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Is Polycrylic Waterproof? (All You Need to Know)

Polycrylic is a clear topcoat finish that is generally used over latex-based paint to protect your wood from water, temperature, and invasion of mites. It comes in high gloss or satin finishes. 

In this article, we will discuss polycrylic.

Is polycrylic waterproof? 

Polycrylic is waterproof. But you need to paint multiple layers of it on the surface you are applying to make it durable. Also, it is better to use on interior surfaces such as cabinets or furniture that stays inside your house, unlike the exterior furniture surfaces that are repeatedly rubbed. 

Polycrylic is a water-based protective coat that is mostly applied to wood surfaces. It comes in two different shapes, gloss and satin. Technically, polycrylic is semi-waterproof.

It is called semi-waterproof because it is a very thin layer of paint that cannot ensure water resistance in a single coat.

Moreover, it works best on wood but since it takes very little time to dry, it does not guarantee complete water resistance on the wood surface.

The advantage of using polycrylic coatings is that they are never likely to turn yellow because these types of paints or coatings are always transparent.

The following are some types of polycrylic paints and discuss whether they are waterproof:

Minwax polycrylic:

Minwax polycrylic is easy to use on wooden surfaces as it is less smelly, toxic and contains organic compounds. Besides, it takes less time to dry but takes a long time to cure. But it is not very well performing as a waterproof coating.

Due to its low heat resistance and low water resistance, it does not work well as a waterproof coating. 

Polycrylic spray:

Polycrylic spray is water-resistant but you need to maintain the finish to hold the resistance. If you want to get your surface ready, use it very quickly, then polycrylic spray is the best choice for you.

Its thin spray nozzle helps you to spray a thin layer smoothly on the surface and takes very little time to dry. 

Polycrylic sealer:

Polycrylic sealer is a protective layer that is used in wooden furniture to help increase the lifespan of the wood.

This builds up a hard seal on your wooden surface and protects it from the harmful rays of excess temperature, water, and light.

Is polycrylic water-resistant? Can polycrylic get wet?

Polycrylic is considered a waterproof clear topcoat. It is mostly used on wooden furniture and household interior works to increase the longevity of the wood. It is technically semi-waterproof.

Because it applies a thin layer on the surface that is not that effective to make the surface waterproof.

So, you have to apply multiple coats of finish over the surface to create a thicker layer that will prevent water, UV rays coming from sunlight, and high temperature to cause damage to your wooden furniture and surfaces. 

Polycrylic can get wet if washed or rubbed frequently. It is already a water-based coating element. When you apply water to it, it becomes thinner and at a point, it might lose its effectiveness by getting wet.

Sometimes, you might consider your wooden surfaces to clean up using different washing materials or you might continuously keep rubbing them off to keep them clean. But this might damage the base of the finish and damage it. 

Does polycrylic waterproof wood? Is Polycrylic permanent?

Polycrylic helps waterproof the wooden furniture and surfaces. It is a water-based protective layer that prevents the wood from getting damaged by sunlight, water, and temperature.

When you apply the polycrylic to the wood, it sprays or paints a thin layer on the wooden surface and gives a glossy finish. Applying multiple layers of polycrylic will make the wood more durable and cause longer water resistance. 

Polycrylic is not permanent. You need to maintain the coating after a certain period. In cases of interiors, they might lose their effectiveness after a certain time due to rubbing off for cleaning purposes.

So, it is recommended to spray the coating once a year on the surface to make it durable and to increase its durability. In this way, it will act as a permanent sealer or coating for the wooden surface or the furniture. 

3 reasons why polycrylic is not waterproof 

Polycrylic is a clear waterproof finish that is used in wooden surfaces such as furniture or interior and provides a glossy smooth finish on wooden surfaces.

Although it is considered a waterproof topcoat finish, it is semi-waterproof because it creates a thin layer on the wooden surfaces when sprayed. As it is a water-based topcoat finish, the effectiveness of the protection goes over time.

So, it is not permanent. Some of the reasons why they are not entirely waterproof are discussed below:

Water-based solution:

Water-based polycrylic solutions have less water resistance than the traditional oil-based polyurethane coat. Polycrylic allows spraying a thin layer on the surfaces that can lose its effectivity over time if rubbed or cleaned using water.

Ineffective when in contact with water:

Polycrylic becomes ineffective if repeatedly exposed to water. The water makes the coating wet and thinner, as a result, it will peel off from the surface and make your project useless.

Not as hard as polyurethane: 

As polycrylic is a water-based coating and does not have toxic elements like polyurethane, it is quite thin and lighter compared to oil-based coat. So, the elements make it temporary to use on surfaces.

You need to paint multiple layers of polycrylic after a certain period. It also has a lower amount of toxic chemicals added in the polycrylic. So, it is not as good as polyurethane in terms of water resistance.

What happens when polycrylic gets wet?

A polycrylic finishing coat is not as durable as a polyurethane-based coat. It can provide temporary protection from harmful light, water, and high temperatures radiated from sunlight on your wooden furniture but it cannot provide long-term protection.

This is because when the exterior furniture is outside, it loses its effectiveness when it comes in contact with dust and water. In particular, when the polycrylic coated surface gets wet, the painted finish gradually peels off from the surface.

This disrupts the waterproofing ability of the wood and causes great damage to the wood. This is why whenever wood is coated with polycrylic, you should paint a few layers so that your coating stays on the wood surface for a long time.

Make sure to paint at least 3 layers of polycrylic coating on the wooden surface to get the best results.

How to make polycrylic waterproof? 

Polycrylic is used to seal your wooden surfaces and prevent them from getting damaged due to water, sunlight, or high temperature. Polycrylic helps the wood to become glossier.

Using polycrylic is safe because it is made from organic essences and contains less smell and toxic elements than the traditional polyurethane-based finishing coat.

When applying polycrylic finishing coat over wood, avoid applying it over painted woods because that will cause the coating to peel off after a certain time and your water resistance will go.

So, here are some of the tips that will help you to make acrylic waterproof:

Apply multiple coats:

When applying polycrylic coating on your wooden interior or furniture, make sure to apply more than one coat on the surface.

The more layers you add, the more durable and waterproof it gets. Apply at least 2 to 3 coats over the surface. After applying one coat, wait for half an hour and again apply another. 

Sand after every coat:

When you apply the polycrylic over the wood and every layer after drying. Sanding is a very important part of the painting or applying a finishing coat.

Sanding helps to close holes and makes the rough surface smoother so that it makes the second layer set easily and smoothly. 

Spray for a while:

Sometimes, you use a spray bottle instead of painting brushes. Because the jar of polycrylic container might bring bubbles that will add extra hassle.

So, when applying the coating using a spray bottle, hold the spray bottle in a place when spraying to make the finished look even.

What is polyacrylic made of? 

Polycrylic is a water-based finishing coat that is used to make wood waterproof. Polycrylic itself is a type of paint but is used as a waterproof coating on wood instead of paint.

It is an ingredient made from an aqueous or liquid mixture of acrylic and methacrylic acid. The product is completely eco-friendly, it does not release any bad smell or odor. Since it’s made of organic components, it is less toxic than polyurethane.

This chemical composition helps the polycrylic finish to become water-resistant and get the ability to dry quicker.

Final Thoughts 

Polycrylic is a water-based finishing top coat that is used to make the wooden furniture and interior waterproof as well as prevent damage from harmful UV rays from sunlight. But you need to apply multiple layers to make the finish even become more durable and increase the lifespan of the wood.