic over spray paint, it’s important to understand the benefits and drawbacks of this topcoat option. Let’s take a closer look at what Polycrylic has to offer compared to other topcoats:

Benefits of Using Polycrylic over Spray Paint

  • Durable protection: Applying Polycrylic over spray paint provides a durable finish that protects against wear and tear, extending the lifespan of your painted furniture or DIY project.
  • Quick drying time: Polycrylic dries quickly, allowing you to complete your projects faster and minimizing the waiting time between coats.
  • Various finishes: Polycrylic is available in different finishes, including matte, satin, semi-gloss, or gloss. This versatility allows you to choose the perfect finish that matches your desired aesthetic.
  • Easy cleanup: Since Polycrylic is water-based, cleaning up is a breeze. You can easily wash your brushes and tools with soap and water, making the whole process more convenient.
  • No yellowing: Unlike some other topcoats, Polycrylic does not yellow over time, maintaining the true color and integrity of your spray paint for a longer period.

Drawbacks of Using Polycrylic over Spray Paint

  • Application challenges: Applying Polycrylic can be more challenging compared to other topcoats, such as spray lacquer or polyurethane. It requires careful brushwork or spraying techniques to avoid streaks, bubbles, or brush marks.
  • Thinner protection: While Polycrylic offers sufficient protection for most applications, it may not be as durable as some other topcoats, especially in high-traffic or outdoor areas.
  • Potentially uneven finish: If not applied properly, Polycrylic can result in an uneven or streaky finish, requiring additional sanding or recoating to achieve the desired smoothness.
Polycrylic Spray Lacquer Polyurethane
Durable protection Durable but may require more coats Highly durable, especially in high-traffic areas
Quick drying time Dries quickly May require longer drying time between coats
Various finishes Multiple finish options available Limited range of finishes
Easy cleanup Easy to clean up Requires solvents for cleanup
No yellowing May yellow over time May yellow over time

Is It Safe to Apply Polycrylic Over Stain?

Yes, it is safe to apply Polycrylic over stain. It provides a protective finish while preserving the stained wood’s color and beauty. When staining over existing stain, be sure to sand the surface lightly and clean it thoroughly before applying the new stain and Polycrylic for best results.

Applying Polycrylic Over Spray Paint: Step-by-Step Guide

Applying Polycrylic over spray paint is a popular technique to achieve a smooth and durable finish on your painted surfaces. Whether you’re working on furniture or other DIY projects, using Polycrylic as a protective topcoat can enhance the longevity and overall appearance of your spray paint. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you achieve a seamless application:

  1. Clean and Prep

    Before applying Polycrylic, ensure that your spray-painted surface is clean and free of any dirt or debris. Use a mild soap and water solution to gently clean the surface, then allow it to dry completely. Sand any rough or uneven areas if necessary to ensure a smooth finish.

  2. Select the Right Sprayer

    When applying Polycrylic over spray paint, using a sprayer can provide a more even and professional-looking finish. Choose a sprayer that is suitable for water-based products and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for usage and cleaning.

  3. Prepare Polycrylic

    Before application, stir the Polycrylic thoroughly to ensure an even consistency. Avoid shaking the container vigorously to prevent the formation of bubbles.

  4. Begin Spraying

    Hold the sprayer approximately 8-12 inches away from the surface and start spraying in a steady motion. Apply a thin and even coat of Polycrylic, making sure to cover the entire spray-painted area. Avoid over-spraying to prevent drips or pooling.

  5. Allow Drying Time

    After the first coat, allow the Polycrylic to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, it takes about 2 hours for the first coat to dry completely. If desired, apply additional coats for added protection, allowing sufficient drying time between each coat.

  6. Lightly Sand (Optional)

    If you notice any imperfections or roughness after the final coat has dried, you can lightly sand the surface with a fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps achieve a smoother finish before applying any additional coats.

Spraying Tips Do’s Don’ts
Masking Mask off any areas that you don’t want to be coated with Polycrylic, such as hardware or glass. Avoid masking too close to the area you’re spraying to prevent sharp edges in the final finish.
Even Strokes Use smooth and even strokes while spraying to achieve a consistent finish. Avoid applying heavy coats or spraying too quickly, as it can result in drips or uneven coverage.
Ventilation Ensure proper ventilation in your workspace to allow proper drying and minimize fumes. Avoid spraying in high humidity or extreme temperatures, as it can affect the drying process.
Clean-Up Immediately clean your sprayer and tools with warm soapy water after use. Don’t let the Polycrylic dry on your sprayer or tools, as it can be difficult to remove.

By following these steps and tips, you can achieve a professional-looking finish when applying Polycrylic over spray paint. Remember to always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for best results. Happy crafting!

Can You Use Polycrylic Over Different Types of Paint?

Polycrylic is a versatile topcoat that can be used over various types of paint, providing an extra layer of protection and enhancing the durability of your painted surfaces. Whether you have used water-based paints like latex or acrylic, or oil-based paints like alkyd or enamel, Polycrylic is compatible and can be applied over these types of paints.

Using Polycrylic Over Alkyd Paint

Polycrylic can be safely used over alkyd or oil-based paints, such as those commonly used on furniture or cabinets. However, it is crucial to ensure that the alkyd paint is fully cured before applying Polycrylic. Allow the paint to dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it is completely cured, you can proceed with applying Polycrylic as a protective topcoat.

Using Polycrylic Over Enamel Paint

Enamel paints, known for their glossy and durable finish, can also benefit from the protective properties of Polycrylic. Like with alkyd paint, it is essential to allow the enamel paint to fully cure before applying Polycrylic. Once the enamel paint has cured, you can apply Polycrylic to enhance its longevity and protect it from everyday wear and tear.

Overall, Polycrylic offers compatibility with different types of paint, providing an opportunity to improve the durability and appearance of your painted surfaces. Whether it is latex, acrylic, alkyd, or enamel paint, Polycrylic can be applied as a topcoat to add a protective layer and extend the life of your paint job.

The Best Spray Guns for Applying Polycrylic

When it comes to achieving a flawless finish with Polycrylic, using the right spray gun is essential. HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray guns are highly recommended for applying Polycrylic due to their excellent control and atomization capabilities. Here are three top-rated HVLP spray guns that are perfect for Polycrylic application:

1. Wagner Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer

The Wagner Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer is a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. With its adjustable flow control, 3 spray patterns, and powerful turbine, this spray gun delivers exceptional precision and coverage. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and produces a smooth, even finish with Polycrylic.

2. Fuji 2203G Semi-PRO 2 – HVLP Spray System

The Fuji 2203G Semi-PRO 2 HVLP Spray System is a high-quality sprayer that offers professional-level performance. It features a powerful 1400-watt motor, adjustable pattern fan control, and a gravity-fed spray gun. This system allows for precise application of Polycrylic, ensuring a flawless finish on any project.

3. Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun

The Graco-Sharpe 288878 HVLP FX3000 Paint Spray Gun is known for its durability and versatility. This spray gun is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and control during application. Equipped with a large fluid passage and adjustable air pressure, it delivers consistent and uniform coverage with Polycrylic, making it a favorite among professionals.

When choosing a spray gun for applying Polycrylic, consider your specific needs and preferences. Look for features like adjustable settings, ease of use, and compatibility with water-based coatings. Investing in a reliable HVLP spray gun will ensure that you achieve professional-quality results every time you apply Polycrylic to your painted surfaces.

Scroll to Top