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Can You Use Polycrylic Over Acrylic Paint? (Answered)

You might be wondering if it will be wise to use polycrylic over acrylic paint to better secure it and make it last for a long time. It is important that you are more informed on this issue so that you do not end up ruining any surfaces by using the wrong coating. 

Can you use polycrylic over acrylic paint?

Polycrylic is a protective finish and it can indeed be applied over acrylic paint not only to seal it but also to protect it. This will ensure that your surface stays flawless for a very long period of time without any damage occurring on the surface. However, do ensure to do a spot test.

Before putting polycrylic coatings over any type of paint it is important that you do a spot test. Even if it is compatible with most paints, it can start ambering or shift the color to something that you might not be that fond of.

To avoid just that, always do a spot test before applying polycrylic coatings over any type of acrylic paint.

Water-based polycrylic:

Water-based polycrylic is very safe to use over acrylic paint. You can go ahead and do it without worrying about any damage.

Not only will it give a more glossy, shiny, and appealing appearance, it will also make your paint durable for an extended period of time. You will not have to worry about having your paint chip off. 

Besides that, if you get any spots you can also easily remove them from the surface without worrying about hurting the acrylic paint as the water-based polycrylic layer will be acting as a protective barrier. 

Minwax polycrylic:

If you are wondering if Minwax polycrylic coating is safe to use over acrylic paint or not, then yes. Minwax polycrylic coating is completely safe to use over acrylic paint. It will make it durable as well as give it a very nice finish.

Minwax polycrylic coating is used by many artists to coat their acrylic painted canvas to give it a nice finish and make it durable. 

However, many people also actually avoid using Minwax polycrylic coating over their acrylic paint. This is because they more often than not have a tendency to turn amber over a period of time.

This is unappealing for many people as the paint color does not remain the exact same as they wished for. This is one reason why it is suggested that a spot test for precautionary purposes before applying the coating over your acrylic paint. 

Spray polycrylic:

You can spray polycrylic coating over your acrylic paint as long as you are following proper guidelines.

This is because when it comes to sprays unless it is done properly there is a chance of it getting patchy, this can be quite unappealing to look at. This is why it is best if you get it done professionally to avoid any patchiness. 

Besides that, when it comes to spraying polycrylic coatings you must avoid used oil-based ones. With oil-based polycrylic coatings, there is a high chance that your paint will turn yellow over time.

Similarly with this, ensure to do a spot test and make sure that it is compatible with your specific brand of acrylic paint. 

Matte polycrylic:

You can also use matte polycrylic coatings over your acrylic paint as it protects your paint from dust and pollutants.

It ends up making your acrylic paint even more durable. Matte finishes are also getting popular day by day as many people prefer the sleek and muted look that it adds to their room. 

Can you use polycrylic over acrylic paint on wood?

You can use polycrylic coatings over acrylic paint on wood. However, there are many different types and you should ensure to use the right type. It is very important that you are using a water-based polycrylic protective coating over acrylic paint on wood.

Minwax polycrylic coating is also amazing and many people use it over acrylic paint over wood due to it having the best finish.

This is the best protective covering on your acrylic paint on wood. Not only will it give it a nice and shiny finish, but it will also be durable for a very long period of time. 

4 Reasons why you can use polycrylic over acrylic paint:

There are many reasons why you can consider using polycrylic coatings over acrylic paint. 


The biggest reason why you can and why people use polycrylic coatings over acrylic paint is that it makes the paint last for a very long period of time.

It prevents the paint from getting faded or chipped and keeps it looking brand new for a very long time. 

Damage protections:

Another reason you can use polycrylic coating over your acrylic paint is that it acts as a protective barrier. It will protect your paint job from dust, pollution, and any other external factors that might cause damage to your paint.

If anything falls on the surface then you can easily clean that off too without hurting the paint layer. 


This is also a great reason for which you can use polycrylic paint over acrylic paint. There are a few types of acrylic paint present. It gives off different finishes.

There are ones giving off a glossy and shiny finish, one can give off a matte finish and some can even give off a finish between glossy and matte.

This is a great factor because it can add more dimension to your walls and give them the finish that you are looking for. In other words, it can make your paint job look more appealing and elevated. 

Preserving Art:

Another reason you can use polycrylic paint over acrylic paint is to preserve artworks. Many artists around the world create beautiful works with acrylic paint.

Keeping paintings and storing them without damaging them might seem like hard work. However, it can be easily attainable if you just brush a coat of polycrylic over the acrylic paint. It will make them more durable for years to come and preserve the artwork. 

When can I put polycrylic over paint?

Do not use polycrylic coatings over wet paint as it will ruin the texture and evenness of the paint job. Only apply the polycrylic layer after your paint job has dried down fully.

There are guidelines present at the back of the paint cans which let you know the approximate time it will take for the paint job to dry down. Follow those guidelines and brush on the coat of polycrylic once the paint job has dried down.

Besides that, always ensure to do a patch test beforehand to make sure that the polycrylic coating will not yellow or amber your paint job. 

How to apply polycrylic over acrylic paint?

There are certain steps you should follow so that you know better how you can apply polycrylic coatings over your acrylic paint simply. 

Wait for it to dry:

After you are done with your paint job, allow it to try completely. It will be mentioned on your paint can as to how long you should dry it. 

Patch test:

The first step would be for you to do a patch test on your paint job to check if the polycrylic is compatible with it. Use the polycrylic over a small area and wait for a while to check if it turns yellow or amber. If not, then you are good to go. 

Apply the polycrylic:

Ensure to use a foam brush and using a light hand apply it on your paint job starting from the far corner. You must make sure that you are using gentle strokes with light pressure and doing it evenly throughout the paint job.

Two coats:

Let the first coat dry thoroughly for three hours and apply a second coat of polycrylic over it. You must clean your brush in warm water and let it dry fully before applying another coat.

Alternatively, you can keep two brushes at hand to quicken the process. Apply at least four coats of polycrylic to seal the paint job. 

Can you mix polycrylic with acrylic paint? What can I use to seal acrylic paint?

You can mix polycrylic paint with acrylic paint for it to have a thinner consistency and thus be easier to apply. It will, however, not be as durable as four coats of separate polycrylic coatings on top of acrylic painting would be.

Other than polycrylic, you can also consider using water-based polyurethane to seal your acrylic painting and make it durable. 

Final thoughts

Polyacrylics are great ways to seal any kind of acrylic paint job throughout the world. It can be used to seal acrylic paint on wood, acrylic paint on walls, or even acrylic paint on canvas works. It makes the acrylic paint more appealing as well as ensures that it stays durable for a long time.