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How Many Coats of Polycrylic? (Answered)

Polycrylic coats are water-based coats that are different from polyurethane. Polycrylic coating is good for many paints and gives better durability. The proper coating is required to protect both the material and paint.

Following below information and tips regarding polycrylic and its coating would help you to proceed further.

Do you need multiple coats of Polycrylic?

Of course, you need multiple coats of polycrylic. Only one coating is not enough. Polycrylic is a water-based sealer. Sealers are required for protecting purposes. You would require more than one coating to cover the material and marks. One coating is not enough for full protection.

Instead of putting only one coating, you need to put at least two coats. The perfect coating would give proper protection to the material and prevent the material from getting damaged. Polycrylic sealers provide great protection from marks and scratches. 

You can even hide prior scratch sand marks.

You need multiple coats of polycrylic to cover up marks. Before applying coats, you should sand the surface of the material. Sanding would make the material smooth to work on. Coats should be applied first in a thin layer and later in a thick layer. You would at least need these two coats.

How many coats of polycrylic??

2-3 coats of polycrylic are needed to cover up the material. 3 coating is perfect to protect the material from any kind of damage. Even though you put on several coats, it is not as strong as other coatings. Instead, a thick layer of coating would make the material more dull and gloomy.

Polycrylic is a water-based coating that is applicable only on certain paints. Apart from that, it is good for only interior work rather than outdoor work. Polycrylic coating is stable and once dried applying other coatings is required.

On dining table/kitchen table:

The dining table and kitchen table are also suitable for putting polycrylic on. 3 coatings of polycrylic are required to be put over the dining table or kitchen table. This would give a smooth finish to the table.

Over chalk paint:

Setting the chalk paint by sealer is a great idea in the first place. At least 3 coats of polycrylic would cover the surface smoothly. Yet, you can add more layers depending on what type of finish you want. 

Moreover, Polycrylic is not as strong as an oil-based sealer.

Over paint:

Applying polycrylic over paint makes the paint more durable with time. Even it can stand moderate heat and water damage. 2-3 coatings are needed to ensure the proper coverage. 

Polycrylic yet turns to paint into a yellow tint with time which is not good to look at.

On kitchen cabinets:

Polycrylic can be applied on cabinets especially are for indoor uses. Polycrylic would give a smooth finish overall yet can create a bit of a yellowish color with time. 

Still, 2 coatings of polycrylic may create less tint on the kitchen cabinet.

On wood:

If you want to leave the wood with its original color, only using sealer would give a better outcome. Instead of using paint, use a better sealer to seal the wood. 

Polycrylic seal would be perfect for wooden materials, even the yellowish color would not affect the wood color.

On countertops:

Countertops can be coated with polycrylic to protect them. Multiple layers of polycrylic should be applied on countertops in order to provide proper protection. Multiple layers of coating would make the surface more sturdy and strong.

Over stain:

Stains can be covered up by using polycrylic. Polycrylic should be put on layers in order to cover up the stains and marks. Sealers can not only cover up marks but also prevent the material from getting further marks on it.

On dresser:

Polycrylic gives a semi-gloss and matte finish over the surface of a material. As the dresser is kept inside the house and has less exposure to the sun, a polycrylic seal would give moderate protection. 

Two to three coatings would be perfect for a dresser and can apply more coating if needed.

On painted furniture:

Painted furniture needs to be secured with a sealer. Without a sealer, the paint can get damaged and scratched. Polycrylic can be applied over painted furniture in layers. 

As a result, both the paint and material can be protected. Apply coating according to the thickness it requires.

How many polycrylic coats is too many? Is 2 coats of polycrylic enough?

At least 2 coats of polycrylic are required to give proper protection yet more than 6 coats would look too much. You can go for up to 3-4 coatings at maximum. You may need to put 6 coats for certain materials but not more than this. 

It would rather make a thick coat than give a proper finish.

Polycrylic needs to be applied on the surface of a material in order to provide safety. It can also cover up scratches and marks. You need to put a thin and a thick layer of coating. Apart from that, you can also put several coatings of polycrylic to give a smooth finish.

Make sure to sand the material or after putting on coats. One coat might resist another and create an uneven tone. Only 2 coats would give moderate protection yet go for three at least.

Why do you put multiple coats of polycrylic?

Polycrylic gives a smooth finish and even a thin layer finishes off smoothly. It even takes less time to dry. You can also put it on the surfaces which are painted. Et, not on direct paint. The paints should be dried before applying polycrylic.

Multiple coatings of polycrylic are required for various reasons and some are listed below.


Multiple coats of polycrylic are needed to provide better protection to the surface of a material. The sealer protects the surface from heat and water damage. On the other hand, it prevents further scratch marks and secures the paint. 

Multiple layers would provide better protection than doing one coating.

Smooth surface:

Polycrylic gives a smooth surface at the ending of the process. Yet only one layer would look well off still won’t be enough to protect the surface. Polycrylic gives a smooth layer that is not even glossy and shiny.

A matte finish:

Polycrylic gives a matte finish over a surface rather than a glossy and shiny surface. Putting multiple layers would secure the matte look over the years. Even though polycrylic can turn into a yellowish tint still the finish remains good for years.

How do you apply Polycrylic coats evenly?

Polycrylic coats are applied on the surface of a material to protect the material from further damage. You can also apply polycrylic on the painted surfaces. It can also protect the paint from losing its color.

Apart from this, it can sometimes create a yellowish tint over time. On some materials, the yellowish tint looks okay but not on every material. Some steps of putting polycrylic evenly are given below.

Clean the surface:

The surface of the material should be cleaned first. Wipe off the dirt. If you are working with wood, it may require filling. Do that if needed. An unclean surface can lead to an uneven surface and later can deteriorate the sealer.

Sanding the surface:

After cleaning up the dirt, sand the surface of the material. Sanding would remove all the uneven parts and make the material even in tone. It will lead to the application of polycrylic evenly. Clean up the mess after sanding.

Apply polycrylic:

Finally, take the polycrylic. Use a brush to put the polycrylic evenly on the surface of the material. First, the layer should be a thin one and remove the access coat. Let it dry. After drying sand on the surface. As a result, the uneven coating can be removed.

Again apply a coating of polycrylic and it should be a thick one. Put it with a brush. It can take two to three hours to dry. After that, if more coating is needed you can add. Remember to sand between every coating. After finishing, it would take at least one day to heal the seal.

Final thoughts:

Overall, polycrylic can be put on materials in layers. At least 2-3 coatings are needed to cover up the material and to ensure protection. The coatings would protect the material from getting damaged with time. Lastly, polycrylic should be applied evenly and is not strong as an-oil based sealer.