Can You Apply Polyurethane Over Polycrylic? | Explained

Apply Polyurethane over Polycrylic Graphic

Applying a protective finish to your project is essential to preserve it for years to come. But can you apply Polyurethane over Polycrylic clear coat? And if so, what steps do you need to take?

The simple answer is Yes; you can apply Polyurethane over Polycrylic on wood surfaces, furniture, and flooring, as it is more durable than other sealers and provides a waterproof seal. But let’s explain a bit more along with what you should know before using Polyurethane over Polycrylic.

What is Polyurethane?

Polyurethane is a type of protective finish that is commonly used on wood. It is available in both oil-based and water-based formulations, and it can be applied using either a brush or a sprayer.

One of the main benefits of polyurethane is that it provides great protection against moisture and wear. It also provides a natural, durable finish that is resistant to scratches and other minor damage. However, it can be difficult to work with, requiring multiple coats to achieve a smooth, even finish.

What is Polycrylic?

Polycrylic is another type of protective coating that is typically used on wood surfaces. It is typically applied using a brush or foam roller, and it is usually much easier to work with than polyurethane.

One of the main advantages of polycrylic is that it dries much more quickly than polyurethane. This makes it a better choice for projects where speed is important, such as furniture that needs to be returned to a client quickly. However, it is not as durable or protective as polyurethane and may not be suitable for all types of projects.

Lacquering Wood Floors. Worker Uses A Roller To Coating Floors.

Polyurethane vs. Polycrylic – What’s the Difference?

The main difference between polyurethane and polycrylic is that polyurethane is oil-based, while polycrylic is water-based. Oil-based polyurethane typically takes longer to dry and can yellow over time. Polycrylic, on the other hand, dries quickly and will not yellow. However, because it is water-based, it can raise the grain of your wood slightly.

Another difference between these two finishes is that polyurethane is more durable than polycrylic. This means that it is more resistant to scratches, stains, and heat. However, because it is more durable, polyurethane can also be difficult to repair if it gets damaged. Polycrylic, on the other hand, is easier to repair but not as resistant to damage.

Finally, polyurethane has a bit of a learning curve because it can be tricky to apply evenly. Polycrylic is much easier to apply evenly due to its thinner consistency.

So, which should you use – polyurethane or polycrylic? If you need a durable finish that will not yellow over time, go with polyurethane. If you need an easier-to-apply finish that will dry quickly and not yellow, go with polyacrylic.

Read more in our full Polyurethane vs. Polycrylic Comparison.

Oil vs. Water-Based Polyurethane – Which is Better?

When it comes to applying Polyurethane over Polycrylic, you will typically have the choice between oil-based and water-based formulations.

Oil-based polyurethane is generally regarded as the superior option, as it provides better coverage and a harder finish that is less prone to scratches. However, water-based polyurethane is more environmentally friendly and easier to use. This can be a good option if you are applying Polyurethane over Polycrylic to floors, as it dries faster and allows the floor to be walked on sooner.

When deciding which type of Polyurethane to use, consider your project’s needs and budget, as well as any environmental concerns you may have.

Overall, if you are looking for a durable finish that will protect your wood projects from moisture and wear, Polyurethane is an excellent choice. However, be sure to take the necessary steps to apply it correctly, including using the right products and following all instructions carefully.

Herringbone Floors With Polycrylic Sealing.
Herringbone Floors With Polycrylic Sealing.

Tips for Applying Polyurethane Over Polycrylic

There are a few key steps that you should follow when applying Polyurethane over Polycrylic, including:

  1. Ensure that the surface is clean and dry before applying the Polyurethane.
  2. If your project will be exposed to heavy use or moisture, consider applying an additional coat of polycrylic over the Polyurethane to provide even greater protection.
  3. Apply the Polyurethane using a high-quality brush or foam roller, following all instructions and guidelines carefully.
  4. Allow sufficient time for the Polyurethane to dry completely before attempting to use your project, as this will help ensure that it lasts for many years to come.

If you are careful and take your time when applying Polyurethane over Polycrylic, you can achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish that will protect your wood projects from moisture and wear. And with the right preparation and care, you can rest assured that what you’ve created is built to last!

Bottom Line

Polyurethane can safely be applied over Polycrylic if you already have a coating on your wood. However, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth, even finish. By choosing the right type of Polyurethane and following these key tips, you can effectively protect your wood projects for many years to come.

Looking for more tips or have a question? Let us know in the comments below!