Polycrylic over Chalk Paint (Can You Do it?)

Chalk paint isn’t durable or moisture-resistant. So, can you apply polycrylic over chalk paint?

You can use polycrylic over chalk paint to increase the durability of the finish. When dry, polycrylic forms a protective layer that is moisture, scratch, and water-resistant. This protective layer will protect the finish from water, scratches, and other damage.

Also, it will give the finish a more vibrant color shade, creating the perfect chalk finish.

Chalk Paint Dry Time

Chalk paint must dry (cure) for 24 hours before applying polycyclic. During the 24 hours, the paint solvent (water) evaporates, and the particles harden and compact to form a rigid paint coating. 

Sealing it too soon will lead to a sticky or tacky finish. That’s because the sealant will prevent the paint solvent (water) from evaporating. Since the solvent can’t evaporate, the finish won’t dry and will turn sticky.

However, you can speed up the drying time by increasing the solvent’s evaporation rate by increasing the air circulation around the coating.

Number of Coats For Polycrylic

For outdoor chalk paint surfaces, apply 3 coats of polycrylic. For indoor surfaces, apply 2 coats. This is because the outdoor surfaces/objects are exposed to weather elements, such as rain, and need more protection.

However, the number of coats you apply depends on the surface usage. For example, if an indoor surface will see a lot of friction and usage, apply 3 coats. Also, if an outdoor surface is under a roof and is protected from rain, apply 2 coats.

The maximum number of coats for polycrylic is 3. If you apply more than 3 coats, the finish turns cloudy. That’s because each coat of polycrylic you add increases the blur of the finish. 

The minimum number of coats for polycrylic is 2. If you apply less than 2 coats, the sealant won’t protect the surface as much. That’s because chalk paint is water-based and isn’t durable. So, one coat of sealant won’t be thick (or strong) enough to protect it.

Mixing Polycrylic and Chalk Paint

You shouldn’t mix polycrylic and chalk paint. That’s because both paints have different formulas. Chalk paint is water-based paint used to beautify a surface, while polycrylic is a topcoat used to protect the surface. 

Polycrylic has more additives and resins, meaning it has a thicker flow. On the other hand, chalk paint doesn’t have many resins or additives, meaning it has a thin flow. 

If you mix them, the mixture will have uneven flow and color. Also, chalk paint will dry faster than polycrylic, meaning one part of the finish will be dry while the other will still be wet. This causes paint cracks and uneven finish. 

However, you can add paint pigments to polycrylic to get a colorful and durable finish. 

Applying Chalk Paint over Polycrylic

You shouldn’t apply chalk paint over polycrylic because the paint won’t stick. When dry, the sealant forms a glossy finish that repels moisture, including paint. So, if you apply chalk paint over it, the paint won’t stick.

For paint to stick, the paint must penetrate the surface. But, since polycrylic has a glossy layer that prevents moisture (or liquid) from penetrating the surface the paint won’t be able to penetrate it, so it won’t stick.

To apply chalk paint over polycrylic, you must sand or remove the finish. Sanding will create tiny scratches (ridges) over the finish that the paint can penetrate into. However, the paint adhesion won’t be good. So, removing it and then applying the paint is the best option. 

Final Words

You can use polycrylic to seal the chalk paint. The polycrylic coating will protect the finish from moisture, water, scratches, and damage. This allows the finish to last longer. 

On the other hand, you shouldn’t use chalk paint over polycrylic because the paint won’t stick. 

Tony Adams
Tony Adams

Tony is a professional painter and an author of DIY Geeks. Tony has completed over 1,000 painting projects for his clients. It's safe to say he knows what he Is talking about,

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