Can You Paint Over Polycrylic?

Image of wall paint but Can You Paint Over Polycrylic?Trends in home decor transition rapidly and frequently, and painting is arguably the most efficient way to keep up with them.  A good example is a wood. It’s difficult to beat the intuitive beauty of wood owing to its glow and depth. However, if left unprotected, wood is susceptible to inevitable demands such as heat, moisture, and the rest. To cope with that, woodworkers have realized the essence of sealing their furniture with a protective coating. And one of the commonly used coatings is a polycrylic finish. This formula ensures your painted surface endures a lifetime due to its protective qualities. However, Can You Paint Over Polycrylic? 

Yes, it’s okay to paint over polycrylic. However, it pays first to determine the type of polycrylic that exists on your surface before painting. For instance, if it’s a Minwax polycrylic, avoid using oil-based paint as it will peel with time. Polycrylic is a water-based finish; as such, it adheres to water-based paints. 

Keep reading as we unfold the relevant considerations encircling painting over polycrylic. 

Can You Put Latex Paint Over Polycrylic? 

Latex paint is the ultimate medium for most designers and DIYers. It dries quicker than most paints, and you can use it over a myriad of surfaces, be it walls, wood, ceiling, etc. But can you put latex paint over polycrylic? 

Latex paint only adheres well to polycrylic finish if you follow the entire preparatory steps. For that reason, ensure you avoid skipping any step when passing a coat of latex paint over your polycrylic surface. If not, your surface will have paint peeling off over time. 

Can You Paint Over Polycrylic with Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is arguably the most versatile furniture paint you can apply to your project without sanding or priming. It’s a great ideal for concrete, indoors, wood, metal, laminate, and beyond. Regardless, what people need to know is, can you paint over polycrylic with chalk paint?

Yes, it’s possible to paint over polycrylic with chalk paint, assuming you prepared your surface properly. Use a deglosser to wiggle out the dirt and grime on your surface for best results before painting. If that doesn’t work, let the surface dry, then lightly sand with fine-grit sandpaper. 

What Paint Will Stick to Polycrylic?

Given that polycrylic is a water-based finish, it is a good candidate for all water-based paints. Among them include acrylic paint and other related paint types.

Can You Add White Paint to Polycrylic?

Most people like sanding polycrylic to achieve a cloudy finish. However, that won’t create any distinction. As an alternative, I recommend adding a little bit of white latex paint to your polycrylic. You can achieve that by adding the paint to your polycrylic gradually until you attain your desired look. 

If you notice the color is too white, don’t worry. Take antique white paint or a yellow oxide color tint and add it to your polycrylic. 

How Do You Apply Polycrylic Without Bubbles? 

Polycrylic is a quick-drying coating you can apply on various surfaces for extra protection exactly when enhancing durability. Unfortunately, this finish often exhibits bubbles on the surface once applied. Luckily, this is a problem you can deal with by following these straightforward techniques. 

  • Stirring 

Before applying your polycrylic, be sure to stir it thoroughly for nearly 3 minutes. Still, you will want to watch out for bubbles in the container as you stir the polycrylic. If any, keep stirring the finish until the bubbles disappear.

Remember that you should not disregard the bubbles as they can transfer to your project. 

  • Use a Synthetic Brush

It’s interesting to know that not all types of brushes are ideal for painting polycrylic. So to help you avoid bubbling, use a synthetic brush as opposed to a bristle brush. After you apply the first coat of polycrylic to your surface, run the synthetic brush in one direction, then change from side to side. This way, you will flatten any potential bubbles. 

  • Cloth

Another means of eliminating bubbles on your polycrylic is by applying the finish with a cloth. Spill some polycrylic on a clean cloth and apply it to your surface. Ideally, it’s wise to use a circular motion for optimum results. After the first coat, run the cloth in one direction down the surface to flatten any bubbles. 

  • Spray

The best way to avoid bubbles on your polycrylic is by spraying it instead of brushing it on your surface. However, be sure to keep the spray tin moving to avoid spraying too much polycrylic in one spot and create bubbles. Still, you will want to engage the spray nozzle merely 18″ away from the surface as you aim to maintain an even pace. 


When bubbles form after applying polycrylic, ensure you address them while the polycrylic is still wet. 

How to Remove Polycrylic Finish

Polycrylic is rated the best finish we have on sale today. Despite its prominence, this finish is relatively hard to wiggle out, even if you use conventional removal methods. Worst of all, your surface may risk damage in the removal process, so it’s upon you to get it right. 

Usually, sanding is mostly preferred when peeling down polycrylic, but it inflicts plenty of limitations. Sanding calls for plenty of energy to peel down the existing finish, plus it eats up much of your time. 

So the following are a few techniques that will help you remove the existing polycrylic from your surface. 

Things You Will Need

  • KN95 mask.
  • Goggles.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Lab coat.
  • Scraper.
  • Steel wool.
  • Brush.
  • Chemical stripper. 

After gathering the essential supplies above, it’s now the ripe time to start. 

Step 1: Prepare your workspace.

Firstly, make sure your workspace is airy. After that, place newspapers on the floor to cop out stains that might be troublesome to remove. 

Step 2: Apply your chemical stripper.

Next, use a good quality spray to apply the chemical stripper on the existing polycrylic. You then let the chemical stripper settle for 15 minutes. After that, reach for your scraper and start to scrape off the polycrylic with the scraper’s side blade. 

Keep on scraping until a full layer of polycrylic comes out from your surface. Remember to dispose of the removed layers in a rag and throw them away. 

Alternatively, you may want to soak the disposables in a bucket of water and strain them off in a landfill. 

Can I Use Minwax Polycrylic Over Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint needs a good finish that complements its durability qualities, and Minwax polycrylic isn’t an exception. Minwax polycrylic is ideal for acrylic paint because it is:

  • Non-yellowing.
  • Doesn’t exhibit brush strokes.
  • Self-leveling. Water-based and easy to wash off. 

Which Is Harder, Polyurethane or Polycrylic?

Polyurethane and polycrylic have been used to protect furniture and other surfaces that experience high traffic for centuries. Both of them are tough polymers, easy to apply, and can last a lifetime. 

However, polycrylic is not enduring as polyurethane and is designed Mostly for interior projects. For that reason, you shouldn’t employ this formula on surfaces that endure high traffic, such as floors. 

How Many Coats of Polycrylic Over Chalk Paint?

Polycrylic is meant to protect chalk paint from enduring scratches, chips, and the rest. But how many coats are sufficient. Usually, the instructions printed on the can suggests two to three coats are enough. Remember to allow your polycrylic to dry entirely between coats before proceeding to the other coat. 

Again, if you catch a glimpse of brush strokes, it’s wise to sand them down using 220 grit sandpaper. 

How Long Should Chalk Paint Dry Before Applying Polycrylic?

Chalk paint should stay for 24 hours before applying a coat of polycrylic finish. 24 hours is enough time for the chalk paint to dry following its application. After that duration, you can apply the polycrylic to achieve the best results possible

Why Is My Polycrylic Cracking? 

Cracking is one of the mishaps that transpire during any painting project. It usually occurs in various forms due to certain aspects that I’m about to share with you. 

The common causes of cracking include outdated finish, applying thick coats of polycrylic, using inappropriate polycrylic, and so much more. Adding too much additive to your polycrylic to hasten the drying process is also another cause of cracks. 

Can You Use Water-based Polycrylic Over Acrylic Paint?

Acrylic paint is a chemical-based paint with high elastic qualities that is a real testament to why DIYers favor it in most painting projects. Despite its durable qualities, acrylic paint is vulnerable to high traffic, just as its prevalent correlatives. For that, you will need a good finish to offer your acrylic paint protection against the high demands. And that’s when the water-based polycrylic finish comes in handy. 

Water-based polycrylic protects the acrylic paint from moisture and other harsh elements exactly when enhancing its appearance. Not to mention, it keeps your paint’s color vibrant and intact for a long duration. 

Will Polycrylic Keep Paint From Chipping?

Unsightly furniture where paint exhibits signs of chipping can be a nuisance to homeowners. Usually, paint chipping is a result of poor adherence and the following aspects: 

  • Unclean surface

Dirty surfaces can make your painted surface peel off prematurely. So it’s best to give your surface a thorough cleaning using a wet cloth to remove the surface dust and dirt. After that, you can use a shop vac to ensure there is no lingering dust. 

  • Damp surface

Painting on damp surfaces can also make your paint peel with time. So to avoid such occurrences, it’s best to let your surface dry to the touch before applying a fresh coat of paint. 

That said, will polycrylic keep paint from chipping? Yes, polycrylic has the necessary components to prevent your paint from chipping. It is designed to hold out almost all sorts of demands, thus prolonging your paint’s lifespan. 

Can You Mix Acrylic Paint with Polycrylic?

Yes, you can mix acrylic paint with polycrylic. The essence of doing this is to make your acrylic paint thinner and effortless to spray. In addition, mixing polycrylic with acrylic paint forms a durable mixture that will make your painted surface endure harsh elements. You will also enjoy easy sanding between coats as the mixture dries shortly after application. 

Can I Mix Stain and Polycrylic?

Mixing polycrylic and stain is a great way of enhancing your furniture appearance. Ideally, the results are unbeatable. 

The ratio you mix this mixture is upon your personal preference. But I would recommend 1:4 and apply multiple coats until you attain your desired color. You need to mix the solution well but remember you don’t want to overdo it. So when the mixture becomes more homogenous, know you are ready to go. 


As you apply the mixture to your surface, aim to move quickly because of the fast-drying nature of polycrylic. You do this because the polycrylic might dry quickly and establish visible brush strokes and application lines. 

Also, be sure to use the mixture shortly after mixing. I say this because the mixture’s color will change as it starts curing. 

What Happens If You Don’t Sand Between Coats of Polycrylic? 

First, sanding may not play a significant role in the overall finish, but it aids a lot. So failing to sand between coats of polycrylic can result in a rough texture, tiny bumps, and poor adherence—sanding aids in balancing the imperfections exactly when promoting inter-coat adhesion. 

Is Polycrylic and Modge Podge the Same?

Both modge podge and polycrylic are good sealers, but they execute distinct functions. But modge podge is more versatile, and most DIYers favor it. 

On the other hand, polycrylic is slightly versatile, but it offers you many more options than modge podge. 

How Do I Get Smooth Finish With Polycrylic?

Polycrylic is an easy-to-use finish and doesn’t yellow over paint. But at times, it leaves a rough surface if applied incorrectly. So when your polycrylic finish appears unsightly, don’t worry as you handle that by lightly sanding your surface with 220 grit sandpaper. 

What you’ll do, is to let the finished surface dry entirely. Then reach for your 220 grit sandpaper and start sanding the rough texture with minimal pressure. Ensure you sand the entire surface to achieve even coverage. After that, follow with applying two to three coats of polycrylic and let dry.

Can I Wipe on Polycrylic?

Polycrylic offers excellent protection and provides your surface with a beautiful luster. The delivery method used to apply this finish depends on your liking. But can I wipe on polycrylic?

You may decide to spray-on, brush-on, or wipe on. 

The wipe-on technique is where the polycrylic is thinned with mineral spirits, eliminating brush strokes, drips, and the rest. 

Using the wipe-on technique is quite simple: saturate a lint-free cloth, wipe-on, and administer a second coat after nearly two hours. 

The disadvantage of using this technique is it takes roughly three coats to come up with the same coverage as a single coat of brush-on polycrylic. In favor of efficiency, it’s wise to use wipe-on polycrylic on surfaces that aren’t susceptible to wear and tear. 

Should I Sand Between Coats of Wipe on Poly? 

Yes, it’s wise to sand between coats of wipe-on poly to enhance intercoat adherence. However, you should not sand with an electric sander, given that it will peel off too much finish. Instead, use fine-grit sandpaper.

Fold your sandpaper in thirds to deter wrinkling, then clasp it flat with your fingers. Sand the entire surface back and forth, but be careful not to cut through the finish and leave a bare surface. 

What Is the Difference Between Polyurethane and Polycrylic?

Ideally, understanding the difference between paint finishes such as polyurethane and polycrylic can help you make informed decisions when painting. The different uses of these finishes come from their chemical composition. 

You shouldn’t let their identical names fool you. In this guide, I will highlight the differences between the two paint finishes. So keep reading to determine which option suits your demands. 

Firstly, polyurethane allows you to select between an oil and water-based one, whereas polycrylic doesn’t permit it. 

  • Oil-based polyurethane

This option is relatively durable, making it ideal for finishing surfaces that endure high traffic. Also, it holds out high heat, and that’s something that polycrylic is less tolerant to. Still, oil-based polyurethane is more tolerant to water, making it an ideal option for outdoor projects. 

  • Water-based polyurethane

This option encompasses zero VOCs, and at the same time, it dries faster. The main disadvantage of this option is it doesn’t tolerate high temperatures. 

Another difference between the two is polyurethane is easier to apply on surfaces more evenly than polycrylic. You have two delivery methods of application: spray or brush on. 

Polycrylic has a runny consistency, so you need to watch out for drips and wait until the dry time is due to avoid a sticky finish. Also, since polycrylic dries quickly, it isn’t easy to attain an even finish over a large surface. 

  • Polycrylic is far less toxic. 

Polyurethane is extremely flammable while still wet. So it calls for careful storage, given that fire doesn’t forgive carelessness. As spoken of earlier, it also integrates high levels of VOC that can harm your lungs. For that reason, you need to wear protective supplies such as a face mask and gloves when applying this finish. 

By contrast, polycrylic doesn’t incorporate a strong odor, plus it’s not as toxic as polyurethane. 

How Do You Apply Polycrylic? 

The reason DIYers abandon other finishes in favor of polycrylic is because it’s overly easy to apply and pocket-friendly. Again, it adds a shine to your furniture. Regardless, this top coat can result in a mess with visible imperfections if not applied regarding the instructions. 

But that should not worry you as I have established some useful tips below to help you execute this DIY task with proficiency. 

Supplies Needed

Step 1: set up your work area. 

Polycrylic elicits a slight odor but is not as strong as oil-based polyurethane. For that reason, it’s wise to apply this finish in a well-ventilated space. Your workspace should be dust-free as even the tiniest dust particles can hinder adhesion. 

Also, be sure to work in a less humid surrounding because high humidity will slow the drying time. 

Step 2: Prepare the surface.

Any finishing project calls for thorough preparation. So aim to smooth out your surface by sanding it lightly with medium-grit sandpaper. Next, use a Shop-Vac to extract the majority of the sanding dust.  Then follow with a tack cloth to clear up the remaining dust. Once you are through, fill up the surface holes, if any, with a wood filler, and get prepared to move on to the next step. 

Step 3: Prepare the polycrylic

After surface preparation, move on to the next step, which is preparing your polycrylic. Remember, you should not shake the polycrylic because doing so can introduce bubbles. And for that, the bubbles can bring about a bumpy surface. But suppose that it transpires, sand down the bubbles, and apply an additional coat of polycrylic. 

Step 4: Apply the finish.

For this product, a quality synthetic bristle brush will do the trick. I say this because the synthetic brush incorporates a stubby handle making it unique. Also, the stubby handle gives you control when applying the finish. And its short size means less weight and no stress on your wrist. 

Usually, a roller is not recommended when applying polycrylic because it’s likely to introduce bubbles. So soak your synthetic brush Into the polycyclic, then begin spreading your first coat in long strokes. As usual, avoid short back and forth strokes as they will leave visible brush strokes. 

Since polycrylic has a runny consistency, you will want to do thin coats and brush out the drips. Even better, aim to work from wet spots towards dry areas. Give ample dry time between coats. And remember to sand each coat after roughly two hours. 


Don’t use steel wool to sand this polycrylic between coats. This finish is water-based, so suppose tiny portions of steel wool linger behind; it will rust and probably stain the finish. 

How Do You Apply Polycrylic Over Chalk Paint?

Chalk paint is a common option for most DIYers because of its distinctive characteristics. Among its unique features include: 

  • With this paint, you don’t need to prime. 
  • Chalk paint eliminates the essence of sanding. 
  • You can achieve distinct looks with this paint. 

But how do you apply polycrylic over chalk paint? Find out more below: 

Step 1

To begin, clean your painted surface with a liquid TSP cleaner. Then follow the manufacturer’s dry time duration put out on the side of the can. 

Step 2

After the painted surface dries, take 220 grit or higher sandpaper and lightly sand the chalk paint. Don’t use too much pressure; just a gentle scrub is enough to give your polycrylic something to hold onto. Once you’re through, clean the sanding dust with a tack cloth and proceed. 

Step 3

Take a paint dish, pour some polycrylic halfway and use a wooden stick to stir the finish gently. Remember not to shake the finish as it might establish bubbles. Now take your synthetic brush and administer long strokes slowly for even coverage. After the first coat dries, sand the surface lightly with less pressure, then clean the sanding dust with the tack cloth. 

Step 4

Apply the second coat and be quick so the drips won’t spill everywhere. Aim to balance the coverage, so there aren’t any visible imperfections. Next, let the polycrylic dry before sanding. Then allow 24 hours for the finish to cure. After that, you can proceed with a third coat if necessary. 

What’s the Difference Between Acrylic and Polycrylic?

Both acrylic and polycrylic fulfill similar benefits when applied to various surfaces. But a few qualities differentiate the two. The two differentiate by cost, application amounts, delivery method, drying time, and durability. 

Polycrylic is cheaper and elicits fewer VOCs as opposed to acrylic. 

How Do You Fix Polycrylic Problems? 

Surface imperfections are an inevitable issue when applying polycrylic to any surface. Some of the common surface irregularities include cracking, bubbling, chipping, and the rest. 

Each issue has its core source.  For instance, bubbling is caused by foreign matter penetrating the polycrylic surface. Or, it may transpire because of overdoing the application process. 

If bubbling occurs, sand them away and reapply an extra coat of polycrylic. 

The other common problem with polycrylic is brush strokes. Usually, the brush strokes show through the final finish due to poor delivery methods. As I had said earlier, a quality synthetic brush is a better pick for this project. Such brushes have smooth bristles and won’t leave any brush strokes. Avoid using low-quality brushes and a roller. 

Lastly, for uneven polycrylic, use medium-grit sandpaper to smooth out the bumpy spots. But don’t use too much pressure to avoid cutting through deeply the entire finish. 

Final Thoughts

Polycrylic is a water-based protective coating, and it integrates the essential ingredients to keep your surface looking lively for years to come. This paint finish is commonplace for most DIYers because it is relatively cheap and elicits zero volatile organic compounds. But… 

Can You Paint Over Polycrylic? 

Yes, it’s practical to paint over polycrylic, but you need to give the finished surface thorough preps for your paint to adhere effortlessly. Prepare the finished surface by cleaning it and lightly sanding the existing finish for better paint adhesion. 

Did you find this post helpful to your quest of understanding the possibility of painting over polycrilyic? I hope so. If you have a question or suggestion that you would love to share kindly do so in the comment section below.