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 paint. When dry, polycrylic forms a protective layer that is moisture, scratch, and water-resistant. This protective layer of polycrylic will protect chalk paint and the surface underneath it.

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

Chalk Paint Dry Time Before Polycrylic

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

Applying polycrylic before chalk paint dries will make the finish sticky or tacky. That’s because the polycrylic coating prevents the chalk paint solvent (water) from evaporating. Since the paint solvent of the chalk paint can’t evaporate, the finish won’t dry and will turn sticky.

However, you can speed up chalk paint’s dry time by increasing the solvent’s evaporation rate. To increase the evaporation rate, increase the air circulation around the coating.

Number of Coats For Polycrylic Over Chalk Paint

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

However, the number of coats for polycrylic 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 of polycrylic.

The maximum number of coats for polycrylic over chalk paint is 3. If you apply more than 3 coats of polycrylic, 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 of polycrylic, 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 polycrylic won’t be thick (or strong) enough to protect the chalk paint. 

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 chalk paint with polycrylic, the mixture with 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, polycrylic forms a glossy finish that repels moisture, including chalk paint. So, if you apply chalk paint over polycrylic, the paint won’t stick.

For chalk paint to stick, the paint must penetrate the surface. On the other hand, polycrylic has a glossy layer that prevents moisture (or liquid) from penetrating the surface. Since chalk paint can’t penetrate the polycrylic surface, the paint won’t stick.

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

Final Words

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

However, you shouldn’t use chalk paint over polycrylic because the paint won’t stick. 

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