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

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

You are watching: Can you put polyurethane over enamel paint


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What is polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a polymer that is used in numerous different ways and also to create numerous different things. Some polyurethane item you may recognize room skateboard wheels, foam sponges, spandex, gaskets, and hoses to surname a few.

In this case though, we are talking about polyurethane as a clear surface ar coating or sealer.

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

They even use it come coat bridges and also roadways.

Can you apply polyurethane end paint?


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You don’t necessarily must paint a surface before protecting it through polyurethane, yet if friend would like a solid color, then painting is the method to go.

Before girlfriend start, see our advice on just how to remove and prevent paint spills!

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

Will polyurethane rod to every surfaces?

Polyurethane will certainly stick to most well prepared surfaces. The surface must be clean, dry, and complimentary of dust, wax, and also grease.

To prep her 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 eliminate all dust before using your finish.If there is any grease ~ above the surface, be certain to clean it well.

What sort of polyurethane must you use?

The two main alternatives for polyurethane are oil-based and also water-based. There room some other options, like water-based oil-modified because that example.

Oil-based polyurethane is a stronger finish than water-based and can host up to warmth better. However, oil-based will add a slim amber/yellow hue to the surface which can readjust the watch of your paint beneath it.

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

Additionally, water-based poly dries quicker, has less odor, and lower VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) 보다 its oil-based counterpart, making it best for the house user.

Can polyurethane be used outdoors?

If you are planning to use polyurethane to safeguard outdoor furniture, make sure to examine the label. Purchase a polyurethane the is formulated for exterior use and is UV resistant.

Exterior polyurethanes space formulated in a way that enables the complete to expand and also contract in addition to the wood during moisture and temperature transforms throughout the year. In addition the UV inhibitors will safeguard the end up from the harsh sun.

How to use polyurethane end paint

First, you will must decide whereby you will be doing the finishing process. You want a well ventilated area, through as little dust as possible.

Lay under drop cloths or newspaper (be conscious that polyurethane deserve to soak v newspaper, therefore pay attention to what surface ar you have actually underneath).

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


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Be certain to stay a respirator mask, like this one, and also apply the end up in a fine ventilated area, particularly if you are using oil-based polyurethane or using a spray can.

For the finest protection, use two or more coats the 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 it this step. Lightly sanding in between coats will tear down runs and brush strokes, remove dust that may have stuck come the wet surface, and lightly unstable up the surface for the next layer to adhere to.

320 grit sandpaper is suitable grit come use as soon as sanding in between coats. This will certainly sand the surface ar thoroughly without putting deep scratches in the end up that coarser grits can conveniently cause.

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

How to achieve a glass-like complete with polyurethane

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

Automotive shops carry good quality high grit sandpaper the you may not find at the hardware store. One thing to keep in mind is the you will want to constantly inspect the surface of the sandpaper and remove dust and build increase so the it doesn’t finish up scratching her finish.

If your piece has detail work and also is not a level surface, you could want to stop sanding too much so that you perform not cut through the finish.


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If you have a perfect flat finish without dips or wood pores showing and also you want a high quality mirror finish, proceed to buff through paste wax or automobile polish on a non-abrasive foam pad or microfiber cloth.

In the video clip up above, I display how ns fine sand and also polish a etc that I built using these techniques. You can see at the end of the video clip how shiny and reflective the sleek surface is. The labels on the bottles of polishing are quickly readable in the reflected surface.


How come clean up after you room done using polyurethane

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

Brushes can additionally be cleaned through soap and water if you are using water-based poly.

If you use oil-based poly, soak your brush in one of two people mineral soul or repaint thinner come clean and also refresh the brush for future use.

Final Thoughts

Applying polyurethane over paint is a an excellent way to protect and enhance her furniture and also other household items. The will safeguard the surface ar from scratches, protect against water and also heat damage, be much much easier to clean, and also will also add a sheen or gloss come the surface.

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