Can you poly a painted surface?

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Forum topic by RandyMarine posted 09-05-2009 02:14 PM 1467 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 2791 days

09-05-2009 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hello all,
Once again I seek the all knowing jock advice. I have built a large bookcase out of MDF for my neighbor. She wants it painted to match her sons room….black and white. I was wondering if I could clear coat or poly after painting to protect it and give it a smooth kind of finish. Is this a bad idea?

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

5 replies so far

View JonnZ's profile


4 posts in 2608 days

#1 posted 09-05-2009 04:38 PM

While I’ve never heard of this being done, I did it myself a few years ago with some success.
I made some wooden flowers for my wife to put in a planter outdoors. She did some nice painted decoration, and we didn’t want the weather to destroy them so we topcoated with exterior poly. Worked fine, and four years later they look good as new

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3244 days

#2 posted 09-05-2009 05:34 PM

Yes you can do this. I would lightly sand the bookcase after the paint has cured with 320 grit to both remove any bubbles or trapped dust particles and roughen up the surface of the paint itself. Poly bonds though mechanical adhesion so it needs a roughened surface to latch on to. Then lightly sand between coats of poly with 320 as well until you get the finish that you want for the bookcase.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 3722 days

#3 posted 09-05-2009 05:45 PM

Like Scott said poly should work.

But never use lacquer over enamel, because you’ll get an alligator finish.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View RandyMarine's profile


236 posts in 2791 days

#4 posted 09-05-2009 09:12 PM

Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate the information.

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View emtwoodworker's profile


52 posts in 2917 days

#5 posted 09-06-2009 05:13 AM

Just keep in mind that poly will yellow the finish. Since part of it will be white you may want to use a water based finish.

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