Can You Paint Over Polyurethane?

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In fashion, there’s a term ‘fast fashion’ that we tend to hear a lot these days. But what about home décor? Although there isn’t exactly a term used for quick décor changes, trends are certainly changing faster than they used to. People want to switch things around their house every now and then, and paint is the first thing that comes to mind because of how easy and cost-effective it is to change. Problem is, homeowners don’t know what to do when there is a layer of polyurethane. Can you paint over polyurethane?

Confusion arises when people wonder whether it’s fine to paint over polyurethane or if they need to do another layer of sanding. Sanding is tiresome, yet extremely important. Always make sure to sand the polyurethane before starting painting. As long as you follow these steps, painting over polyurethane should be a problem of the past… Fundamentally, you must prepare the wood before starting the project. Otherwise, all the paint will eventually peel off.

Polyurethane Defined

Commonly, polyurethane is a durable and hard layer that people apply to kitchen cabinets. The main purpose of this topcoat is to conserve the wood from scratching. Also, people sometimes apply polyurethane to doors, furniture, and floors. Basically, anything that can be made of wood.

Painting Over Polyurethane Method

First things first, let us talk about supplies and tools. Before starting out with your project, make sure to have all the supplies and tools needed for a smooth project. You will need:

  1. Oil-based paint
  2. Oil-based primer
  3. Suitable paint brushes
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Eyewear for protection
  6. Gloves
  7. Face mask for protection
  8. Wood filler
  9. Mineral spirits
  10. Lint-free cloths

Gather all the things in the above list, and let’s get started. The latter steps are mainly for kitchen cabinets, however, the steps don’t differ for all the other things whether doors, furniture, or wood floors.

  1. Prepare: 

For preparation, read the labels of the supplies you are using and make sure to follow the instructions. Wear your protective wear – eyewear and face mask. Work in a ventilated area. Be aware of flammable materials such as oil-based products and mineral spirits. Properly dispose of them for your safety. 

For the kitchen cabinets, remove the knobs. If you don’t have a lot of cabinets, you don’t have to remove the cabinet doors. If you have a lot, make sure to remove them.

  1. Priming and Painting:

Before you start painting the surface, you just prime it. Use the oil-based primer on the surface so that the paint can stick properly. Also, primers prevent stains previously present on the wood to resurface through the paint.

Leave the primer on the surface for some time to dry, aim for 12 hours or leave it overnight if you can. If you find any wood grains showing through the primer, then you need to apply a second coat.

Now for the paint, apply one coat and leave it overnight to completely dry out. Then, apply a second one to ensure proper and complete painting of the cabinet. Don’t add the cabinet knobs just yet! Leave it for around 72 hours before you do.

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