Reply
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,239
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Clear finish for painted wood??

I am helping a friend with some painted furniture...she wants a fairly heavy poly on the top only for two of the end tables...to keep water rings from ruining the tops....it is a young family so insisting on coasters does not always work.

 

Any suggestions would be appreciated, I have only used a light shellac/poly on furniture but I am thinking more of a bar type finish but not quite so heavy.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 68,957
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

It has been a number of years since I refinished any furniture but they used to not recommend polyurethane as a finish on bare wood because it turns yellow with time.  There are special products made for this purpose.  People in the paint department at a reputable store ought to be able to advise your friend on the best product for her project.  I did grouping of unfinished furniture pieces with painted legs and natural tops.

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,239
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

@Kachina624...the furniture is painted and I am aware of the turning yellow issue on unpainted or light colors....I did look on line but sometimes those onine articles get a bit muddy.  thanks

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,369
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

I painted a bathroom vanity with black flat paint after applying a primer, then put a couple of layers of poly over the paint. I used a water based poly in a can and applied it with a sponge brush.  It turned out beautiful and it has not chipped or changed color in about five years.  You have to make sure it doesn’t get bubbles in the finish or they will have be sanded out.

 

An oil based poly will turn yellow.  A water based poly is better and usually won’t yellow, but if exposed to strong sunlight, it could.

 

If the furniture is painted a really light color, you might want to apply a paste wax over the piece.  It works well  but requires maintenance...probably needs applied twice a year to keep the top water proof.  It is easier to work with than poly, is protective and looks great.

 

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,911
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

I stained and polyed all the oak trim for our kitchen, bathroom, and foyer.  I did not use a heavy poly----but I did put three or four coats of poly on the trim with a light sanding between each coat.  I think several coats would be better than a "heavy" poly.  A thin coat is going to dry a lot quicker and better than putting on a "heavy" coat.

 

I have also painted a lot of wooden craft projects and did the same thing----several light coats.  It may take more time but I think your friend would be more satisfied with the end result.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” St.Teresa of Calcutta
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,046
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

[ Edited ]

I always just use several coats of polyurethane on all my painted projects.  It seems to do the trick and I've never noticed any  yellowing.

 

My husband did, however, suggest using something different for some painted flower pots I did...for outdoors.  He claimed it was extra protective, and I'm looking at the can now (I have it in my craft room where the computer is.)  It's Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.  I really like it.  The can says "Tough protection for wood, inside and out". 

Just a suggestion if you want something extra tough.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,369
Registered: ‎10-25-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??


@blueroses47wrote:

I always just use several coats of polyurethane on all my painted projects.  It seems to do the trick and I've never noticed any  yellowing.

 

My husband did, however, suggest using something different for some painted flower pots I did...for outdoors.  He claimed it was extra protective, and I'm looking at the can now (I have it in my craft room where the computer is.)  It's miniwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.  I really like it.  The can says "Tough protection for wood, inside and out". 

Just a suggestion if you want something extra tough.


I use this stuff for the wood galley trim on our boat that is not exposed to the weather.   It looks beautiful once done, but needs refinished about every four years or so.  I wish it lasted longer.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,239
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??

Thanks all for the suggestions, I will take a look at the Minwax product.

I have used many of their products in the past, never saw this particular item..

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,046
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Clear finish for painted wood??


@Carmiewrote:

@blueroses47wrote:

I always just use several coats of polyurethane on all my painted projects.  It seems to do the trick and I've never noticed any  yellowing.

 

My husband did, however, suggest using something different for some painted flower pots I did...for outdoors.  He claimed it was extra protective, and I'm looking at the can now (I have it in my craft room where the computer is.)  It's miniwax Helmsman Spar Urethane.  I really like it.  The can says "Tough protection for wood, inside and out". 

Just a suggestion if you want something extra tough.


I use this stuff for the wood galley trim on our boat that is not exposed to the weather.   It looks beautiful once done, but needs refinished about every four years or so.  I wish it lasted longer.


Yes, that's what my husband told me,it's used on boats.  That's why he thought it would be good for the flower pots, and I was so pleased with how the pots looked when I was finished.  They were just old pots he found on the curb that someone was throwing out, and he brought them home (my husband the garbage picker).  They had all those intricate carvings on them, but where in poor shape.  I painted them terracotta color and highlighted the embellishments, and they looked quite good.  The varnish protected them very well for about three years, in hot sun and rain. I'll have to recoat them this year, I think.