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Forum topic by RobH posted 09-08-2008 02:59 AM 6822 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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465 posts in 4902 days

09-08-2008 02:59 AM

Hey all,

I am getting ready to start my latest painted project. This is going to be a television console/entertainment center. The base of the thing is going to be painted a cream or ivory color, and the top is going to be solid cherry finished with oil only (ok, maybe a coat or two of poly, but I am not planning on that.

One thing I hate about painted furniture is the tackiness of the latex paint for a long time after it is dry. Someone has suggested to me to paint it and then put on water-based polyurethane. They said us a satin paint and a semi-gloss polyurethane to get a semi-gloss finish. I thing I would need to use a gloss paint and a semi-gloss poly coat. What do you think? I would not think that a semi-gloss finish would be possible after painting with a satin finish.

Let me know what you think. Also, is there any other way you know of to take the tackiness out of the latex paint.

Thanks in advance,
Rob Hix

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

9 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 5071 days

#1 posted 09-08-2008 04:03 AM

Gloss is always determined by the final coat. You can wipe on six coats of satin poly, but if your last coat is gloss, your finish will be glossy.

Having said that, I’ve never tried poly over paint. In theory, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I’d make sure my paint was well cured (a few days) before I applied the water-based polyurethane.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4902 days

#2 posted 09-08-2008 04:39 AM

I am skeptical of the poly over paint also. I still have some research to do, and you can bet I will try it before I put it on the actual project. I need to get this done ASAP. That is one reason it will be painted. I will let you all know how it goes.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 4407 days

#3 posted 09-08-2008 06:07 AM

I had this exact same issue when I started building furniture. The solution is to not get paint from your local big box store. The paint I got from Lowes is still tacky to this day. I have a coffee table I made about 5 years ago and it is still tacky (but less tacky than before). If I leave something on the table for a day or so, it sticks to the table.
It was frustrating. I spent a few days stripping the paint and starting over because I thought I didn’t leave enough time for the paint to cure. By the end, I gave up until I had to build a painted end table for a friend. I switched to I think it was a General Finishes paint from rocklers. It worked much better. I did top it off with a coat of poly to make it shiny.

View Quixote's profile


206 posts in 4491 days

#4 posted 09-08-2008 06:11 AM

Poly over fresh Latex…

My thoughts are these.

Don’t mix the products without specific manufacturer instructions…

You might be ok, but then again you might not…here’s why.

They cure differently. You run the risk of softening the latex ( by top coating with a water base topcoat, the water re-absorbs into the base coat} when you apply poly, then, with the poly cured, you sandwich a “gooey” ( yes that’s the technical term…} mess in between. Like a hot grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll be making skid marks for weeks.

Top coating a fresh latex color with a petroleum solvent based poly runs the risk of wrinkling the product much like paint remover.

My advice is to stop in the paint store where you purchased, or plan to purchase the finish poly, and confirm their recommendations for a color base.

For the size of your project, a quart or two of color is cheaper than the mess and headache if a cocktail mix turns to goo…

Hope this helps.


-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4980 days

#5 posted 09-08-2008 12:32 PM

Consider milk paints and a top coat of tung oil or use a water based poly.

-- 温故知新

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 4815 days

#6 posted 09-08-2008 12:47 PM

I paint furniture. That is what I do. I do not use wall paint on furniture. I use acrylic. I always put a top coat over the acrylic. I like water base varnish better than poly, I have found that poly tends to tint the paint. I know that only oil base is supposed to do that. You are doing a cream or light color. If you want to do a poly top coat use water base and do a test on scrap first.

-- Berta in NC

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 4400 days

#7 posted 09-09-2008 06:23 AM

I have been reading this web page for several weeks now and this is my first reply. I suggest using a oil based paint from your local professional paint store. Benjamin Williams makes a good oil based paint. It will give you a nice hard enamel finish and you will be very happy. No clear coats or polys would be required, just several coats of the oil primer and oil based paint in the color of your choosing. View my webpage at and scroll midway down and view the whilte wall unit bookshelf. We sprayed that with an oil based paint. Turned out great!

Have fun,


-- .

View cmaeda's profile


205 posts in 4407 days

#8 posted 09-09-2008 07:11 AM

I never tried using oil based paint. I will have to try that.
I have used milk paint on some small pieces and when I make toys. That works great too.

View David A. P.'s profile

David A. P.

28 posts in 4417 days

#9 posted 12-06-2008 02:49 AM

Hmmm…I never even thought to wonder if there would be issues with poly-over-paint. Just goes to show how new it all is to me, I guess ;). Anyway, I poly’d over paint on a carving I did and it turned out fine. The paint was artist’s acrylics, though, and I’m not sure what the relation or similitude is between that and “canned” paint.

-- David A. P. -- Ars Arboris ("Art of the Tree") --

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